Review By: Siou Choy
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Dead to Rights Retribution represents the second installment in the Dead to Rights series. Once again Jack Slade and his dog Shadow are back on the case, and this time you actually get to play as the dog at various points during the game (woof!). Like the first one, the game is basically a cop show/action movie cliché shoot ’em up. Unlike the first game (insofar as memory serves), this one is quite noticeably marred by a particularly crass dubbing job, which will drive anyone over the age of, say, 15 to absolute distraction, and ruin the entire gaming experience.
So rather than comparing it unfavorably to what I recall as being its far superior progenitor, let’s approach this one as if it were an only child for a bit - a bastard child, to be more precise. Dead to Rights Retribution is just like a very bad Hollywood action flick: an empty sandwich consisting of bucketloads of nonstop action, explosions, blood & guts, and over the top, juvenile swearing with little else between. Oh, there’s a plot in there, albeit a very thin one (think fighting game “storyline” and you get the picture), but like most Hollywood blockbusters, it’s ultimately a pointless, empty waste of hours of your life which you could have spent in any of a number of productive, creative, or social endeavors. Add to that the price tag, and it’s pretty obvious that this one’s a losing proposition all the way around, for all but the most anal, aggressive and juvenile among us.
For those who really need to know, the absurd excuse for a plot revolves around revenge, gangs, guns, and the usual lone wolf/maverick cop out to do what’s right by offing a lot of bad guys and creating a tremendous amount of carnage.
While I think it’s just swell that Jack loves his dog and that he took the pet in when he was just a young stray, the guy could have provided his dog with a better life than as a trained killer in the line of fire at all times. The game starts off (starts off, mind you!) with you playing as Shadow and killing several people to protect Jack. Again, let me reiterate: we’re not just talking a little killing here, but a lot. Ripping out people’s throats and insides is not a trick I would want to teach my dog (nor did I, when I had one). Neither would I choose to train my dog to drag around dead bodies and hide them.
Graphically speaking, there are times when the game looks really nice, but then again, there are times when the game appears to be peopled solely by showroom dummies in cheap rubber masks. Shadow doesn’t look quite right either. That said, characters do seem to move around the screen nicely enough, and don’t appear stiff or move like they’re lacking joints in their body, like some other games I could name. Cutscenes are well done, and the voice acting, when not polluted by the wall to wall swear-a-thon, was decent.
There is a lot of hand to hand fighting in the game. Apparently, it’s child’s play for Jack to disarm a thug and unload a couple of bullets into him. While this is a pretty cool move in abstract, it’s also rather unrealistic. Not only is it somewhat unlikely that a real live human could pull this one off more than once without getting killed, but the end result is even more absurd: after unloading an entire clip into some thugs, these superhuman individuals still come at you. Sometimes they’ll even land a few blows, or better yet, be able to pick up another gun and fire back at you! And this is after taking several bullets to the chest! Even wearing a bulletproof vest, broken ribs, internal injury, or worse would be expected here – rolling around on the ground and howling in extreme pain would be the obvious reaction. But beating on you, grabbing another gun and gunning you down? Uh…yeah. Sure. Keep thinking that. And good luck on the streets.
You can also perform finishing moves on thugs once you land a combo of hits. While the move may look impressive the first few times, it grows tired really fast, particularly when the animations seem to take forever to finish.
Oh, and you really have to watch out for your dog. He tends to run away and wind up dead more often than not. Of course, being fantasy land (“but it seems so REAL, man! Just like being in the ‘hood!”) you can resuscitate the dog ala Resident Evil 5, presuming you’re close enough to do so. And if you think the computer-controlled Sheva in RE5 was bad, your dog Shadow is easily 10 times worse.
I was amused at how the story unfolds in the game. Yes, it’s nauseatingly predictable, but the writers definitely spent a lot of hours watching bad “gangsta” movies and even worse cop shows. Anyone who’s been exposed to more than 2 of these masterworks of modern cinema and/or the idiot box will be able to predict exactly when something is going to happen before it does. Needless to say, fans of such things should find plenty to enjoy here.
F*** you, you c***s***ing son of a b****, now you’re really gonna eat b*lls, you motherf***ing pr**k! Eat my sh**, you f***ing sh**head d**k-licker! I’m gonna rip off your b*lls and sh** down your f***ing neck!
…yeah, that’s what I thought, too. David Mamet and Martin Scorsese fans, this is your game, so go ahead, jump right in and have a field day. Anyone with a brain, be sure to steer far clear of this crass piece of juvenile crap.
Posted: 2012-01-01 14:35:05 PST