Racers seem to be less and less in development than I remember, the only racer that I constantly see on the shelves is Forza, and those are some in depth racing games. Riptide GP: Renegade is a racer, but it doesn’t go the ultra realistic route that Forza likes to. Set in a futuristic world the racers of Riptide race on water to become the champion, but all isn’t what it seems. There’s intrigue and betrayal and lots and lots of robots to race. So if you’re trying to relive your past memories of Waverace 64 this may be the download for you.
Seeing as this started out as a mobile game and eventually fleshed out into the consoles the campaign story is quite predictable. You start off as the champion of the racing circuit and Krex, the racer you just beat wants to have another race. Your friend, Poison, kindly reminds you that racing out of the circuit is illegal and would get you kicked out of the circuit. Instead of heeding her warning you decide to race anyway, that’s when tragedy strikes, the cops know what’s going on and catch you, Krex gets away, convenient huh? A two year time skip happens and you find yourself on the water again, this time with Poison helping you get back into the circuit you were banned from and where Krex is now the champion. Your goal, if you chose to accept it, is to claw your way up the ranks of illegal racing so that you can take Krex down for taking two years of your life away.
The game has multiplayer, which makes total sense both online and couch co-op. Which is exciting, I seriously doubt any of my friends on my Xbox Live are going to be downloading this title, so I can invite one over and play on the couch. I’m glad that split screen co-op is available, if this wasn’t included in the game I feel that a huge opportunity would have been wasted. That being said, make sure you have buddies that will download this with you, or you will only be able to play the campaign, which is fun, but beating your buddy at hydro jetting is priceless.
The controls are quite simple which makes for a more enjoyable race. Right Trigger is accelerate and Left Stick is steer. To be able to use boost you must nail tricks, once you do load up your Boost Meter you can press A and slide past any people ahead of you. Tricks are easy to learn and easy to initiate, most of them rely on the thumb sticks. To do a Bar Hop you flip your thumb sticks up, to land a tabletop press up on the left stick and down on the right. As you continue to win races you can buy newer and better tricks that are pretty easy to land as well. Winning races garners you money and experience points, as you level up you gain skill points which helps you buy all those new tricks I was talking about. The money you win in the races helps you upgrade your hydro jet so that you can be better, faster, and stronger. I bulked up my Top Speed and Acceleration first seeing as that is the most useful while racing. I’d rather depend on my speed than finding areas to do tricks and fill my Boost Meter, that’s just how I roll.
One letdown that I had with Riptide GP: Renegade, was the fact that I kept racing on the same tracks over and over. Now, don’t get me wrong, the tracks were gorgeous and had a personality to each one of them, but zipping around on them over and over was tiresome. The water, which is a main focus point of the game worked very well, it looked almost as if it was real. They put a lot of effort into those water graphics and it shows. What was boring was the fact that all the racers I battled looked similar, I couldn’t differentiate between the hydro jetters I was schooling on the track. I did enjoy the circuit racing when the game would throw a special challenge race at me. Instead of having to come in first for all the races I was given a few curveballs. I found myself at one time having to Slalom on water, which was fun and refreshing, but didn’t break away from the monotony of all the racing. The one that really had me moving though was Elimination, if you are last when a certain timer runs out you are booted from the race. It took me a few tries to not lose this type of race and I honestly thought this was their best addition to the race-ways.
I did enjoy my time with Riptide GP: Renegade a lot, but I found it to be repetitive. I’ve never been one to watch racing or play racing games so I get bored with them very easily. If you are a fan of going around and around in circle for long periods of time without actually getting anywhere, then this little downloadable title should be on your hard drive. If you have buddies that also enjoy Nascar and such then you should let them in on this little game’s existence and enjoy some online or couch co-op. Grab your hydro-jet and become a renegade or do it with friends.
An Xbox One Product Code for Riptide GP: Renegade was provided by Vector Unit for the purpose of this review.