One feature Dead Island: Riptide has been highlighting is the ability to import your characters from the original game onto Riptide’s island. And while in most games these features are nothing but beneficial, in Dead Island: Riptide the decision to import your character is a little harder to make.
It’s super easy to import a character from the original Dead Island to Dead Island: Riptide. Just click one button on the start a new game screen and the rest of it’s done for you, and quickly, too. The only thing that’s imported is your character and his level, you lose all of the equipment, weapons, and blueprints from the original game, and have to recollect an entirely new inventory on the new island.
So should you import your character? At first it looks like the answer is simple: why wouldn’t you start the game with a couple of extra levels you already gained in the first game. But after playing both a new character, and an imported character in Dead Island: Riptide, I’ve realized that the decision isn’t that easy to make.
Because you’re only importing your character’s level and skills, and not his actual equipment, you start the game with enemies of a much higher level. Dead Island: Riptide works off of a leveling system that makes all of the zombies level’s adjusted to your own. Sure, you have the skills to compensate for tougher enemies, but you don’t have the equipment.
When I imported my character he started Dead Island: Riptide at level 30. But All I had was weak white rarity melee weapons, no guns or viable ranged weapons like I was used to having in the original Dead Island. If you’re debating whether or not to import a character, you’re obviously a veteran of the original game, so you know that once you get guns and ammunition it’s hard to revert back to just melee attacks. At higher levels there are enemies you can’t get up and personal with, like thugs and suiciders. So when I started Riptide I continuously ran into these enemies and taking them down was a huge hassle.
When I started a new character in Dead Island: Riptide I started out with similar equipment (besides the fact that it was adjusted to my new lower level). But, starting out was much easier and faster. Not only did I not run into as many special enemies, but taking down zombies was easier and progressively got harder. It felt more natural this way, and was a good way for me to get back in the Dead Island rhythm.
Not only did I find starting a new character in Dead Island more fun and natural, but it also felt more rewarding. Some of the best parts of any game are the first handful of times you level up. It makes you feel accomplished, and I always get excited examining all of the different skills and abilities I’ll eventually have offered to me. But when I imported my character and leveled up for the first time, I didn’t get that same sense of reward. I looked at the skill tree and realized I had already gotten the majority of skills I really needed, and now I was just unlocking the last couple of skills I hadn’t received yet.
Techland must have known that this was going to be an issue, so they made the weapon specialization skills that you see at the bottom of the skill page, which can only be leveled up through using specific types of weapons. This makes the decision to import or start over even harder, because while the majority of the skill tree might already be done on your original Dead Island character, there is still something to strive for.
The decision to import your Dead Island character into Dead Island: Riptide isn’t as easy as you might think, and I definitely recommend starting a new character before the game gets old to you. In my personal experience I found the game much better starting my character from square one again.