Riptide GP2 (PlayStation 4) Review

By Tommy Robbins 09.12.2015

Review for Riptide GP2 on PlayStation 4

In 1992, a Game Boy game titled Wave Race became the first of its kind - a racing game that focused on aquatic race tracks featuring jet skis to replace cars and motorcycles. In 1996, Wave Race 64 caused more waves on the Nintendo 64, and the 3D aquatic racing genre was born. Today, in 2015, there has been something like 20 years of clones and copycats. In a pool of mediocrity, Riptide GP2 shines as a callback worth its salt. Vector Unit, makers of Beach Buggy Racing and the original Riptide GP, shines at creating games that feel like their predecessors. Riptide GP2 meets that standard.

Mechanically, it's as is expected for a casual racer in 2015. Breaks and boost, tight and responsive controls that improve with upgrades, mid-air trick control - it's all there. Performing more advanced tricks grants racers more boost, essential to winning races. There is little here that sticks out as ground-breaking, but it is solid nonetheless.

The real meat of the game - what little it offers, at least - would be in the realm of progression. Riptide GP2's series of course sets all feature several tracks. Completion is rated by one to three stars, and the accumulation of said stars will unlock new course sets. Racers will find themselves in need of vehicle upgrades in order to overcome progressively difficult tracks. That's where cash comes into play. No, don't worry - not real cash.

For each race completed, cash and skill points will be awarded. Cash allows the purchase of new jet ski upgrades focusing on performance, while skill points help by allowing the learning of bigger and better tricks. As mentioned before, bigger tricks equal bigger boost, so the necessity becomes obvious.

Screenshot for Riptide GP2 on PlayStation 4

While buying new jet skis, upgrading and learning new tricks definitely adds to the gameplay loop, they offer little in the realm of uniqueness. They feel more mechanically necessary and, therefore, become more about advancing and less about personalisation. There is the feeling that everyone has bought this upgrade, rather that it being a unique choice modification that only the user's vehicle will have.

Riptide GP2 also contains some small features, outside of the campaign, that are worth noting. Aside from the variety of race modes in the campaign, VR Challenges mode offers timed races to set a position on the leader boards and compete against friends' top scores. Most unique, though, is the means by which players can access multiplayer.

Made for the mobile market, Riptide GP2 features a unique means of accessing online multiplayer. Instead of typical matchmaking or party-based multiplayer, the game uses the PlayStation 4's Share Play for playing friends in multiplayer matches. This means syncing with friends' systems, rather than relying on matchmaking. For anyone that has uses Share Play, it is known that it is spotty and unreliable. It's a strange choice that could cause more trouble than it's worth. On the other hand, one cool thing about Share Play is the possibility of playing with players who do not own a copy of the game, so there are pros and cons here.

Screenshot for Riptide GP2 on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

The time spent with Riptide GP2 is good, wholesome fun. The game is not incredibly impressive, but lends itself to heated competitions versus friends, or just a short bit of mindless play that requires very little of the player. Not a great choice for fans of the hardcore racing genre - it is, perhaps, a better choice for those out there with fond memories for Wave Race who would like to jump into some new aquatic races, perhaps even split-screen, for a new play on a nostalgic classic.

Developer

Vector Unit

Publisher

Vector Unit

Genre

Driving

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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