Dead to Rights: Retribution Review
publisher: Namco Bandai Games
developer: Namco Bandai Games
genre: Action Adventure
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Apr 27, 10 (released)
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Wow, Dead to Rights. That name takes me back to the days when 2lions and I used to play a truckload of games on the old Xbox console. Dead to Rights was one of those action games that looked and played great at the time. Yes, in gaming (as in any segment of the entertainment industry), timing is of the essence. The overall look and style of Dead to Rights had been inspired by a great many Hollywood action flicks. We were pretty much fed up with Matrix-style action and martial arts shenanigans, but Dead to Rights was actually quite fun. On the gameplay front though, a lot of people compared it to Max Payne, which may not have been entirely true. From some angles, sure, it felt like Max Payne because both games had a relatively similar setting. Then again, I seem to recall Dead to Rights having a pretty solid story for a video game (which is more than I can say for the neo-noir conspiracy fiction bullshit that was passed off as a story in Max Payne). Anyway, here we are, many years later, facing a new addition to the franchise.
Players will be traversing through the gloomy streets and back-alleys of Grant City, which has been conquered by crime, greed and corruption. You'll be waving around a police badge of vice cop Jack Slate, whose primary concern is to expose and bring down a powerful crime organization. Dead to Rights: Retribution goes deeper into the backstory of Jack Slate and his dog, Shadow, as they continue to battle crime.
Fetch! There I've fetched. Can I go home now?
Aaarrghhh, back off! Aaargh!
Okay, shooter fans get a chance to dip into the relatively solid selection of weapons, so yeah there's gonna be a lot of the old hide-and-shoot routine going on. The cover system isn't all bad, but it doesn't work smoothly either. Getting into cover in a hurry isn't as straightforward as one would hope. Moving from cover to cover is practically pointless since you're liable to lose ammo very quickly. When that happens the only thing you can do is rush towards the nearest opponent, through a rain of bullets, and then disarm him. Disarming is the easy part. What's difficult is having to enemies in cover. Usually you'll be fired at from all sides, in addition to responding to melee attacks from other foes. We don't mind a challenge, but this game is ridiculous. There are sections where you have to avoid sniper fire and take out multiple oncoming enemies at the same time. In this game, shit like that is nearly impossible to pull off. Again, I can't say this game is too difficult. No, that doesn't appear to be the problem. Practical things are usually the problem. The fact that I can't find a sniper rifle when I'm facing an enemy sniper, while having to fend off swarms of fist-fighting grunts, including a street-thug armed with a rocket launcher. It's like I had to face masses of baddies, but had little to no means of surviving. That's just cheating. Not even good, old-school cheating, like in Ninja Gaiden 2. But the frustrating, extremely annoying kind of cheating.
Jack can also perform lethal and rather brutal takedowns when charges up from performing a variety of moves. Takedowns trigger brief cinematics, depicting bloody execution moves. Yes, they are quite violent and they look completely cool. It's a shame they become boring after the first half hour of gameplay.
This game has a little for everyone, the atmosphere is okay, voiceovers are decent, the simple-minded action can occasionally be fun;
But, yeah, it's still simple-minded action (the kind of action you've been playing for the past 10 years) and nothing more, camera has trouble focusing on the action, nothing new and exciting in this game, missions are mostly repetitive.