By Christopher Medrano
Developer: Old School Games
Rated: T for Teen
Platforms: Xbox Live Arcade (Reviewed Version), Playstation Network, PC
Price: 800 Ms (XBLA), $10.00 PSN & PC
Release Date: July 17, 2013
First, I would like to say I had never heard of RIPD (Rest in Peach Department) until the trailer came out for the movie. To me, it looked like Men in Black but with evil dead souls instead of aliens (not to offend anyone who’s a fan of the comic series that was just the impression I got when I saw the trailer. So when I saw they were making a game I thought “Not another movie tie-in game” but when I saw the co-op and that it was for XBLA/PSN, I thought it might have potential. I should have heeded the feeling of worry from the screen shots instead of thinking it could be a decent shooter; I was proven wrong.
When I started up the game, I was shown a comic-book style type cut scene telling you the story (in case you did not know it) and thought the design was cool. The comic book look and is consistent and does not look too bad. However, I was shocked at what I saw on the Main Menu of the game; the only options were Quick Match and Custom Match. Where was the story? Was the game only multiplayer? Multiplayer can be decent, but only if it’s done right. I chose custom match, and from there was told to select my weapon (sniper, pistol, assault rifle, shotgun and harpoon gun), consumables/upgrades (better health, stronger ammo, etc.) and characters (either Roy or Nick.).
Instead of beating levels to unlock further levels, you could choose any level you wanted which had me worried. Another problem I had was that this game only features online co-op, which, it might just be me, but I like having the option of playing split-screen since not everyone wants to or can buy a game. I started the match and found that the game was a just a horde mode variant on different levels. For those of you who do not know what horde mode it, it is a type of gameplay where you fight waves of enemies until you beat all of the waves or lose. Now, RIPD’s version of horde mode is nothing like Gears of War’s in that Horde mode is meant to be added content for a game to take a break from the campaign or multiplayer and not a standalone game.
First time I started a match I was confused as to what was going on as the game never told me what was going on. All of a sudden, enemies were running at me in all directions. There is not strategy to this game; you just run and shoot everything which is hard to do when the aiming controls are terrible. I could perfectly aim my shot at an enemy and it would miss. Another confusing aspect of the game was that the enemies would have grenades and you the player would not. It makes no sense that you do not have grenades and they do.
I would also like to point out that enemies are called “Deados” which sounds like a horrible Halloween cereal name. I have not read the comics, so I am not sure if this is what they are really called, but if this was made up specifically for the game they really need to work on coming up with names.
Anyway, back to the game. The game also has kill streaks that give you some helpful powerups; health, chains to hold opponents, turrets, invisibility and ice spikes (the picture for ice spikes is funny because they look like vine whips). To beat a level, you have to endure five waves of enemies followed by a boss, all of this within a time limit. The time limit will go down one minute for each time you or your partner die. When you take down the boss, you are given two options; execute or arrest him. The levels are not to beat unless you play on hot difficulty, which would be hard difficulty (think levels of spiciness for hot sauce). You can choose to play on mild (easy), spicy (medium), hot (hard) which again who came up with this stuff and thought it was funny?
Another problem I had with the game mechanics was that the switch guns button was mapped to the D-pad and not to the Y-button. For many people use to playing shooters like Call of Duty, switching guns is usually mapped to the Y-button. Instead, RIPD decides to map your special ability to the Y-button, which can find you wasting your special when you had saved it up from taking down some “Daedos”. The game also does not allow you to tailor your control schemes to work better for you, forcing you to get used to the controls set.
Plus, slow motion was incorporated horribly in this game. I am sure the intention was for it to be a cool looking effect, but instead it turned into fights into more of a challenge because of the random times it would kick in. There were moments where I was thinking “Stop, I’m trying to dodge and get the boss.” It was an annoying, pointless part of the game.
Each victory you get awards you points to use on weapons and upgrades. To me, the best weapons you could have were the assault rifle or submachine gun because you can just shoot everywhere to enemies instead of trying to adjust your aim with the pistol or shotgun. The best weapons in the game are the banana and hair dryer (disguised weapons in the comics) as they look fun and cool to use but cost 250,000 points each. The problem is that your points earned are based on difficulty and is not a lot (7,500 points on easy) so it forces you to have to play the game a lot. It is annoying because it is forcing replayability on a game that does not give enough reason to keep replaying it.
There are several types of enemies you face in the game; melee, shielded, healers, assault, snipers (which are annoying to face since they can blind you with their laser sight, and tanks with weapons or machine guns (even more annoying). Tanks knock you down, and if there is no space for you to move around (like you are stuck between a tank and wall) then you will repeatedly knocked down and stuck for a bit because they run around you. It has the capability of making you get so frustrated you want to quit.
Initially, I thought that to beat the game, you had to beat each level. So, for a few hours I found myself going through each level, playing with a friend who helped me get through some of the non-fun parts of the game. Yet, after we beat all of the levels nothing happened. I noticed at the top of the menu there is a bar that slowly fills, and after all that time it was only half way full. We kept playing the levels until we unlocked the final level. For the final level, we had to go up a building defeating enemies (including a few bosses from previous levels) to reach the final boss. The way to defeat the final boss was similar to other bosses, which was to shoot him. The only difference is that he spawns enemies that are a little different (they glow red). There is a cut scene at the end of the game to further explain the story, and while it was not that bad I wished the game had been good enough to go along with it.
Just in case you could not tell or figure out how this game was, I suggest that should not buy RIPD even if you are a fan. It is not worth buying for maybe an hour or more of gameplay by yourself and a little more with a friend. The graphics are fine, but the horde mode is boring and frustrating with terrible AI, bad weapons and aim mechanics. The price you pay for the game (800 Microsoft points, or $10) can get you Gears of War 2 (the game that made Horde Mode) or get the Gears of War collection for $20 and have a better time. You could even buy many other games out there for the same price! Do not buy the game unless you do not want to rest in peace. Have a good day, OLIVE JUICE!!!
Note: There will be another review for this game coming out a little later after this posting for another perspective! Stay tuned!