Vector Unit bring a mini tidal wave of arcade fun to the mighty console. While we’re still basking ourselves in the beauty of Beach Buggy Racing, which gave PS4 its first Kart racer, now comes more instant pick-up-and-race gaming. Riptide GP2 launches its rocket-powered hydro jets racing experience with an almighty splash. Previously released on iOS and Android, and most recently on Xbox One, Riptide GP2 fills the racing drought on our next gen console. For most of us the only time we would have tasted the thrill of a jet ski ride would have been in a Mediterranean resort offered by a shoeless leather-skinned local. £20 and fifteen minutes later the experience certainly will have left you wet and wanting more. Thankfully Riptide GP2 is cheaper than two ice creams and lets you rince away ‘til the sun goes down.
Riptide GP2 is about out-racing your opponents on choppy waters throughout over 60 challenging races. It’s not only about getting that jet ski to scream like a million banshees via the upgrade menu. The game also lets you perform a host of airborne stunts, some more death defying than others. As you tear through the game, which you will, the in-game currency earned pays for upgrades and new hydro jets. Here is where the fun begins; with higher powered machines Riptide becomes a fast and highly addictive slick water ride.
Progression lets you select which new tricks to perform. Boosts earned by pulling these off mid-air bolt you quicker towards the finish line and hopefully on to victory. Also, triggering this extra surge of power right before a ramp helps your plight in becoming airborne for that bit longer, hence giving you more time to show off the more challenging and outrageous stunts like Mad Monkey and Jungle Gym. Twenty five Stunts are unlockable and the higher the level you gain the more fancy and artistic each stunt becomes. It’s not only the ramps where you can display your talents; hit a wave right and you’ll have just enough time to sneak in a quick trick, land it cleanly and boost past the opposition. Easy.
Outdoor stadiums and futuristic locations brim with life and each track has a slightly different theme going on and path to take. Crystal clear blue waters with tidal currents ripple away, and it’s these realistic wave physics that give Riptide GP2 a unique feel. Aside from giving off a fantastic look, these effects also create a random racing line to charge down. Riptide is not sparse on content either. Races include Hot Lap, Elimination and Freestyle events which all require a three star finish to open up new locked tracks. This is made easier to achieve as high powered jets you’ve previously purchased can be used to backtrack and replay races. You can also race online against other PlayStation Plus members by playing Split Screen with Share Play, plus VR Challenge lets you compete against ghosts of your PSN friends and battle for Leaderboard supremacy. Riptide has twenty three trophies and a shiny Platinum on offer, and runs at a rock-solid 60fps in crystal clear 1080p.
There are two PS4 racers that have set the bench mark of pure racing brilliance and visual excellence, and we’re fine with that. But there is plenty of room for more arcade racers. Remember the days of PS1 and PS2 when racers were being bred every other week. These types of games are where many of us started gaming and Vector Unit have nailed that arcade feeling. Slick, fast and super fun, complete with the added component of performing stunts, Riptide GP2 gives you a sweet ride out on the waves.
Lizard rating 8/10