Back in April, Atlus and Old School Games released God Mode, a third-person, arcade-style co-op horde shooter set in the afterlife. Now, Atlus and Old School Games have released R.I.P.D.: The Game, a third-person, arcade-style co-op horde shooter set in the afterlife. And based on a movie. If you’re a fan of God Mode, which wasn’t half bad, you should… probably go back to playing God Mode.
First things first: the movie license. This is about as shameless as cash-ins get, and that’s saying a lot in a world in which an EA-published Catwoman game exists. You’re given a brief summary of what’s going on in the R.I.P.D. universe (Ryan Reynolds is a dead cop and is recruited into an afterlife police force that hunts bad ghosts or something), then thrust into the match menu. It has even less window dressing than God Mode, though the character models are impressively reminiscent of Reynolds and Jeff Bridges. The rest of the game is an aesthetic wasteland, so I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the game’s meager budget went towards likeness royalties.
The gameplay itself is a horrifically watered-down version of God Mode. For starters, it only supports two players instead of four. The perspective is zoomed up to over-the-shoulder, and the action has slowed down considerably to compensate. Without the speed, everything feels clumsy and haphazard. The guns are boring and have little to no sense of impact, and you have a bar of special moves that fill up as you survive that don’t do anything remarkable or terribly useful. There are mid-match goals similar to those in God Hand, but much less goofy or interesting. Most of my time was spent bumbling around firing at waves of generic enemy dudes, alone and confused as to my reasons for continuing to bother.
Speaking of bothering, nobody else is. If you’re looking for something fun to waste time with online, R.I.P.D.: The Game is dead on arrival. I’m not sure how such a poorly-advertised game tie-in is supposed to sell movie tickets, but I literally could not find a random match with another person. I did see a post on the game’s Steam Community begging for someone to play with. That was pretty funny. If you want to play with someone else, you’ll probably need to supply that person yourself, and the co-op experience doesn’t make much of a difference.
I’ll be frank: it was really, really, really difficult to force myself to play this game. It’s a clear rehashing of God Mode, but only after being fed through a digital wood chipper. It’s the kind of nonsensical movie tie-in product that ran rampant in the early-2000s with no respect to the source material, consumer or medium. The only entertaining aspect of R.I.P.D.: The Game is digital Jeff Bridges’ digital gut, and you can’t even see it during gameplay.
Pros: Effort was spent making the character models look like the actors
Cons: Everything here is better and more fully-featured in God Mode