When it arrived in 2013, R.I.P.D the film hoped to capture the magic found in films like Ghostbusters and Men in Black where seemingly normal guys are thrown into larger than life circumstances against super natural and other worldly threats. Despite having talent like Kevin Bacon, Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, the film bombed spectacularly and went on to become one of the biggest flops of that year. Like the two other franchises in which R.I.P.D hoped to emulate, it also had a video game released based on it that is much worse than the film it is based on and is a shining example as to exactly how bad movie games can be.
R.I.P.D the Game was published by Atlus, those who brought us the Persona and Etrian Odyssey series, but don’t let that fool you, this game comes nowhere close to the quality of those beloved franchises. It opens with a narration over some admittedly decent motion comic cut-scenes that explain the basic premise of the film: Nick Walker (the character played by Ryan Reynolds in the film who doesn’t provide any voice or likeness) is killed and enlisted into a supernatural police bureau called, you guessed it, the R.I.P.D or “Rest in Peace Department” that hunts down souls who refuse to go to their rightfully resting place, also called “deados”. None of this is really that important and kind of a waste of resources as this game doesn’t have a campaign or story mode to speak of.
Developed by Oldschool Games, R.I.P.D is a co-operative third-person multi-player shooter where you’re thrown into seven different arenas and tasked with mowing down waves upon waves of the same three to four enemies over and over. That’s it. Basically this entire game is what normally would be an extra mode to a title that had a campaign of some kind to go with it, but not this game. Each level is broken into several rounds and periodically an optional mission objective will be thrown into the mix like collect so many pieces of gold, capture an area, or kill a special type of enemy, but even with these distractions, your still just doing the same thing over and over again: monotonously shooting enemies.
If you’ve played one third-person shooter during the last console generation, Uncharted, Gears of War, etc, take your pick, you’ve played this game, and in this regards the game is compotent enough. The controls are fine and shooting feels okay, but it doesn’t really have any type of hook. After killing so many enemies you can get a power-up like a mini-gun or a screen clearing attack, but again, this is really common for a game like this.
Between rounds you can outfit your character, either Nick or Roy (Jeff Bridges character, also not appearing in likeness nor voice), with whatever load out you want and an item. Starting out you have a pistol, a shot-gun and a sub-machine gun with the option to buy more or level up what you have by playing the games levels, which is something you’re really not going to want to do. You can increase the amount of currency you get by placing bets with a friend over who will do better in a round, but that means that you’re going to have to rope a friend into playing this or finding a stranger online.
For a company called “Oldschool Games”, one thing that would’ve made this game at least somewhat bearable is the old-school option to play split-screen in the same room. That option is off the table however, so the only way to play with another person, a way in which a game like those could be dumb fun, is via online and good luck finding another soul out there, dead or otherwise. I didn’t pick up this game until this past weekend when it was on sale for under a dollar, but I’d wager a hefty sum of money that back in 2013 when this game came out the community wouldn’t have been that large either.
If you had the option to play some traditional side-by-side local multi-player, R.I.P.D the Game could have been at least a fun way to pass the time with a friend but as co-op is online only, you’re left with a game that’s about as dead as the enemies you’re tasked with killing. There are too many games out there that do what this game does only not only much better, but with more than just a bare-bones multi-player mode. Even at the less than a dollar I scored this game for, it’s not worth it.