Review | RIPD The Game (XBLA)
Title: RIPD The Game
Developer: Old School Games
Players: 1-2 online
Rating: T for Teen
RIPD is a game, based on a movie, that is based on an obscure comic book that itself is 10 years old. The film stars Ryan Reynolds as Nick, and Jeff Bridges as Roy. While the likeness of both actors is employed here, but they did not lend the voice work, and it shows. RIPD, for those unfamiliar with the movie or the comic, is basically Men In Black with dead things instead of extra terrestrial things. The game is an arena shooter, in which players take up as either Nick or Roy, and rid each map of ‘Dead-os” (picture something like Gears of War’s Horde mode). That is it. No real story that I can discern. The game does feature a fairly neat opening cinematic, done in comic book style artistry. That is about the extent of the story. They tell you why Nick is in the RIPD department, then it is off to shoot dead-os.
Each game consists of five waves of baddies, with the idea that each wave will be a bit tougher to get through than the previous. When you die, instead of it costing you a life or whatever, it actually shaves time off the round clock. Run out of time and it is game over, Finishing each game nets you cash in order to upgrade things. Wash, rinse, and repeat, and you have an idea of exactly what this game is.
The main character models are decent, as are backgrounds. However, the dead-os are all very drab, and there doesn’t seem to be anywhere near the same attention put into them as there is in the main characters. No matter which of the seven locations you choose to play your game in, the dead-os are all the same.
Along the way, you are able to buy new weapons, and abilities to make you more formidable against the games bad guys. You have a pistol and a shotgun available to you from the start. As you earn cash, you can buy everything from an automatic shotgun, to a golden revolver, and even a harpoon gun and a grenade launcher. The problem is, none of the guns seem to pack any more punch than the previous weapon.
Of course, this could be due to the games somewhat spotty collision detection. Most times it is nearly impossible to see if you are even hitting your enemies with your bullets. At times they will just keep charging at you, with no hit indication, or anything of that nature. Occasionally you will see that you did get a critical hit, yet they don’t seem to do anything. A critical hit doesn’t seem to make it take less shots to put down a bad guy.
I mentioned above that the backgrounds, for the most part, are decent looking, the arenas are huge, but they are very nondescript. What I mean is that no matter where you are in the map, you won’t really know where you are. Everything just sort of blends together, which could make it a challenge finding the ammo boxes at times. In addition to the overall blending together, there are quite a few clipping issues with the levels themselves. There were times, specifically in the bank vault, where backing into a corner would cause all of the enemies on screen to just disappear, or rather, just become invisible. Huge problem when you are being swarmed and on the verge of being overwhelmed. Melee became a necessity.
Another reason the melee attack was important, basically the guns handled like crap. They shoot slowly, they reload even slower, and getting a bead on the enemies was always a chore, unless they were charging right in front of you. Some were content to do this, but others were always on the move. Making the difficulty in getting a bead on the enemy all that much more frustrating.
The sound of the game is extremely basic. I’m pretty sure that you get one song, playing through all seven arenas. Over and over and over. It may not have been so bad, but the song itself was horrible. Just some sort of pingy, electronic thing. No voice work from the movie actors, and just overall very generic.
RIPD is sadly just another movie cash in. I have nothing wrong with arena shooters, but this game just doesn’t click on any level. The only thing it really has going for it is the two main character models are recreated well in the likeness of their movie counterparts. Frustratingly difficult, bad controls, and boring enemies.
Final Score: 1.5 out of 5