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"
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 "
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.