Dead to Rights: Retribution Reviews

  • PeaceSquidPeaceSquid494,637
    26 Apr 2010 26 Apr 2010
    31 8 1
    This game needs two reviews really. One for people who are happy with a few combos, some grizzly finishers and a plot lifted straight from the cutting room floor of Lethal Weapon. If that's what you are after then you'll get it in spades. At least ten hours of gun-toting, gangster-maiming, sub-Max Payne action. At this point glance down at the 3/5 I've given the game and do your protest vote as normal. I can take it.

    For everyone else, there's not a whole lot to like about this game. It doesn't do much wrong but it doesn't do much right either. After a few minutes, you've seen everything this game has to offer but, in the spirit of completeness, here's everything you need to know.

    The game follows the adventures of Jack Slate, a cop who looks like a thin Frank Lampard (eeek!) and doesn't so much have an arrest record as he does an obituary column. In an effort to be clever, the game starts with a quick level and then sends you a couple of days back in order to play your way through to that point.

    It continues with a bit of Die Hard-esque tower block action that acts as your tutorial, showing you the basics of combat - light attacks, power attacks, combos, finishers amd gun commands. If you've played more than a handful of games in the last ten years then you'll have played something like this (Wet, Stranglehold and Max Payne are obvious comparisons).

    As the story (which is paper-thin) continues, Jack copies and pastes the same move set all over the faces of the henchmen hordes that make up each level. Occasionally a tougher opponent will turn up (fighting experts, snipers, armoured guys, whatever) and you'll need to try a little harder to beat them but for the most part, most of your deaths will come from weight of numbers or the occasional cheap boss.

    The main gimmick is your dog, a big, fluffy fella called Shadow who has a decent command of English and a penchant for chewing the cocks off of your foes. While playing as Jack, the d-pad will send Shadow off to attack whoever you want and he's a very handy ally to have. Occasionally you'll get to play as Shadow and these sections are mainly stealth-based, albeit usually a little too long. They can be tiresome but I've seen stealth done a lot worse.

    Graphically it's not bad although the level design tends to mean that everything is right in front of you so no huge epic vistas. Sound and voice acting are solid if nothing special as well. A few big bosses and explosions turn up but that's just the game puffing out its chest and pretending to be one of the big boys. In reality, the presentation in this game is as average as the gameplay.

    Dead To Rights: Retribution isn't a bad game. It's just a bit dull and too long for the amount of actual gameplay elements it has. Give it a few months and this'll be £15 for sure. That's the time to pick it up preowned and have a quick run through it. But if you want a better alternative, pick almost any third-person action game on the 360. Apart from Golden Axe: Beast Rider as it's unmitigated bollocks.

    Achievements Review

    An easy 700+ if you play the whole thing on Casual. Normal isn't too much of a struggle though although it has its moments. If you want to max it, there's a higher difficulty as well which will be no fun in the later levels.

    There's a collectathon achievement in there - find 50 badges with the help of your surprisingly rubbish at hunting dog - and a few specific achievements for using combat moves.

    Probably not a difficult max but after one playthrough, I'm more than happy to let some preowned sucker take the mantle on this game.
    Showing only comment.
    Ebon Hawk AUgreat style... little bit more substance next time please... anyway +1
    Posted by Ebon Hawk AU on 05 May 10 at 00:28
  • Draconic LordDraconic Lord106,710
    02 Jun 2010 02 Jun 2010
    20 0 3
    Two questions must be asked to determine if you'll enjoy this game: Do you remember the good ol' days of the 80's/90's where there were loads of movies about a cop that didn't follow the standard procedures, the rampant crime and it's clean up one bullet at a time? If so, did you enjoy them back then and do you still do?

    If the answer to both questions is "yes" then Dead to Rights: Retribution is a good game for you! It's pretty much an homage to those movies.

    Story: I think you can already predict how the whole plot is. Jack Slate, a bad*ss cop, a true terminator of crime is called to take care of an hostage situation and the first clue to a much sinister conspiracy is discovered. Betrayals, corrupted people, *ss kicking and a big showdown against the master mind. And yes, Jack Slate even finishes the game with wounds everywhere and ripped clothes, just like in Die Hard.

    It's a paper thin plot, the way how it usually is in these movies. All you have to know is "There are Bad guys. A lot of them. And they must die."
    It lasts around 10 hours, depending on what level of difficulty and your level of skill. (A player that managed to get Master Ninja at Ninja Gaiden 2 or Infinite Climax at Bayonetta will probably have an easy time.)

    Gameplay: Dead to Rights: Retribution is an action game. That's it. It's not a stellar, amazing and inovative action game, but it's a good one nonetheless.
    Jack Slate is a beast of a cop. Most Chapters consist of rooms and corridors (be it an office building, abandoned warehouse, chinatown, the scenarios ARE varied) filled up with enemies that must be defeated in order to move on. As it's usual, they get tougher as the story goes.

    You have the basic shooting. Pistols, Rifles, SMGs, Shotguns, Grenades, the usual bunch with very interesting designs each (There's no "real" weapons here, all of them have a very unique design. The very first pistol reminded me of the model in another game, Oni). A not-so-bad covering system (there's a lot worse out there) that even allows you to kick the enemies in the face if there's a chance, grabbing enemies to use as a human shield and a "focus mode", aka, Bullet Time, that fills up with Headshots, Disarms, Counters and Takedowns. I'll talk about these last three soon.

    The interesting thing here is the satisfaction of a slow motion moment when you headshot someone. Really satisfying when you are using a "spray and pray" tactic and you have several of those moments accompanied by a loud "POP" of a head exploding.

    DtR:R also has a good hand-to-hand combat system: Fast and Heavy attacks that you can combine for different combos, Blocks, Guard Breaks, Counters, Grabs, Disarms and Takedowns.
    Because of this, there are enemies specialised in melee and it's up to you to answer their challenge and enter a fist-fight or just shoot them up.

    As I said before, you can combine your attacks to perform combos and if you chain a few, you'll be prompted to perform a Takedown. A takedown consists of entering a special zone where Quote:"Pain is God and Jack Slate is the Pope", meaning, you'll see a cool fatality of Jack Slate giving away large amounts of pain, followed by Death.

    There's also another (very special) feature: Shadow. Jack is accompanied by his faithful dog, one who enjoys ripping scum's throats and balls. Yep, my best friend, indeed.
    When you are playing as Jack, Shadow helps you and you can give him orders like "Attack that guy" or "fallback" so he defends you. He kills smaller enemies instantly, but tougher ones aren't that easy. Shadow bites them and they are immobilized for a few precious seconds so you can create some good strategies in order to take out a room.

    In some areas, you play as Shadow, and it's usually a Stealth section, but fear not! It's fun since Shadow is like a Ninja! You sneak around killing people instantly with the press of a button in a most brutal way. It's "action stealth" laugh But be warned, you are meant to be stealthy because when they spot you, you are screwed. Shadow IS fragile.

    Sound / Graphics: The sound effects are pretty good. Lots of screams of pain and the weapons FEEL like a weapon. There's a pistol that the real world equivalent would probably be a magnum and it truly feels like a beast when you shoot. The music does it job. It's not exactly "epic" or something that I'd go and search around in youtube to listen while I work but it isn't horrendous.
    Voice acting, there are some goofy moments but overall is good.

    The graphics aren't top notch, they are good. I never saw a glitchy skin, or slow load of the textures or anything like that. They are solid, just not something to "shock" about.
    The real problem is how it's always night. 90% of the game happens in a single night, so although the scenarios are varied, it's always dark. It does give an opressive atmosphere like it's meant, but it gets boring.
    On the other hand, Shadow is absolutely stunning. His fur is a marvel to look at.

    Achievements: DtR:R may be "average" on the other topics but in here he takes the trophy. It's an AMAZINGLY solid list, one of the best I have seen. 80% of them can be easly achieved just by playing the game: counters, stealth kills, dodges, combos, you name it. Some require a minimal effort like "Get 30 headshots in one level" (easy as hell, considering the enormous amounts of bad guys) or the Brawler, where you don't use weapons (I recomend Chapter 2, btw. Perfect chapter for this achievement).

    It's entirely possible to get almost all of them starting off in Hard. I got a Gold Medal on the first try in all levels but one, and it was easy to replay and get it once I finished the game.

    My only complain are the 2 collectible ones. It's just a perfect waste of time but I followed Rooney Power's guide and it was easy.

    Not only that, but you get Avatar Awards! And cool ones to boot! 3 different t-shirts and a full body suit (head + body suit). My avatar is wearing the suit if you are interested to see what it looks like, but it's a pity you don't see the cool details.

    OVERALL: Dead to Rights: Retribution is a good action game. It does NOT try to innovate. He grabs the key concepts and uses them to give the player a solid and fun action experience. If it's worth 60$? (or 60€ if you are European) No, I don't think so. 40$ or 35$ is a much more fair price so if you are interested, wait or buy it used.

    7/10 -> Above average, but not enough to be one of the "bad boys".

    PS: It's my first review, feedback is welcome.
    07 Dec 2011
    9 0 0
    Over a year ago I was at my local BlockBuster and they had a buy 2 get one free deal. There were only two games that I really wanted but since I have heard of this franchise before I figured for free I cant go wrong. The question is was it worth the price tag.

    Without going to much into the story, your basically a boy with his dog fighting bad guys. Ok theres more to it than that but it is a decent story that spans ten levels. I will say if you do not like cursing or have young children than this game is may not be for you. I will say there is never a dull moment and expect lots of action.

    The gameplay is very fun to play but it does have a flaw. The game encourages you to do more fist fighting than gunplay. As you progress through the game you run into stronger faster fist fighters. After you inflict enough damage you get to do a finishing move, there are plenty to keep you from getting bored seeing the same one over and over. This includes one per gun, the ones with the gun are the best. The gun play works well but the issue with it is there generally is not enough ammo to go around. I struggled playing on hard at times due to a lack of ammo. You also have your trusty dog that comes in handy. He kills without thinking twice, viciously I might add. You do have to be careful if you send him in with to many enemies he will go down.

    There are several parts of the game where you play as Shadow (the Dog). Its more stealth then anything and works very well with the game. There is a part where you have to shut down some generators with Shadow, he actually urinates on them. I find it to be rather funny.

    The graphics work well, there is a gritty look to the game and it fits in with the tone of the game, which is very serious (with the exeption of what I listed above). The enemies basically look the same but it did not take away from the experience. I looked at it as a heads of of what I am fighting plus the enemies for the majority of the game are in uniform.
    To end each level there is a scoring system which dictates what medal you receive. The categories are Clear time, kill variation, gun kills, shadow kills, melee kills and counter bonus. You get a multiplier based of the difficulty. Easy is a 1.0, medium is 1.25 and hard is 1.5.

    As for the achievements, the list is very easy. Beating it on hard has several rough spots but is definately doable. You will have to play most levels twice to get all 50 collectables and to get gold medals. For the gold medals I recommend playing on Normal.

    There is also DLC for the game which I had a blast on. You get to play as the bad guys and get to enjoy playing as some of the tougher enemies. Included is also a horde mode, which gets challenging and last 12 rounds, including two boss battles. The DLC is a good value at 400 MSP.

    At the end of the day I would say this is an excellent beat um up game. You'll be hard pressed to find a game with as much action as this one has to offer. Ive played through twice, in some cases three times and I still find this game to be fun. I wouldnt recommend paying more than $20 on it because it definately does not do anything groundbreaking but it is an awesome way to spend an afternoon.
  • KingOfWeightKingOfWeight230,684
    29 Dec 2010
    10 1 0
    Dead to Rights: Retribution is a reboot of a middling third-person action franchise that probably didn't need a restart in the first place, seeing as how the first two games in the series were nothing special. Retribution isn't really anything special either, but some decent gimmicks combined with gritty and at times brutal gameplay make it a solid bargain-bin pickup.

    Most of Retribution is presented as a flashback: you play strapping Grant City police officer Jack Slate, and you're on the trail of the guy who killed your policeman dad. Eventually Jack gets wrapped up in a big conspiracy and fights a bunch of enemies who look like rejected Killzone and Crysis character designs.

    At the end of the game, you kill the traitor (who you'll pick out as the bad guy the first time you see him) and bring a bit of hope back to the perpetually grey and overcast Grant City. Roll credits.

    How does Jack bring law and order back? By killing every single person he sees, via guns and bone-crushing fisticuffs. And anyone Slate can't personally brutalize is in for a maiming at the paws - and jaws - of Shadow, Jack's loyal and somewhat psychotic police dog buddy. Most of the time you'll control Jack and issue simple orders to Shadow, but there are a few stealth-based sequences where you play as Shadow and skulk around, removing the throats and family jewels of unsuspecting gang members and enemy stormtroopers.

    While Retribution paints Jack as a "good cop," he's really more of a single-minded Terminator out to destroy all who oppose him; there are even a few bits where Slate will kneecap a surrendering enemy and toss him into the air and blast him in the chest a bunch of times with a shotgun in the name of justice.

    You'll either laugh at this sort of stuff, or cringe. Or both.

    Dead to Rights: Retribution plays like most other cover-based shooters out there: you run around office buildings, construction sites, junkyards, train stations, and abandoned buildings, hiding behind appropriate objects and popping out to take shots at enemies. Ammo is limited, so you have to make your shots count. When your guns run dry, you can rush up to an enemy and take them out with your fists and feet; string together a bunch of hits and you can then perform a 'takedown" which sees Slate performing a bone-crushing, over-the-top move that robs the enemy of his weapon and his life. Takedowns look and sound brutal, but since there aren't that many different ones, you'll be seeing the same handful over and over.

    Defeating bad guys also builds up a focus meter that kicks in a bullet-time feature when activated, allowing Jack to dish out even more pain in glorious slow-motion.

    Jack can also grab enemies and use them as shields, or throw them into groups of their friends to create a bit of a distraction. There are lots of high ledges in Retribution too, and it would be a shame to not throw a bad guy or two over them. Slate might not be a believer in the court system but he'll keep Grant City's jails unclogged and the street cleaners employed, at least.

    The mix of third-person shooting and brawling presented in Retribution works well enough, although it does neither of them in any really great way. Fisticuffs can become problematic when enemies gang up on Slate: the camera is a bit too close in, making it hard to see all your opponents. You'll take hits from guys just outside of your viewing range, which is annoying. It's also kind of hard to protect yourself when you're fighting one person and another guy moves in; it can be done, but it's not the most intuitive part of the fighting system.

    Having Shadow around for these sequences is a boon since he can be commanded to distract enemies, which gives Jack the opportunity to get some punches in while the baddie tries to shake the beast off his arm. Shadow can also pick up dropped weapons and bring them to you, which saves you the trouble of running into a hail of gunfire to try and get a new gun.

    The artificial intelligence in Retribution helps make the game's fighting a bit more satisfying: enemies are good at finding cover, and they'll often pick up dropped weapons and use them. In fistfights thugs will block and dodge effectively, adding some challenge to encounters. The AI is a bit bad when you play as Shadow, though, with enemies mindlessly walking into ambushes over and over and not noticing when the guy next to him is getting his throat torn out. But since Shadow dies after only a couple of bullet hits, it all balances out in the end.

    While Dead to Rights: Retribution isn't amazing in any particular way, all of the things it does are done well enough to make the game fairly enjoyable; the combination of cartoonish ultra-violence, hand-to-hand mayhem, and a gritty atmosphere make Retribution an okay way to kill 10 or so hours over a slow weekend. Since there's no multiplayer of any kind, Dead to Rights doesn't have much of a shelf life. But while the package is open, the junk food that is Dead to Rights: Retribution tastes okay.

    Aesthetically, Dead to Rights: Retribution isn't a world-beater. The graphics aren't cutting edge, but they're helped out by atmospheric settings and some nice lighting effects. Character models are nicely detailed, although Jack's running animation is kind of odd. The sound is mostly perfunctory, with the only standout being the brutal sounds of bones breaking. Weapons fire and explosions sound okay, and the music is pretty good. Voice-acting is kind of cheesy, although the cliched script doesn't help. You'll laugh at some of Jack's gritty one-liners, even though most of them aren't funny; they're just delivered in a really ham-fisted way that never fails to amuse.

    Dead to Rights: Retribution is one of those games that mixes in DLC achievements with the regular ones; while there are 60 listed, 10 of them are for DLC. Of the 50 regular achievements, most people will get about 35 - 40 on their first playthrough of the game. Since most of the achievements are story-related, it's hard to miss the majority of them. Chapters can also be replayed if you want to go back and get a few more achievements once you've finished the storyline. Retribution also has a handful of free unlockable avatar clothing items, which are rewarded for earning certain in-game achievements. Finish the game and an Xbox Live avatar like this can be yours.

    Dead to Rights: Retribution will never be remembered as a great game, but it still manages to be a decent bit of dumb fun. Find it cheap, and you'll be entertained for a few hours.