The Dead to Rights series has made its return with Dead to Rights: Retribution. Jack and Shadow are back trying to solve Grant City’s crime problem with moderate success. Dead to Rights: Retribution is a bit of a mixed bag. First of all the developers tried to do too much. What I mean by that is that they put too many actions on a single button to the point where none of them work especially well. You have to push the same button to sprint, take cover and perform an action (ex. Pull a lever). There was one specific part where I had to hide behind cover because I was getting shot at from multiple positions however I also had to pull a lever so that I could proceed across an area that wasn’t accessible previously. The whole thing was made harder than it should have been by this control scheme and it didn’t help matters when I could still get shot while I was locked in the animation of Jack pulling the lever. In one particular instance I had full health when I went to pull the lever and by the time my character went through the full animation I was about dead.
With that being said there was one thing that I really liked about the game. There were instances where you got to control Shadow and you could slowly sneak up on an enemy and take them out. Afterwards you could grab the body and hide it so that no one would see what happened. You could mess with their heads too if they weren’t doing what you wanted them to. There were times when I was behind cover waiting for an enemy to come along so I could quickly get rid of him however he would always stop short so I couldn’t do that. At that time I would have Shadow quietly bark loud enough for the guy nearest me to hear but no one else and then when he came to investigate I would quickly take him out. It was a nice change in the game play and I would have liked being able to control Shadow more often. Even when you weren’t controlling Shadow directly you could still tell him to attack someone if you are pinned down behind some cover. That part I really liked and it helped me get out of some bad situations. You have to be careful though because Shadow isn’t invincible and you might have to run over to revive him if he takes too much abuse. Overall the game play in this title is decent, however, I hope that they rework it if they intend on making future titles in this series.
In terms of visuals the game looks pretty good but it isn’t going to blow you away or anything. There are actually some different graphical effects that you can use which might add some replayability to the title for those who want to experience everything. In addition to how the game looks normally you can also turn on “Noir mode” which will allow you to play the game with authentic noir visuals. For those who aren’t familiar with noir just think of the movie Sin City and you will have a basic understanding of the concept. One important thing to note is that this is a pretty brutal game and definitely not recommend for children. If the blood or whatever else is too much for you to handle then you can turn on noir mode which turns everything into a black and white palette including the blood. There is also an “Action Mode” where you seem to be a bit more powerful and I had an easier time taking out enemies in this mode. Keep in mind though that while in “Action Mode” your achievements/trophies are disabled so you won’t earn any by playing in this mode. Dead to Rights: Retribution also features a bunch of extras for gamers who like to go behind the scenes. This is the spot where you are able to listen to radio reports that you have unlocked in the game along with all of the cut scenes that you have seen. There are also behind the scenes videos for you to check out along with a character concept gallery and an environment concept gallery. It is a pretty decent amount of additional content for people are big fans of the franchise and you will unlock more as you accomplish certain objectives throughout your journey in the game.
Dead to Rights: Retribution is a bit of a mixed bag. As I outlined above there are some annoyances in the game, however, if you can get past those you should have some fun cleaning up Grant City especially during the parts when you get to control Shadow. There is a whole bunch of extra content for gamers that want it and I’m sure Namco will support the game with future downloadable content. If and when Namco decides to return to Grant City I would hope that they improve on the overall control scheme and also the gun play could use a little work. It’s not horrible or anything but a few tweaks could really help out. Overall if you are a fan of the Dead to Rights series be sure to check this game out. If you are brand new to the series you should definitely give this title a shot to see if you like it, however, rent before you buy. That way you know what you are getting in to and there aren’t any big surprises. As I mentioned above this game can be pretty brutal so please keep that in mind if you are a parent looking at games for your kids to play.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network