Dead to Rights: Retribution Review


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Originally the Dead to Rights games were just used to pass the time while we waited for a new Max Payne. Unfortunately for this Dead to Rights game, it seems it wants to have its own identity nowadays. With a brawling system, cover system, slow motion, and instant kills… this could ultimately be this games undoing. Before I start this review in full, I’m going to say that I have nothing but negative things to say about this game. That and this will officially be my first real Half-Ass review, seeing as this is the first game where I’ve reached the middle point and said… why am I still playing this?

Let’s start with the graphics which could make a lot of people pick up a bucket immediately heave. Let’s look at our calendars and make sure that we realize what year it is, I’m pretty sure this isn’t 2005 and my games should not have dirt covered over them, with a side of dung, and the visual effect of stink lines coming out of them. Too bad that’s what this game offers me, just looking at it can make a person turn it off, take it out of the system, open the door, and throw it down the street. And it’s not that it doesn’t look like it shouldn’t be on the Xbox 360, it’s the fact that it just looks like… like… Crap! I mean you’re looking at right now… well if you don’t have your head in that bucket already.

If you’re still paying attention to this after that fiasco called the graphics, you’re probably one of those unique people that know graphics aren’t everything. Too bad that’s not the case with this game; It’s like going to a restaurant and ordering a $60 meal, only to get a hearty serving of crap soup. We get to sit here and listen to Jack reminiscing about the ass kicking he got over the weekend. This involves police officers watching a woman plummet to her death from a building while they sit outside casually watch. Jack however is a real cop and decides to go in and take out the whole damn building alone, while the rest of the police officers sit outside eating donuts. Too bad for Jack that the guy who was behind it all escapes on some kind of futuristic jet. Mwahahahaha, take that LAWBRINGER.

Right after that he gets chewed out by the coward Captain or something, but you know he’s a badass so he was talking trash the whole time. Get fired? PFFT! NOT JACK SLATE! Some other guy comes in and chews the coward out too, and pulls Jack out of the fire only to come onto him immediately afterwards. Jack brushes it off like the manly man he is and his dad walks up with a congratulations. This is where the game starts to get interesting… and by interesting I mean predictable as hell. I mean most games are a bit more subtle then to suddenly have friendly boxing match with dad out of nowhere. Then we’re walking and talking through the Police department. Oh what’s this… Dad is going to go out with you tonight into the hive of scum and villainy!

Not only that but they both go in without guns and any type of bullet-proof vests. I mean nothing could possibly go wrong in the hidden hideout of at least 100 guys… right? So the send the dog in to the get the keys, they beat the crap out of a bunch of henchmen, they find the evidence they need to get the bad guy, they have a big shootout when the swat team arrives, and finally they chase after the bad guy only to get spotted and let him run off without doing anything. The best part about all of this is that Dad chases after Mr. Bad Ass alone, while you go after this clown looking guy who might have some information! I WONDER WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO DAD! Anyway… this turns into a sloppy story about vengeance really quickly.

*Heavy sigh* What else is just staggering about this game is the controls, I just finished a review about Splinter Cell: Conviction. Where most every move was fluent out of cover, you’d get in a guys face and you could take him down without an issue. You will not see that in this game at all, there are many moments where Jack is running at a bad guy. You’re pressing the button to take his gun out of his hand, but why the hell is targeting the guy wayyyyyy in the background? Then you have to wait for him to unlock from that target, which takes 3 seconds too long to register. Only to turn towards the guy who’s been pointing his gun at you for 3 seconds… yes I did say pointing his gun. Line up properly in front of the guy so you can get the prompt to take his weapon out of his hand.

Which at this point he’ll do some shifty animation where he points his gun at the guy, and then you have perfect bead on this guy’s head to fire… and apparently you’ve shot him in the chest somehow. *Heavy groan* So you stand there baffled at how a headshot has not felled this baddie, and then you start shooting at him again as he punches and kicks past your bullets. Now you’re forced to do the terrible brawling game mechanic, that is super fast paced but you can’t properly target anybody. Once you’re fighting one guy… you’ll do some canned animations where you punch him in the stomach or in the face. Oh… but don’t get surrounded by a bunch of dudes and try to fight all of them off. You’ll not only be fighting the controls to try to keep locked on who you want to fight, but the camera will do its best to obstruct the entire fight from you.

Plus the bad guys really don’t offer much in the way of interesting combat, they run head long at you or just run back and forth in cover waiting for you to come punch them. I mean it’s bad… when you’ve defeated your 40th Chinese version of Lenny Kravitz with the same 3 insta-kill animations. Or notice the chugging while doing regular things like shooting a guy in slow motion. Orrrrrr… the 20th time you’re introduced to a named regular baddie who has no real reason for being introduced. It’s like why am I even being shown this guy, when he can take a million bullets like all the rest of these emo clowns running around. OH LOOK! HE’S GOT A MOHAWK AND A ROCKET LAUNCHER, HE’S A SPECIAL GUY! *BANG* OH NO… HE DIED TO ONE HEADSHOT! I GUESS HE WASN’T THAT SPECIAL AFTER ALL!

Not to mention that these guys are just wearing clothes most of the time, but if you don’t get a head shot you will be emptying entire clips into these enemies. And even when you do they’ll still bum rush you like they were the terminator. In fact even the armored enemies didn’t seem that special to me. I mean a couple more shots to the head or just unload on their feet isn’t really that much different compared to a regular guy. The main problem with the armored enemies comes up when you fight one of them toe to toe, you’ll mostly end up getting your ass opened up like a piƱata. Which means you’ll probably just end up running after a gun, or telling Shadow to take a chunk out of them.

I mean seriously… there are just things in this game that just… ugh… Do not buy this game unless you are a glutton for punishment. In fact I wouldn’t even recommend this as a rent, even you are a fan the previous games, this one takes out elements from those and adds nothing you’ve never seen done better. I mean playing as a dog… Zelda! Take cover behind stuff and shooting… Damn near every shooting game now. I get to turn into the ultimate punch jockey when I don’t have a gun! Uncharted! Go play those other games, or something else that isn’t Dead to Rights: Retribution. Please… don’t look at this game anymore… run!