Riptide GP: Renegade review
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Riptide GP: Renegade review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on September 6th, 2016
Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: RIDE THE WAVE
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Vector Unit's latest Riptide game offers up some of the best racing available on mobile.

Developer: Vector Unit

Price: $2.99
Version: 1.0.3
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarstarstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

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Do you remember Hydro Thunder? What about SSX? What if I told you that Riptide GP: Renegade took what made those games great and put them on mobile? You'd probably think it's pretty awesome, and you'd be right: Riptide GP Renegade is a really fast, fun, and robust racing game.

Boost or die

In Renegade, you control a futuristic jet ski called a hydrojet as you barrel through a pretty wide variety of tracks, complete with ramps, hazards, and -- of course -- lots of water.

The racing here is not as simple as just flooring it though. If you want to be the fastest hydrojet on the course, you need to earn boost, which is done by doing tricks off of ramps or rails, much like SSX. All of this handles just fine using touch or tilt controls, but it feels most natural playing Renegade using an MFi controller.

Race for redemption

As a racing game, Renegade has most of the game modes you'd expect, like quick race, ghost challenge, multiplayer, etc. What is a bit surprising though is that the game's career mode has a pretty in-depth and long narrative to it that also includes different kinds of race modes, a fairly robust leveling system, and a hydrojet unlock and upgrade system to keep you driving forward through the game.

The story of Renegade starts with you being challenged to an illegal race by your rival and subsequently arrested. Upon getting released, it's up to you to race your way through the underground Riptide League to make a name for yourself, build a crew, and get your revenge. It's not the most original story ever told, but it adds just enough narrative to make moving forward through the campaign interesting.

Beautiful sport

Even if Renegade didn't have its surprising narrative element or satisfying progression system, playing it would still be super satisfying thanks to how good the game looks and feels.

Between the water effects, art direction, and quality of animations, Renegade establishes a great sense of speed and action on pretty much every course in the game. Also, speaking of courses, there's a good variety of them in the game and all have their own sets of tricks and gimmicks that you can learn and take advantage of as you continue to play them.

If you're playing on older devices, your mileage may vary on the visual front, but luckily there are quite a few graphics settings you can tweak to make sure you can still have a smooth experience on legacy hardware.

The bottom line

If you like arcade racing games, you definitely need to play Riptide GP: Renegade. It's extremely impressive on basically all fronts. Even its file size is astoundingly modest (107 MB). Whether you're looking to race your friends or just enjoy some single-player racing, Renegade provides some of the best racing on mobile to date.

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