The Dead to Rights series has always seemed to be on the tip of greatness. Never achieving what the player wants it to. Dead to Rights: Retribution is no different. There are so many times throughout playing the game where I sat and thought “If this had been tweaked just a bit, it would have been really fun.” And that feeling never does fade.
The story is, simply put, awful. The many ways they try and make you care about characters that haven’t been established whatsoever is annoying. With the odd dialogue and bad voice-work, it only adds to the unintentional laughter to be had here. The main crux is of the story is that you’re a cop and you’re fighting to avenge your fathers death! By fighting multiple gangs of people. The biggest game play complaint is that they, at one point later on in the story, introduce a set of people that are both stronger and have more health than you do. Terrible design choice all around.
Throughout Dead to Rights: Retribution, you go on multiple missions, some as Jack Slate, and some as his lovable and always murderous dog, Shadow. Playing as Shadow really adds some variety and is a great change of pace from the consistently repetitive feel of playing as Jack. Again, it’s not like it’s terrible, it had potential. But it seems like the developers gave up in the final stretch. Once you’re playing as both Shadow and Jack in the same mission, it feels like a terrible escort mission as Shadow will consistently run out in front of the soldiers and be gunned down in a heartbeat.
The best part about all the combat is the executions. They’re so over the top and out of control, you can’t help but love them. And the massive amount of them only adds to the excitement you feel once you punch a man 6 feet into the air.
It tries to borrow from more superior games such as Gears of War, with its cover system and sprinting ability. But the animations are so quirky, it begins to look like a jumbled mess of your character sprinting, jumping over cover, sprinting, jumping over cover, and snapping to the wrong cover. When all you wanted to do was regenerate health. Speaking of borrowing from superior games, Dead to Rights takes some hints from The Bourne Conspiracy game with its hand-to-hand combat. There’s quite a bit of combos which are all quite fun to pull off but once they combine enemies shooting you and people fighting you, all while you have very limited ammo, that can be a bit frustrating.
Dead to Rights: Retribution is such a bummer. The potential for a great, exciting game is definitely there but the only time it ever gets close to that is with its great execution moves. Beyond that, everything in this game feels like stale Fruity Pebbles. Fruity Pebbles that, If by some crazy chance, get a sequel, I’d try it out. Just to see if they could make them fresh again.
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