Many mobile games strive to offer console-quality experiences on the go, and a large number of them fail. Riptide GP: Renegade, however, succeeds; offering both one of the most complete and satisfying experiences for racing fans in years. A fully fleshed story mode, single-race challenge, online multiplayer, and local multiplayer – yes, local split-screen multiplayer for a mobile game – are all present, introducing players to a world of underground jet ski racing, quirky robots, and fancy tricks.
Courses are slickly presented with fantastic visuals and a nice skill-ceiling where waves and ramps offer alternate routes and opportunities to perform stunts to charge your boost meter. There’s a wide range of modes beyond simple lap races, with my personal favorite being Endurance, where whoever is in last gets eliminated after a few seconds. You’ve got a variety of drivers and jets to unlock, along with a simple yet welcome upgrade system and skill tree, each offering means to improve your ride and the variety of tricks you pull off.
“That’s all well and good – but does it play well?” you ask. Dear reader, Renegade is easily one of the most control-antagonistic games you’ll ever experienced. You can use a mobile controller, motion controls, or a number of on-screen button configurations; obviously, you’re going to want multiple controllers if you intend to utilize the split-screen functionality.
From my time playing, the on-screen buttons worked great. Whether it was a tight turn, or swiping both thumbs up to throw up rocker horns, it worked marvelously. However, motion control was a bit harder to get a handle on as you -really- need to turn the tablet, and not having a stable screen can make judging turns a bit more complicated.
“Okay, but does it RUN smoothly?” you then ask. As smooth as the water you glide over. Despite water physics almost literally dripping across the screen and some seriously high speeds, Renegade maintains a very stable frame rate.
The only time I’d see a dip in performance would be when using the boost function during some of the most intense moments with all sorts of elements moving and colliding on screen. These moments where the framerate does take a hit are never game breaking – you just go from that smooth 30 FPS down to around 15-20 for a few seconds before your device catches back up. More than fair considering what’s on offer.
From the crisp visuals to its wealth of worthwhile offline and online content, there's more than enough to keep you racing for months.
My biggest criticism would actually be to the story. I understand this is a mobile game, and not many expect deep storytelling, but it would have nice to make clear what the rules of this universe are. I got a bit of a Motor Crush vibe, and I like that you can choose between two starring characters at the start, but I was left with more questions than answers during my time playing – and not about the plot.
Regardless, Riptide GP: Renegade is one of the best top-tier titles on mobile devices. From the crisp visuals to its wealth of worthwhile offline and online content, there’s more than enough to keep you racing for months. Definitely give it a download.
|A thrill ride from start to finish.||Minor framerate hiccups and a confusing story.|