Riptide GP2 Review: Fast, Fun, & Visually Stunning Indeed!

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Vector Unit’s popular mobile game Riptide GP 2 was released today for the Xbox One. According to the developer, “Riptide GP2 delivers a fast, fun, and visually stunning racing experience” – and deliver it does! Read on for our Xbox One Riptide GP2 review.
If you’ve played the mobile or PC version of the game, there’s not much difference in gameplay. The graphics look great on mobile devices, and they look even better on a larger screen running at 1080p, 60fps. And you’d think a developer would take the chance to charge handsomely for the pleasure of playing a mobile port on the big screen (looking at you Angry Birds) but Vector Unit has released Riptide GP2 for only $4.99.


If you haven’t played the game before, here’s the lowdown. Simply put, you race rocket-powered hydro jets around watery race tracks trying to outrace your opponents. The tracks have a futuristic look to them, and the water is dynamic and interactive, reacting to the watercraft and course itself.

As you race through the courses, you gain XP and money based on how you finish. As your rider levels up using the XP you gain skill points which you can spend to increase boost or agility, and unlock new stunts. The stunts are important as each one performed gives you a boost increase, the harder the stunt, the more boost you earn. Using a stunt more than once reduces the boost bonus you get so the more stunts you know, the easier it is to keep your boost meter filled. There’s some pretty cool stunts as well including your regular flips, spins, Superman’s, 720s, and more.
The money you earn can be put towards upgrading your current hydro jet, or purchasing a new more powerful one – there are 10 total to collect. Upgrades include increasing acceleration, top speed, handling, and boost. You can also color customize your hydro jet and rider using a color wheel which lets you pick three colours for each, you can customize in tandem or customize the color scheme for your rider separate from your hydro jet.
There are currently 9 Series in the game, each with 4 or more levels for over 60 levels in the game. In order to unlock new series you earn stars based on which spot on the podium you finish (1st, 2nd, or 3rd). Once you have enough stars, a new Series and/or levels become accessible. The levels are unique enough and see you racing through everything from twisting canals to research facilities and snow bound rivers. Some of the levels include multiple routes, one way could be a shortcut while another could feature a hidden jump.

Pull off wild stunts to fill your boost meter!
Each level features one of four race modes – Race, Hot Lap, Elimination, and Freesytle. Race is your typical 8 rider race where your goal is to finish in the top 3, preferably first to earn the most XP, stars, and money. Hot Lap is a fastest lap track. You race solo, and your finish time determines your placement. Elimination is like Race mode, however the last rider is eliminated every 15 seconds which shrinks the current rider pool. This mode really relies on some well timed boosts to squeeze past the rider in front of you to keep you from being eliminated. Freestyle mode requires you to bust out as many stunts as you can to score as many points as you can.
The game also features Career, VR Challenge, and 6 Player Split Screen play modes. Career covers what was mentioned above, racing your hydro jet through various levels in Race, Hot Lap, Elimination, and Freestyle modes. VR Challenge is a pseudo-online/Hot Lap mode. With VR Challenge, you race solo around various tracks trying to post your best time. Each level ranks your time against the lap times of your friends. And finally, a game that brings couch co-op back to the Xbox One with 2-6 split-screen multiplayer. Depending on your screen size, 6 players might be a bit tight, but at least the option is there if you want it.
Riptide GP2 features 2-6 player split-screen play.
For those of you who love numbers, there’s also a stats screen where you can check on your total distance raced, time spent airborne, number of stunts performed, longest jump, wipe out counts, and more.
The one thing that is missing however is true online play. The Android and iOS versions of the game have online multiplayer, but at the moment the Xbox One version doesn’t. Hopefully this is something coming soon and we’ve asked Vector Unit if they’re adding it down the road and will update you accordingly.

Graphics, Sound and Controls

The graphics in this game are visually stunning, there’s no other way to put it. The screenshots really don’t do it justice, you’re racing by so fast you barely even notice much beyond your hydro jet and the water. Coupled with the fast gameplay and great physics engine, you really get the racing feel – especially if you play on a larger screen like me. The game plays very smooth as well, not once did I encounter a stutter or frame rate hiccup. After a couple hours I actually felt a little sea sick, and considering it’s a hydro jet water racing game I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
The variation of the levels really adds to the graphics as well, the lighting from the sun during the day, and from lights at night is fantastic, and the water track is very fluid and moves as you would expect water to. The addition of wave generators and the way the other hydro jets affect the water’s surface shows the amount of time Vector Unit put into getting things right.

The water textures and lighting in Riptide GP2 is amazing.
Sound. This game sounds absolutely great on my 5.1 system. You can hear the waves and the roar of the engines of hydro jets all around you as you cut corners or pass other riders.
The controls work well with a controller, better than the touch/tilt interface of the mobile version in my opinion. The controls are simple enough, right trigger to accelerate, left to brake, and moving the thumb sticks in various direction combinations to perform various stunts. I loaded up my mobile version of Riptide GP2 after playing it on the Xbox One just to compare a few things, and I definitely prefer the big screen controller experience – not to say the mobile version isn’t a great game in itself, because it is.

Final Thoughts

Riptide GP2 is a port done right, looks, sounds and plays great, and definitely worth the price. Online play is missing, preventing us from giving it a perfect score, but hopefully that is coming down the road soon. There’s enough variation and challenges to keep you coming back for awhile, and once/if online play is added there will be even more reason to load the game up for a race or two.
So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Xbox Store and snag Riptide GP2 today – you can’t go wrong for $4.99!

*We were sent a copy of Riptide GP2 for the purposes of this review
[button type=”link” link=”″ size=”btn-sm” variation=”btn-danger” target=”blank”]Purchase Riptide GP2 from Xbox Store[/button]

Last Updated on November 27, 2018.


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