Dead Island: Riptide returns heroes to zombie-infested island, now with boats and defensive perimeters

Dead Island Ripdtide returns the original game's group of survivors back to the shores of an island resort overrun with zombies. But now a massive monsoon has flooded the terrible tropical paradise, transforming the city and its surroundings into swamp-like lagoons.

Dead Island Ripdtide returns the original game's group of survivors back to the shores of an island resort overrun with zombies. But now a massive monsoon has flooded the terrible tropical paradise, transforming the city and its surroundings into swamp-like lagoons.

The game's recently reshaped island now forces players to rely on boats to travel between pockets of dry land and a new dynamic weather system brings rolling storms, and limited vision to the mix.

During a presentation at Gamescom earlier this month, lead creative producer Sebastien Reichert explained how it is that after fighting their way off the island and seemingly flying to safety, the group finds themselves back on Banoi. Shortly after landing on a military ship, he said, a storm hits, sinking the ship and reshaping the game's island.

The short look I had at the game in action, showed familiar gameplay in the submerged portions of the island. The weather effects, which includes blinding sheets of rain, up the chance that the game will startle you with unexpected zombies. And the new weapons I saw, which include triggered C4 and the propeller on your little skiff, promise plenty of new ways to creatively dismantle the undead.

While both the setting and seemingly the story are relatively similar to the original title, the team has added some other interesting elements beyond a few new weapons.

Most notably the game adds the ability to place traps, fences and turrets during certain defense missions to hold back waves of encroaching undead. The game also adds a fifth character to the mix, who comes with new skillsets.

Reichert said that while the play space of this new take on the island is a little bit smaller, it is also a bit more condensed in terms of what can be done. He expects it will take people 20 to 30 hours to rush through the game.

"The core and heart of the game is multiplayer fun," he said. "Co-op remains our focus, it will be pushed wherever we can."

The emphasis also means that the game will let you import the character you leveled up in the first game for another round of island survival. Finally, Reichert said that the team was thinking about including post-release downloadable content support, but hadn't made any final decisions.

Dead Island Riptide is due out for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 next year.

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