Riptide GP: Renegade
Developed & Published by: Vector Unit
Release Date: February 24th
Racing games have always been a popular genre over the years, with many being of the 2 or 4 wheeled kind. But what about when you take away all the vehicles wheels? You get the Riptide series of course. Exchanging tarmac for water, and a 90's Sega arcade feel, and some gravity defying stunts thrown in for good measure.
For those of you not familiar with Vector Unit's latest Riptide game, they are also responsible for Riptide GP2 and Beach Buggy Racing on Xbox One over the last couple of years. Fun games too. But how does the latest iteration fair? Let's continue.
Renegade sees you as a disgraced and recently imprisoned Impact out for revenge. This is a familiar setting for many games from the 90's. Or a Steven Seagal film. So, aside from the clichéd story, how about the NPC racers? It's more of the same. But I liked them. Especially the party animals Pyta and Fryta. Stereotyping without being offensive all the way through the text based narrative during the course of the games story.
Moving on to game modes, Riptide has a wealth of options for you to play. Story, Quick Race and Multiplayer. Not just offline split screen, but also 8 player online. Not often a game caters for both, but if you've friends over and enough pads, or online friends with a copy, then you can dive in to some versus mode shenanigans.
Frame rate was never once an issue for me, even once I fully upgraded the fastest of the Hydrojets that you will unlock with story progression. During this, you will have to compete in a selection of events; Race, Elimination, Slalom and Freestyle. With just 4 events, you'd be hoping for a wide selection of tracks, right? Sadly the answer is no. You have 9 tracks to race on, which after the halfway point you will have memorised all turns and jumps and be begging for more. The upside to the shortage or courses, is that they are not only varied, but also on the large side with plenty of jumps to practice your stunt loving side.
Away from the Story mode are side quests that bring in other NPC's and their scores to settle. This adds a distraction, but events and tracks are still the same. The added bonus is that all the XP you gain along with the credits allow you to purchase new stunts and upgrades for your Hydrojets. Which are essential as you pursue Krex.
After having played the previous title in the series, I have to say that Renegade is remarkably easier. Sure, there are some races that will prove to be too hard to claim the podium in at your first attempt. But there is nothing to stop you coming back later with a better Hydrojet.
There is plenty of water about, so naturally it needs to look good. But water has always been an issue when it comes to video games. Sure our will see better out there, but for an Indie developer, Vector Unit have done a good job with the water. As for the tracks 9 locations, they're big with varied locations, such as Firewater, The Ruins.
Continuing the arcade feel here. Splashes and revving engines dominate the audio during the races.
Typical controls for a racer with analogue sticks in use for pulling off stunts as per the previous Riptide game. Still works, and feels fluid as you nail a log roll coming off a ridiculous jump on Sky Mines. Each Hydrojet handles differently as per their stats, so choose wisely for each race. Don't forget your nitro either.
Plenty of tracks to race through single player, and with both online and offline multiplayer, there is enough reason to come back and continue playing with friends. Or finding them well hidden Easter eggs.
Some miscellaneous achievements to unlock, with the rest unlocking through single player. Nothing that's really too hard to do, and a relatively easy 1000g. But the best bit for you achievement hunters, is none of these achievements are tied to multiplayer.
Overall, Renegade is a great racer, albeit lacking in track selection. Thankfully the tracks that are available are of a decent size. Some more circuit racing would have been fun, but as it stands, Renegade is a solid game and pulling of crazy stunts is a whole lot of fun. Worth the price and time investment.
A copy was provided for review purposes.