The Dead Island: Riptide development team suggested that they wanted to have more people involved in active combat against the horde to better display a sense that the scale of combat had increased following the continued increase of land affected by the infected. We like the idea and from what we've seen it definitely comes across that you’re facing a greater overall mass of zombies than in the first.
While playing the game we weren’t given a massive selection of tools of which to take advantage, presumably to give a better idea of the kind of scavenging we’d have to do in the future. However, the screened demo did show the use of a variety of new tools like a Deo-Bomb (the combination of an aerosol can and a lighter that can be thrown) and a sonic grenade that will explode the heads of any zombie within the blast radius.
Thankfully, this game has added a weapon proficiency system. As you use certain types of weapons you’ll increase the length of time they can be used before they break. This was added due to complaints that in the previous game it was all too often that modified weapons, put together from pieces carefully scavenged, would fall to bits barely any time after you'd cobbled them together, giving no heed to the idea you may have learned what you were doing by the tenth time of it happening.
This extra incentive to scavenge has allowed for a stronger risk-reward system within the game, particularly in the city of Henderson. Lower down in the depths of the city you’ll find better items, but you’ll also find more zombies. This was narratively justified suggesting that the people of the town, as the infection started, headed there with all of their possessions as an attempt to escape, but didn’t quite make it out alive. Alternatively you’ll also be able to take higher routes where you’ll have fewer potential foes but even less chance of finding any effective weaponry.
Other complaints regarding the previous game have also been taken into consideration, like the limited nature of firearms and their ammunition. The game hasn’t totally shifted toward a more ranged-based focus, but it’s certainly made that option more possible. The effectiveness of headshots against zombie foes has also been bumped up as an extension of that.
Dead Island: Riptide won’t change your mind if the series didn’t capture your attention before, but if you were a fan then rest assured that this latest instalment should provide much of the same enjoyment.