If you know anything about my gaming habits, you’ll probably know that I’m a huge racing enthusiast. My favourites are the more arcadey ones but I’ll take anything really and that includes games where you may not actually race in cars. Yeah, when you mention racing games you normally think about regular cars trying to be fast but that’s not always the case as it is with the game that I’ll be showcasing today.
Riptide GP: Renegade is a small downloadable racing game available on PS4. Instead of the usual Nissan GTRs and BMW M3s, the vehicles you have to race on are some sort of futuristic jetskis. Because of the insane stunts, the nitro boosting, and overall forgiveness of the game’s physics we can locate Riptide GP in the arcade side of racing games.
The meat of the game would be its story mode and I call it that way because it does actually has a story. The way it is told with static images and text boxes isn’t the most visually enticing and the story itself it’s not that original but, for a game of this small scale it’s pretty neat that the developers put an effort stitching together the different challenges in the game with some narrative and there’s actually some humour sprinkled in the dialogs that makes it worth reading.
Most of the challenges will obviously consist in races. Some of the tracks will be point-to-point affairs while others will be regular circuits. There’s also elimination races where every 10 seconds the last racer of the pack will be eliminated (obviously) until there’s only one left. Apart from that there will be slalom time trials which may remind some people to the classic Wave Race games. The last mode would be the trick challenges which will have you receivinb points as you perform a varied trick routine around the jumps of the tracks until the time runs out. There’s also championships within this story mode which basically consist on combinations of different challenges and whoever performs better in average, wins. The usual stuff.
The multiplayer side of the game features online multiplayer as well as split screen multiplayer for us couch enthusiasts. Also, apart from that, the game also has a very light “autolog-style” kind of challenges which consists in time trials on each of the game’s tracks for you and your psn friends to challenge each other into getting the best time possible. The modes are there and they work mostly fine but this isn’t a game that is (or will be) very popular so finding someone of your level to play online won’t be that easy.
The game’s graphics aren’t exactly impressive. The models of the tracks and the racers are a little basic but that’s not to say that they look ugly. For a game of this budget it isn’t bad, what it is however, is not remarkable. That being said, the way this game performs on PS4 is ,simply put, flawless. The image looks clear, the framerate is high and stable and the load times have to be one of the shortest I’ve experienced on any racing game.
The audio department also shares a lot of similarities with the visual portion of the game. It won’t be staple for other games but it does its job well. The music, in particular, is easy on the ears and quite fitting for a game of these characteristics but it’s obviously not the kind music you’d be listening outside of the game.
Things I liked
- Water physics: Obviously, racing with floating jetskis can’t be the same as racing with a car on tarmac. The way the bikes handle in Riptide GP feels very natural and responsive because of the way they react to the waves and the wakes left by other riders.
- Performance: This game is available on mobile platforms and, even by the way it looks, you can tell it shouldn’t be that demanding for a console like the PS4 but if I have to mention when a game performs poorly, I have also to mention when a game performs perfectly and this game does. Special mention deserve the loadtimes which are almost instant.
- Couch multiplayer: This game isn’t very popular today and, as time passes, the online community will probably fade away but you will always be able to play with someone if you invite friends home because the game allows split-screen multiplayer. Sometimes the past is the future, am I right?
- Track Design: In all honesty there aren’t many tracks inside the game. There are just enough of them for they not to appear on the “things I didn’t like” section of below. That being said, the design of each of the tracks of the game is great. Each one is very distinctive from the rest and their design kind of tells a story for its own. There’s a Jailbreak, a post apocalyptic settings and even spaceships taking off. Very cool stuff.
Things I didn’t
- Easily exploited: I haven’t mentioned it yet but the game allows you to customize your bikes with different colors and badges but, more importantly, you can upgrade the bike’s stats. That feature is vital because, you simply won’t be able to win some races if your bike isn’t upgraded enough and, on the other hand, if you upgrade your bike fully, some races might be way too easy. I’d prefer if my victories were a result of my skills and not just depend on the performance of the vehicle I’m using.
- Police chases: Halfway through the game you’ll start encountering police bikes inside the regular races and they’re very annoying. Slamming against you, slowing you down, the rules don’t apply to them being able to accelerate and catch up with you whenever they want. Furthermore, they only seem to want to spoil your race as I never encountered one slamming against any AI-controlled racer.
Who’d like this?
If you’re a fan of the water racers like Wave Race or Hydro Thunder you can’t go wrong with this game. It’s not a perfect game but the racing core is spot on. For the asking price this is a great package.