Since 2010's Hydro Thunder Hurricane, developer Vector Unit’s been finding new ways to do what they do best: high-speed water-based racing. With Riptide GP: Renegade they’re taking a stab at adding depth and character. It’s about damn time.
I say that because Vector Unit was founded in 2007 by Ralf Knoesel and Matt Small, two form Stormfront Studios developers who worked together on Blood Wake, a story-driven naval combat game that was among the most beloved early games for the original Xbox.
As Vector Unit they’ve proven they’ve got the chops to create exciting water races,but the two previous entries in the Riptide GP series featured a career mode that was simply a series of tournaments and events to compete in.
Riptide GP: Renegade is the developers’ first game built from the ground-up for consoles since Hydro Thunder Fury, and it’s got a story to go along with the glorious 1080p, 60 frames per second action.
It’s not a particularly deep story. Your character is set-up to be arrested for illegal hydro jet racing by a competitor. Two years later he or she is released from prison, and must claw their way back into the scene to give their nemesis his comeuppance.
Like previous games in the series, career mode consists of a series of tournaments and events, but through these races we’re introduced to new characters, helping or hindering our progress, depending on how well we race.
The racers have personality. They perform signature gestures. They’re more than just plastic characters sitting on top of beautiful futuristic jet-skis.
And if you’re not into the story or the characters, there’s always standard solo play, online multiplayer, split-screen local and plenty of customization rides to tinker with.
Why is hydro jet racing such a big thing in the future? Why are parts of the world in such a shambles? I have no clue. I’m just hanging with the strange racing people and robots, enjoying the ride.