Dead Island: Riptide Game Poster Image

Dead Island: Riptide



Gory, bloody zombie shooter sequel with co-op play.
Parents recommend

What parents need to know

Educational value
Positive messages

Dead Island: Riptide is a zombie-themed shooter. There's no real story, nor are there any positive messages to take away from this game, other than friendship and sacrifice -- and that's a bit of a stretch.

Positive role models

This cooperative-focused game reintroduces the same characters from the original Dead Island game, and a new one, too, plus a handful of new enemy creatures. You get to choose who you want to play as, but you really don't learn much about the character's backstory, motivation, and so on. You kill zombies to stay alive. That's about it.

Ease of play

The game is pretty easy to play -- if the PC version of the game is any indication. Not unlike the last Dead Island game, a mouse and keyboard combo are ideal to control the action, while the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game employ a typical first-person shooter mechanic on the controller (utilizing the dual analog sticks heavily).


This is one violent, gory, and bloody game. Players can destroy, dismember, and behead zombies using a wide assortment of weapons -- both range and of the melee variety -- and can also stomp on someone's head (with a dense splash sound). Images of dead body parts and hanging bodies can be seen, too.


There is no nudity in the game but there is a scene with a bikini-clad woman tied to a bed and with video cameras pointing toward her. There are also sexual references in the dialogue sequences, including an investigator recounting a sickening story about someone molesting his 14 year-old daughter.



This video game has some strong use of profanity, including words like "f--k," "f--ker," "f--king," motherf--ker," "s--t," and other swear words.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Players can consume alcohol in the game and their vision becomes blurred. There are also images of inebriated characters who are stumbling around and slurring words. One of your missions is tied to retrieving narcotics for another character who is going through withdrawal (and talks of "shooting up").

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dead Island: Riptide is a very violent and gory zombie shooter. There's a lot of killing going on in this game, plus some frightening scenes such as zombies reaching out of the water to kill you on a boat, and another zombie that screams to freeze you. The game is also laden with very strong profanity, sexual references, and players can consume alcohol to become inebriated.

What's it about?

After narrowly escaping the zombie-infested island of Banoi in 2011's Dead Island, the remaining survivors -- Sam, Logan, Xian, and Purna -- take to a military ship for safety. Problem is, a monsoon carries the infection to them, transforming the crew and forcing the gang to destroy the carrier; and so they must take their chances on another nearby (and fictitious) island, Palanai. When a fifth character, John Morgan, joins the team, the group collectively discovers that the new island is also infested and must fight for survival once again. As with its predecessor, DEAD ISLAND: RIPTIDE is a shooter with "survival horror" elements, with a strong focus on cooperative play.

Is it any good?


If you enjoyed the first game then you'll likely have fun running, gunning, and slashing through this bloody sequel. If you can forgive the lame story and bland characters who don't seem to have any real "life" to them -- unlike Telltale Games' amazing zombie story, The Walking Dead -- this new gorefest includes open-world gameplay, role-playing game (RPG)-like elements, new vehicles (like boats) and enemies, and a focus on four-player first-person co-op action. The game is better played with others online than by yourself, where you might be more likely to scrutinize the technical bugs, repetitive missions, and mixed graphics (water and blood effects look good but not much else). At best, wait until this game hits the bargain bins or consider a weekend rental before laying down $40 to $50 for it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the developers handled this sequel to Dead Island, and perhaps debate if the game is different enough to justify the purchase. Or do players like when game makers don't mess with the formula too much? 

  • Families can also discuss the impact of media violence.

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Subjects:Language & Reading: following directions
Skills:Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, investigation, thinking critically
Price:$49.99 ($39.99 for PC)
Available online?Available online
Developer:Deep Silver
Release date:April 23, 2013
Genre:Survival Horror
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires, Science and nature
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol

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Teen, 16 years old Written bytellingthetruth May 6, 2013

half the story...

ok,common sense is not telling you the full story first of all,you learn how to survive the zombie apocalypse 2nd of all,u have a team to fight with aka people that help you so thats good the only bad thing is blood,violence,and language and anything eles fine
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byBunx11 April 29, 2013

Riptide (unbiased review)

This review is coming from a 15 year old, but i'm going to give an unbiased review. First off, if your kid has dead island 1, riptide should not be a problem becasue it has the same consistency when it comes to violence and language. In this game, you are 1 of many characters trying to survive against zombies. Of course, not much to learn here but it will show your child on making real life decisions when it comes to trusting people. I would be lying to you if I told you that the game is low on the blood and violence. It has alot of it, but It is up to you to tell whether your child can distinguish real versus fiction. It is certainly not for kids under 10, but can be debated for young teens. As for teens, its fine. A major part of the game is its violence, but no doubt does it make it what it is.... Fun! It is not only entertaining, but it is also co-op. There is a away to play with friends and globally on your quest to survive. I can't make your decision, but assure you that the game is suitable for most preteens and teens.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old June 10, 2013

Good game but the not the best to choose

Good game quite gory with cutting off arms not very scary maybe an unexpected zombie in the dark surprising you very good looking language is quite bad if you don't like swearing I highly suggest you get your kids to play as Xian Mei (Chinese girl) as she very rarely swears and you will get guns(modded ones with lots of power which will encourage your kid to mod) over all good game if your kid gets scared easily however this game is not for you.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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