Whoever said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” should play R.I.P.D. and get back to me.
R.I.P.D. is a game tied into the movie based on an obscure comic book published ten years ago. The movie has something to do with a cop named Nick (played by Ryan Reynolds) who dies and is recruited into some undead police force and he’s partnered up with Roy (played by Jeff Bridges.) Their job is to protect and serve the living from “arrogant, malevolent, bloodthirsty evil spirits who refuse to move into the afterlife.” It’s important to notate the actors because the characters look just like the actors, but provide zero voice-overs to the game. If ever there was a time for corny Ryan Reynolds one-liners, wouldn’t this be it?
Where do I even go from here? This whole title is a mess. How did this come about? More importantly, why? The whole deal lacks effort from the ground up. It continues to showcase why movie tie-in games are rarely any good. I mean, the highlight of the game is the opening cinema because it has this cool comic book animation style and the reason that it was the most entertaining moment of the entire game is because I hadn’t actually played it yet.
R.I.P.D. is a co-op arena-style combat game pitting the two protagonists against the undead horde that look like rejects from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Apparently in R.I.P.D., the undead don’t look cool. They also are competing against each other for kills and money. There is a specific amount of time to finish a round and each game is five rounds. The player starts with an amount of lives, but death only removes time off of the clock. Should time run out, its game over.
This game begrudgingly makes me shoot, melee, dodge, and occasionally use a killstreak power against some very ugly enemies in one of six very large, but very generic levels that seem to feature one theme song amongst them all. One level in particular was buggy and every time I backed into a wall, all of the enemies on screen would disappear. Not so good when they’ve surrounded me and I can’t move. The framerate chugs, making it hard to shoot enemies that aren’t running directly at you, which most of them seem devoted to do. Those that aren’t are frustratingly agile.
It doesn’t help that the hit detection is non-existent. A direct hit in center mass with a shotgun seems to be the only way to make an enemy react in a way that you are even shooting it. Combat is a numbing experience because none of the weapons or attacks has any feeling or density to them. Sure the controller shudders a little with each attack. There is just no weight behind a shotgun blast on my end or the receiving end of that blast. I could be shooting feathers at these guys and get the same response or use a plunger to melee them. I’ll never forget the first time I was rushed by a guy with a plunger. Yeah, these guys come equipped with shotguns, machine guns, bats, wrenches, even a minigun, but a friggin’ plunger? It’s about the only time I had a laugh.
Too much of this game just feels vague, completely removing any semblance of immersion. I literally entered my first game with no concept of what exactly I was supposed to do. I suppose that means I didn’t have to sit through yet another tutorial. There is no concept of health because the only notifications that I’m receiving damage are these ambiguous flashes of red on my screen. When I’m close to death the screen grays out.
What really got me was a boss I had to kill that had regenerative powers and was a somersault champion. I wasted all of my ammo on this guy as he is constantly dodging and healing and there are no more trash enemies to kill for ammo. So what do I do? I chase him around for about fifteen minutes trying to melee him to death. Finally I manage to get him trapped in a corner where he seems to have given up on his winning dodge tactic and I knock him out. But it isn’t over yet. Now I have the choice of arresting him, which means standing in one spot while more undead rush me or executing him. I’m out of ammo and it takes forever for that arrest meter to fill up. You get the idea.
Of all of my complaints about this game, the absolute most egregious problem with R.I.P.D. is the fact that the entire game locks up while it pops an achievement. They couldn’t even get that right.
Seeing that this is a downloadable game on PC, PSN, and XBLA, that means it’ll cost about the same as it would for you to see a movie. I suggest you see a movie. Probably not R.I.P.D. though because if the game is any indication of how good the movie is, you’ll be sorry. It really is rather sad that the most entertaining moments of this game are when you aren’t playing it and that bad games like this still exist in this day and age.
A copy of R.I.P.D. the Game for Xbox 360 was provided to us for the review by Atlus.