Dead to Rights: Retribution Review
- Posted April 23rd, 2010 at 10:35 EDT by Steven Williamson
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A pick up, put down, trashy game that has elements of Max Payne and Double Dragon running through its violent veins.
- Nut kicking
- Slo-mo nut kicking
- The ample selection of brutal combos and deeply satisfying take-downs
- Taking cover when we are specifically trying to run
- The frustrating camera angles
A full eight years since the release of the original Dead To Rights, and the franchise is unleashed for the first time on current gen consoles. Though the original promised much, in reality it was certainly nothing to write home about. If you did happen to play that 2002 release, however, you may be pleasantly surprised by this latest version.
The plot is akin to something you’d read in a pulp fiction crime novel, or see in a million and one action games, with revenge being the name of the game as evil underworld crime bosses wreak havoc on an unsuspecting city. And as is so often the way with videogames, you can simply take it or leave it. Skipping every single cut scene won’t make a blind bit of difference to the gameplay or your opinion of the game. In fact, much like a pulp fiction novel, you could pay attention to every minor detail within the story and still forget what the hell it was all about two weeks after finishing it. But that’s beside the point. The great thing about throwaway, trashy novels is that while you’re deep within their pages they’re a guilty pleasure, like eating a six-pack of crisps in bed for breakfast, only without all the nasty, get-out-of-bed-right-now crumbs. And so it is with Dead To Rights: Retribution.
Once it’s over, all you’ll really remember is that you played a cop by the name of Jack Slate, out to avenge the death of his father and ably assisted by your dog-wolf, Shadow. And we’re not talking Turner And Hooch dog/cop buddy story, this is more like 80’s B-movie Maniac Cop meets 80’s rabid dog movie Cujo buddy story, because Jack Slate’s style of police work is more akin to Brazilian death squad tactics and his dog enjoys nothing more than ripping out the throats of his enemies. Meaning DTR: Retribution is a violent, blood soaked, fist-fest of a game that seems more interested in capturing the bone breaking, cartilage crushing pain of Jack’s enemies in slow motion than anything else.
You kick things off playing as Shadow, working hard to protect your wounded master from the low level thugs surrounding him. Immediately, the level of eye watering violence hits home as Shadow tears off the gonads of each gun-toting thug and then mauls his bleeding body like a normal dog worries a slipper. Though this sounds like a sweet thing it’s nowhere near as compelling as Jack’s selection of grievous finishing moves. But no worries, Shadow dispatches with your enemies swiftly and then you’re into the game proper, storming an office block single-handedly to fight your way through a wall of meatheads and free the hostages within. You have two choices – get up close and batter them to death with feet and fists or use cover and pick them off with whatever gun you can get your hands on. At this early stage you’re almost guaranteed to survive anything they can throw at you and it’s a hell of a lot more fun to punch them out than it is to shoot at them. It’s this hand-to-hand combat that makes DTR: Retribution so much fun to play.
Softening up your opponent with some sharp combos allows Jack to finish them off in true style. You’re going to have to work hard not to enjoy watching the bad guys crumple in a slo-mo heap each time Jack plants a particularly malicious boot firmly in the groin of the goon in question – six hours in and the gratification derived from crushing another man’s testicles is as satisfying as it was in the first half hour. And when you just don’t fancy denting the crown jewels or there just isn’t time to swap blows, you can snatch the gun right out of the goon’s hand and blow his head off in one neat and simple to execute move. Every bad guy’s death is played ... (continued on next page) ----
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