Dead to Rights: Retribution is the third entry to the Dead to Rights series...and hopefully the last. This 3rd person shooter lacks just about everything that makes a game good. The story, gameplay and graphics all fall short of what we have come to expect from next-gen titles, and when placed beside other games of its type, this game stands out like a sore thumb.
Once again, players are thrown into the shoes of Jack Slater, a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ kind of cop. The majority of the story is told in a series of flashback sequences, and involves a few interesting plot turns along the way. You follow a tale of death, revenge and eventually betrayal, however, with nothing particularly major developing through the storyline, I soon found myself playing the game, only so I could reach the end and be done with it.
The controls are clunky and occasionally unresponsive. The gameplay matches these controls by providing a minor amount of combat moves for you to use at close range. This wouldn’t be much of a problem if the game provided enough weapons and ammunition to battle foes at a long range, but instead, you get very little ammo and the enemies you face will absorb most of what you have. This forces you to break cover, and dash into the horde of foes with nothing but your fists, which often leads to frustrating and unfair deaths.
The brutal finishing moves are satisfying and look pretty cool at the beginning of the game, but as you come to realise that you only have a small number that will get reused throughout the game, this quickly becomes repetitive and boring. The only change in the gameplay comes in the form of Shadow, Jack’s loyal, obedient Husky. At times when Jack is stuck for what to do, you can release Shadow to scout ahead, crawl through small spaces, hunt for clues and give you a general idea what the next area has in store. However, after a few runs of finding the right guard, bringing him down, taking his key and returning to open the gate for Jack, even Shadow’s rare outings become a tedious chore.
Graphically, the game isn’t a huge breakthrough. The environments aren’t exactly varied, but they do look quite good, capturing the sense of a slightly futuristic world. The character designs are mediocre at best, and at times, Shadow’s paws aren’t even touching the ground. The movements are often stiff and jerky, and the animations for the various characters would be well at home on a PS2 system.
In total, this game is an attempt at a 3rd person shooter, but with far too little ammunition and not enough weapons to be classed as a true shooter. The main focus is on melee brawling and brutal finishing moves, and even these fail to live up to the standards set by other games of this genre. With nothing special in the way of narrative or graphics, you would probably be better off spending your hard earned cash elsewhere.
4/10 - Poor