With the launch of an open-world survival game as large as ‘Dead Island: Riptide’ it can be important to many people to get every nook and cranny explored. That’s where you would want a detailed guide like the Official Strategy Guide from Brady Games.
The publisher Brady Games already has a pretty strong foothold in the strategy-guide market, they have made guides for games like ‘Gears of War: Judgement’ and most recently they made guides for ‘Bioshock:Infinite’ and ‘Tomb Raider’. Riptide is a little different from those three installments due to its size, quest offerings and collectables.
The guide is another fully detailed and beautiful collection of maps, artwork and screens from the game. The pages are the high-quality, larger formatted pages that most gamers enjoy (10.88 X 8.54). The maps of the game are one of the key features for explorers, they are not only precisely drawn, but show a much better view of the areas than the in-game map does. Another key factor when I’m choosing strategy guides are spoilers, and this guide doesn’t disappoint. You can safely walkthrough the game without anything being ruined while you play. There is the same “comic-book” scenario where you can read ahead or catch a glimpse of the next page, but that’s really impossible to avoid in a strategy guide.
There is just so much to explore in Riptide that it could seem overwhelming when you first start, after playing through the game you might catch a majority of the collectables, but to really hunt down each one I would recommend the guide. The maps offer both a very specific, and a very general overlay of the Palani islands, but it also offers areas that aren’t detailed in the game. Some of these exclusives include a few of the interior maps that you explore later on in the title. There are your chests, points of interests, dead zones, and of course the extremely large list of quests that you can do, all indexed in the guide. A detailed and exact walkthrough of these features is easily read and condensed into a short but accurate description. Those descriptions are coupled with screens and maps to assist you in your time of need.
Most importantly are the collectibles, and this game has a ton. If you’re going to try for 100% completion of the game, then the guide will be your best friend. From the secret files that are scattered across the island, to the diaries, postcards and recordings that are hidden, you could take hours if not days searching for them on your own.
The layout is done fairly well in the walkthrough, telling you the objective, offering you screens of where to find the objective (or collectable) and of course a description so you know exactly what it is you are looking for. The walkthrough was really my favorite part, I switched between two-styles of play while using the guide. I would first play the area on my own, searching and exploring an area or location on the map without the guide. After doing this, right before I left I would check on the strategy guide for anything I could have missed. At other times I would just sort of walkthrough while reading the guide, picking up everything that was available so I wouldn’t have to come back. Personally I like to explore first and collect second, but both are an easy option thanks to the book.
One thing that I really liked was reading about the skill-trees. I like to plan out and strategize how my character will evolve. Most of the time this is straight forward, but it helps to have a guide through the process to really explain each trait, and to see if a skill would be something that I would find beneficial later on. The guide explains the traits and the rage abilities a little better than the game does and it makes it easier to plot other characters if you’re just casually reading. Another aspect of the casual-read that I liked is the ‘Zombiepedia’. The guide walks you through all the different types of Zombies and infected in the game. It’s not something that you exactly “need” but it makes for a really nice read and a good talking point when you and your friends are discussing the zombie-apocalypse that we all are awaiting. There are co-op multiplayer tips and ideas but nothing that a veteran player would find “mind-blowing”, the team quests however are very useful.
Personally I would love to have had more details on the making of the game and maybe more information on the design and character creation. I understand that those inclusions are usually part of a ‘Collector’s Edition’ but it would have been nice. What the guide gets you is exactly what you would want in a strategy guide, the collectables, the maps, the bosses and the hints. They are all in the book and at a price for about $12 I really can’t complain. There is even a Kindle Version for those of you that want to be digital, but I personally like a book that I can feel and flip through when playing a title on my own. It’s nice to have the option though and I’m glad that digital versions are cheaper and easier to read at times.
more info: bradygames