Originally announced for spring last year Riptide GP2 made its long-awaited début on Xbox One last week from Vector Unit developer of the XBLA hit Hydro Thunder Hurricane and mobile racers Shine Runner and Beach Buggy Blitz.
Riptide GP2 is a sequel (obviously!) to Riptide GP which is a mobile game available on Android, iOS and Windows 8.1 with some nice upgrades to justify its console release, it runs at 1080p/60fps, with extra details and improved environments, a unique 6 split-screen local multiplayer, a deep career mode and VR challenges there are enough upgrades to make it worth buying on console even if you’ve played it on another device.
The gameplay is fast, fluid and fun as you’d expect from this sort of game racing against other jets is fun and represents a reasonable challenge in the multiple events: races, elimination, freestyle and hot lap, the first two and hot lap are fairly self-explanatory, freestyle is where you need to get a certain amount of points from doing stunts on the jet as you go up ramps such as back-flips and the like, there are lots of stunts to choose from and the more difficult ones are worth more points and successfully landing a stunt will gain you boost to help you speed around the track.
The career mode as I said is deep with a ton of racers across 9 series and locations such as futuristic cityscapes, canals, rivals, open harbours and research facilities which give it a decent amount of tracks and whilst you obviously will do each track a few times I didn’t find it happen so often especially due to the multiple event types on a specific track. Each event gives you up to 3 stars depending on if you finished first second or third and they unlock future series and levels as you progress.
Each level also gives you some XP and cash as part of the “RPG-lite” progression, as you level up with XP you get points to unlock things such as new stunt moves or extras to your boost and cash allows you to buy upgrades to your jet or entirely new jets. When a game has several different things going on like the progression systems I find a lot of games (particularly on mobile) do it to get money out of you which isn’t the case here, I thought these systems were all well executed, no micro transactions or anything like it and its a fair system designed to help you get a bit more out of the game as you play it and I really liked the implementation, I had to do minimal grinding to get everything done and unlocked as I just managed to do it naturally as I played through.
The handling of the jets is affected by the stats of your chosen vehicle and there are a few which generally have poor handling but buying upgrades always made that easier and I liked how the jets handled generally they didn’t feel too light or too heavy and it has a good sense of speed particularly as you’re boosting. The only minor criticism I would give is that I wished I could choose how much boost I used at a time as I got to a certain level where the stunts I did gave me a lot of boost (even the lesser ones) and this caused me some trouble when trying to do some freestyle or hot laps, if I could choose a button to press and use it all or hold a different button and use it up bit by bit I would have preferred that.
As I said earlier there is a lot of content here through the career, there is also some VR challenges where you race against the ghosts of your friends and try to beat their scores which is something you can go back to as more friends play it and improve their times and it has the impressive 6 player local multiplayer which unfortunately I wasn’t able to try admittedly but seems like it would be a blast.
One notable absentee is the online multiplayer which was a bit of a surprise because when it was announced last Spring it was set to include it and it is in the Steam version but unfortunately didn’t make the cut for whatever reason, I didn’t let this detract from my enjoyment of the game I do hope that the developer is able to add it in later if the game is a success though and I think there would be a lot of demand from buyers for that feature.
I didn’t want the absence of online multiplayer to detract so much from the rest of my review because I like to review a game for what it is and has not for what isn’t there. Priced at $5 (£4) on the Xbox store and for that price there is a great game with lots of fun to be had, lots of games get a price hike when coming to consoles due to things like ratings board costs but that is a great low price and I would recommend the game as it is to anyone if they are looking for a good solid racing game to play.
Riptide GP2 is very fun with lots to do, its builds on the foundations they laid with Hydro Thunder Hurricane well and I’m glad it finally came to Xbox One, I enjoyed it a lot and would highly recommend it.
Check out a couple of videos I made below