Among them is ‘Dead to Rights: Retribution,’ a sequel to the PlayStation 2 ‘Dead to Rights,’ one of the more successful ‘Max Payne’ clones. It worked as it deviated from the standard ‘me too!’ nature of a lot of the other Max Payne wannabees thanks to unique play design including playing as the main character’s dog in stealth missions and a strip club mini-dance sequence. The game’s versatility helped it stand out so I was excited about playing the follow-up. And for the most part, it didn’t let me down.
Graphically, DTRR looks more like a very polished Playstation 2 game than a PS3. It features dated blocky ugly character models and some jerky animation. Of the numerous PS3 games I’ve played, this is the first that didn’t look new-generation at all. This is a series that isn’t as dependent on reference quality graphics, but you’ll definitely feel like you’ve gone back a game system when you start off. On the plus side there’s no glitches or slowdown despite a respectable amount of characters onscreen.
Previous installments had a bit more variety with gameplay, but the game constantly switches up tasks so you’re not just clearing out room after room and advancing to the next stage. The gameplay is cartoonishly violent at times thanks to a focus feature that puts special melee sequences in slow-motion fatality-type moves.
My favorite (and most frustrating) sequences are when you get to play as Jack’s dog Shadow. In those stages you’re tasked with sneaking around and mauling unsuspecting bad guys. It’s tricky though since Shadow has no armor and it just takes one guard to spot you before you’re dead. Fortunately the game is forgiving with checkpoints so you don’t have to start at the beginning of the stage with each death.
The controls can get away from you a bit particularly when enemies are approaching from all sides so maintaining a distance isn’t just wise from a gameplay sense, but a non-throwing controller across the room perspective.
But the reason you’ll keep coming back to the game is the sheer amount of crazy fun you’ll have in fighting through stages with your best friend always at your beck and call to chomp down on particularly annoying opponents.
If you’re not a dog lover before playing, having your trusty four-legged companion take out some villains or bring over some much-needed ammo, will definitely make you a fan.
This isn’t one of the must-play games on the PS3, but it’s a good one if you’re in the mood for a quick pick up and play. There’s no major learning curve and it ranks very high on the stress reliever scale. Give it a try, you will likely be glad you did.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
You can buy the game from site partner Amazon.com on X-Box 360: Dead to Rights: Retribution – Xbox 360
Or Playstation 3: Dead to Rights: Retribution – Xbox 360