If you’ve been longing for a new water jet ski game that is actually good like Jet Moto then indie developer Vector Unit may have something for you. You may recognize their name from some of their past games like Hydro Thunder Hurricane and more recently Riptide GP 2. Now if you’re like me you probably didn’t find Riptide GP 2 to your liking. That was mostly because it was a mobile game that was brought over to consoles. Riptide GP: Renegade however has been crafted with consoles in mind so that ends up leading to a lot of improvements.
The game starts you off by throwing you into the career mode and letting you choose between playing as a male or female. You then play a short tutorial where you participate in an illegal water race against a friend. Another person who is present ends up calling the law on you causing you to be arrested. The game then skips ahead to when you are released where you meet back up with your friend from the tutorial. They tell you that the person who had you arrested is now the champion of this racing league and to get your revenge you’ll have to win races to face him. That is pretty much the gist of the story so nothing too deep or anything but it’s there. You probably aren’t playing this game for the story anyway.
You control the game using R2 for gas and the X button for your boost. You earn boost by performing stunts during the race and you pull these off by moving the sticks in various directions. You start the game with access to basic tricks but as you progress and earn XP you can unlock more tricks that are more complicated to pull off. The more complicated the trick the more boost you are rewarded with. You’ll have to learn the tracks though so you know when you’ll have enough time to pull off the trick you’re attempting. Otherwise you’ll cause yourself to crash causing you to fall behind. The AI is fair for the most part I would say and even if you fall behind you should be able to catch up if you’re not too far into the race. One of the things I don’t like is that at times police will be chasing you during the race but they chase only you. Everyone is racing illegally so why the police only targets you confuses me and makes these instances seem pretty unfair.
Throughout the career mode you’ll take part in different kinds of races to avoid things from getting stale. In addition to the regular races there are elimination races where the player in last gets kicked out after a certain amount of time and there are time trial races as well. At certain points you’ll also have a boss level where you’ll be 1 on 1 against another opponent. When you beat them you unlock them so you can play as them. These boss battles are a highlight of the career mode for sure and a nice thing to see. Outside of the Career mode there is 8 player online racing and 2-4 player split screen racing. Then you got a quick race option and a challenge mode option where you race on tracks to set the best possible time and compete with your friends. For those who choose to race online you are stuck playing the regular race mode which is a bit of a letdown as it would have been nice to have elimination or something else to do. After each race everyone can vote for the next track to race on. In addition to the different modes Riptide GP: Renegade has a lot of different racers, skins, and hydrojets to unlock as well and if you’re a trophy person it has a full set including a platinum.
The graphics in the game look a lot nicer than the previous game and again this comes from it being made for consoles instead of mobile. The water in the game looks good as do the different race tracks. The animations of the characters could still use some work though. The music in the game is mostly rock type music which I enjoyed but didn’t find it to be anything special. This area could still use some work as well. My only other complaint would be that the menus in the game could use a bit more flash as they are pretty basic still.
Riptide GP: Renegade is a major improvement from Vector Units last game and shows the developer is learning and trying to build a better game. The game has plenty of content with a good length career mode, local multiplayer, online multiplayer, and lots of things to unlock. If they can improve some of the things like animations and get rid of the annoying things from the career mode they could have something truly special. If you’ve been wanting a fun new wave racing game you need to check out Riptide GP: Renegade.
*Review copy provided by the publisher.