There's not much of a soul here.
Rest In Piece Department, (R.I.P.D.) for short, is a third person co-operative shooter, coinciding with the new supernatural movie. Much like the recently released God Mode, published by Atlus, R.I.P.D. is strictly focused on attacking waves of horde, rather than following the films narrative. Whilst a story mode seem like a missed opportunity, developer, Old School Games, still provide one of the better movie-tie in games to release on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
The game promptly sets up the back-story, presented in a comic book style. It opens with Nick Walker, one of the finest Police Officers in Boston. Unfortunately, he died in a fire-fight, and his soul drifted peacefully to the ever after. Although dead, Nick's work wasn't complete, as he was given a chance to work for the R.I.P.D. A department where dead police officers take out lifeless criminals, also known as Deados. They refuse to pass over to the other side, and live between the living. It's up to Nick to take them out, along with his new partner, a tough old Cowboy named Roy.
For as far as movie games go, R.I.P.D. is rather impressive. The visuals are pretty, the gameplay is fun, and there's a decent amount of maps and unlocks. A few problems that God Mode suffered from drift on over to this game. The controls are rather clunky, and aiming at enemies can seem difficult. I found, with a few adjustments, such as turning on auto aim, R.I.P.D. was much more enjoyable. With out it, lining up shots and killing seem like a chore. Not just because the AI are unpredictable and agile, but because of slight frame rate drops and occasional hit detection issues. It's a shame, because I wanted these problems to go away, but unfortunately, they do take away a chunk of the enjoyment.
In R.I.P.D. you can play locally, solo, or team up with a buddy online. Both, Nick and Roy are playable, but neither of them have distinct abilities, so there's no reason to choose one from the other. Before jumping into a quick match, your given a load-out to customize to your taste. You can select a pistol or shogun as a primary weapon, along with a secondary weapon, such as an assault rifle. There's a nice array of weapons to choose, and some unlock by completing a certain map. Consumables can also be purchased, which are another term for perks. These range from a bulletproof vest, boosting your kill steaks faster, replenishing your partners health by shooting him, and more. All perks and weaponry come with a price, so you need to save cash first.
You earn cash by simply taking out the Deados. Set goals can also be completed to receive a bonus. One goal, for example, requires you to arrest one of the larger Deados, which has you standing near him for a set amount of time. Completing objectives not only earns you cash, but also gives you a time boost. As you play, you and your partners health gauge will being to deplete. Thankfully, there's just enough time to keep things moving. Even on solo, I never seemed to find the time limit much of a problem. The combat is constantly frantic, and there's always enough enemies to find and kill. Running out of ammo, though, can become tedious. You may find yourself having to chase down foes to beat them up. There's no real combat system, so trying to punch and kick them is very hit and miss.
Roy and Nick, both come with five special powers. They each have the same abilities, but unleashing them are useful and fun. As you rack up kills, you can eventually trigger one of the abilities. They are easy to access, with you switching between them with the LB and RB button. Your first power allows you to regenerate health by standing within the healing area. But saving up for a later ability allows you to place down a turret gun, or even trap enemies with chains momentarily. These special abilities are nicely varied and useful, and their always fun to work towards whilst you play.
What surprised me was the array of maps. As an arcade title and movie game, I wasn't expecting many map variations. However, there are a total of seven maps which are inspired from the movie. The level design is nothing to write home about, but they all look great. They all have a slight cel-shaded look to them, and even the character models stand out. They certainly won't amaze, but are decent for a tie-in game.
R.I.P.D. is much better than most movie-tie in games that have received the digital treatment. Despite it's lack of polish, R.I.P.D. can be enjoyable with a buddy. That's not something you can say for most movie-games, so you should give it credit for that. Just don't expecting it lasting very long.