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PS4 Game Review
Racers are neither new nor are they light on the ground, so to stand out from the crowd a game has to offer something different.
Riptide GP: Renegade has a ludicrously shallow plot. You are a rider screwed over by another racer for being involved in illegal events - and now your back, looking for revenge. It sounds like the plot to a particularly generic ‘B’ movie. Get past that and what you discover is a pretty decent racing game - in fact the story is not really worth following.
The game places you in some indeterminate future where racers take their seadoo personal watercraft bikes and race around city water ways and drowned cityscapes. There is dynamic weather for you to contend with, so the worst the weather the higher waves are likely to be. The game does ask you to accept that there is a trade-off between spectacular jumps and real life physics. Very quickly you find yourself making jumps which may be visually impressive, but would in reality break every bone in your body; still I’m not complaining that fun has been chosen over real world physics.
This balance is taken further in the handling of your craft. You can spend a lot of your time bouncing around until you get a feel for the craft. The learning curve isn’t that great and as you gain experience you can trade your xp for changes to your bike, making it even faster, but also easier to handle. The focus is on having fun, racing through locations which are designed more to thrill than to represent any reality.
The main core of the game is in the trick manoeuvres available. This starts to become almost compulsory when you get into some of the higher races, where the boost afforded can make the difference between finishing in the lead or nearer the back. You must end up in the top three riders, as mostly this is the only way more tracks become available.
So, the main part of the game is to be found in the career mode, the first race of which acts as the tutorial. You can play as one of two players, I didn’t notice any great differences between the two. You can customise the look of both your seadoo and costume without any cost. Here the races start on a fairly easy pace. In the beginning you don’t need to do tricks to win, but it's good practice to try them at this level as you have less to lose. You earn xp which can also be spent buying more complex stunts.
It’s also worth spending some time at the lower levels, gaining xp and upgrading your seadoo, before taking on some of the more challenging races. There are a number of different types of race that happens in the career mode including racing against robots, human racers, time trials, eliminations races with the slalom races being the most challenging. To extend the life of the game you can also play up to four players in split screen races or an eight player online mode.
I’m not a great fan of racers, predominantly because I can’t drive to save my life, however occasionally you get a game which remembers that racing should be fun - it’s the reason I continue to play Wipeout and why Riptide will find a very comfortable place on my PS4.