Game Title: Riptide GP: Renegade
Developed By: Vector Unit
Published By: Vector Unit
Released: December 7, 2017
Available On: Mobile, Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One
Genre: Racing, Action, Sports, Simulation
ESRB Rating: Everyone for mild violence
Number of Players: 1 Player offline, 2-4 Split screen locally, 1-8 Online
Strong Points: Fun hydrojet races, unique look to the tracks, varied racing events.
Weak Points: Graphics pop-in at times. Wish there were more race tracks.
Thank you Vector Unit for giving me a review copy!
The Nintendo Switch is starting to gain a decent library of racing games. A quick glance on the Nintendo eShop and you will see some diversity in the racing genre: Motocross, traditional car racing, arcade car racing, and now there is a hydrojet racing game on the Switch. Riptide GP Renegade takes the lead as the best hydrojet racing game currently available on the platform.
Racing is the name of the game here and what a great racing game it is. When you start career mode you will find a narrative, which you do not find in most racing games today. You will play as either Impact or Poison, basically a male or female character. You are caught illegally racing by being set up by one of your “friends,” Krex. After getting out of jail, you want to get revenge on Krex, so you attempt to get back into racing, and exact your revenge at the right time. Racing is the only thing you are good at and you will work your way up until you catch up to your nemesis.
Gameplay is solid. There are varied tracks and several events that you will participate in. Some events are straight laced racing, some elimination, some slalom and some “boss fights.” Boss fights require you to race against another racer, mono y mono. Slalom is another unique racing event where you drive to the left or right of the colored gates that are spread about the race track. There are several tracks, and they will be recycled often in different events to make it feel different. As you complete racing events, you will earn cash and as you level up, you will earn SP points. Skills will cost SP and cash will upgrade your hydrojet. As you progress in the career mode you will unlock paint colors and decals to customize your rider. There are several skills to upgrade including tricks, boost bonuses, and drafting. Upgrades for your hydrojet consist of: acceleration, top speed, handling, and boost. When you do upgrade your hydrojet there are noticeable differences when you race again. It actually feels different. If you have unlocked any other riders, you can race as them and same with hydrojets, on any event.
On top of the good career mode, there is a Quick Race mode. In Quick Race, you select any track, and pick your rider and hydrojet. It is just straight up races, which is a little disappointing. It would be nice to play elimination or slalom in this mode. There is local split screen, with support up to 2-4 players. The tracks in local co-op have four levels grouped together. Lastly, there is a racing mode with up to 8 players online. There are three difficulty levels as well, with expert being very challenging.
The graphics are quite nice. The tracks all are varied and have a distinct look to them. It definitely feels like the setting of the game is in the future. Some tracks have broken buildings, like you’re in a downtown city that was destroyed by a flood. Another track I liked was called firewater. In firewater you are racing through a forest and when you get down the track, lighting hits a tree, and parts of the forest catch on fire. There was some noticeable pop in, with trees and buildings sometimes just appearing. Honestly, if you were to just keep your eyes on your rider you probably wouldn’t notice. I do wish there were more tracks, as some of them had a unique setting.
The sound is on point with energetic music playing as you race in each event. The controls are spot on and I love the controls for doing tricks. You basically move both sticks in different directions when you are mid-air. The game runs smoothly with no frame rate dips.
Riptide GP: Renegade reminds of great Jet Motto on the original PlayStation. Racing was fun and thrilling especially on the harder difficulty. The game looks and fantastic and is a joy to control. If you are looking for a new kind of racing game, Riptide GP: Renegade should be your pick.
Game Score: 86%