Dead Island Riptide picks up immediately after the first game and follows the same set of survivors along with a new character. The helicopter that carried the immune survivors away from Banoi stops at a ship for refueling then things go wrong once again and the infected take over the ship then the survivors are forced to escape from the vessel and wash up on the island of Palanai, which is near Banoi island. Palanai island has the same type of zombie outbreak that was on the island of Banoi so the survivors once again have to band together with the island's inhabitant in a hope of escaping the island.
Along with the survivors from the first game (Sam B, Xian Mei, Purna and Logan Carter) is another survivor by the name of John Morgan. John Morgan was sent on a mission to the island of Palanai recently as part of a humanitarian effort and he specializes in melee combat. Just like the group of four survivors from Banoi, he is also immune to the zombie infection. Dead Island Riptide plays the exact same as the original Dead Island for the most part so it's easy to pick up for those familiar with the first game and you can even carry over you character from the original Dead Island to play in Riptide from the start of the game.