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Xbox 360 Game Review

Dead to Rights: Retribution


Format: Xbox 360
RRP: £44.99
3 296580 810390
Age Restrictions: 18+
Available 23 April 2010

Returning to Grant City, a boom town gone bust that is falling to the worst excesses of crime, greed and corruption; Dead to Rights: Retribution follows vice cop Jack Slate and his trusty attack dog, Shadow, as they fight to expose shadowy figures that stops at nothing to exert their deadly influence over the crumbling metropolis...

Dead to Rights: Retribution is the latest installment in the Dead to Rights franchise. The game is a third person shooter which sees you take control of tough cop Slate and his killer attack dog Shadow, as you fight against a new corrupt organisation that is attempting to bring law and order under control at any costs. The storyline for this game is pretty impressive and throws a few surprises (in a cliched sort of way) at the gamer.

Throughout the game you play mainly as Slate, but every once in a while you get the chance to play as Shadow as you access areas Slate can't get to. In these levels you usually have to sneak around and kill all of the hostiles without raising the alarm. The goal is usually to find a key card on one of the men that can then be used by Slate to enter the facility. In these levels when you stalk your prey you can detect their heartbeats. When their back is turned you can pounce and kill them - and to be sure they are not discovered you can then drag their bodies to a more secure location. If there are too many enemies nearby you can give a low growl. This alerts the enemies, in a limited radius, to your presence and they will move in your direction to investigate.

The majority of the game sees you playing as Slate as you run around your environment picking off your enemy with various guns and grenades. But be warned ammo is very limited so you have to make every shot count. You can also engage your enemy in hand to hand combat. This also allows you to grab their guns, take them hostage and use them as a shield, or perform a brutal finishing move (to be honest though these get very repetitive very quickly as there are only a handful of different ones). You can use your environment as cover and then either lean around it to fire or fire blindly - your cross hairs vanish from the screen and you have to try to line up a small dot with your target (all the while you remain behind cover with your arm simply sticking out into the enemies line of fire).

Most seasoned gamers will finish the game easily within a day. I finished it over two half days on the easiest mode and unless you hardly ever play third person shooter's I strongly suggest you don't play the easy setting as you'll breeze through the story.

There were a few bugs and glitches which, while nothing major, were a little annoying. Firstly I noticed that on the occasional cut sequence the music or sound would suddenly cut off. This happened on about three or four sequences in total throughout the entire game. Thankfully it didn't seem to happen on anything that important. Then there's the bug that revolves around healing Shadow. Should your trusty sidekick get shot in the line of duty you have to revive him. However, I found that on a number of occasions that I had left him a little too far behind as I tried to kill all the enemies and that somehow he seemed to have revived himself and started running around again. Equally, in one of the later levels you have to escort an arrested criminal. Again, if you leave him too far behind he suddenly reappears nearer to where you are. This is usually when you leave him in a room and then move past a door that shuts blocking you from returning.

The music is also worthy of note. This helps to add a lot of atmosphere to the game play.

While far from an essential purchase, Dead to Rights: Retribution is an interesting addition to the third person shooter genre.

forms an original story portraying key events that shape and define Jack Slate's character including how he and Shadow first come together as partners against those who would bring the once great city to its knees. Introducing an innovative new hybrid combat system, Dead to Rights: Retribution puts the full combat potential of a highly trained, highly agitated law-enforcement officer into players’ hands. Use your sidearm to pick off enemies from a distance, take cover and blind-fire with the game’s new ranged combat mechanics, or push the issue by taking human shields, stealing weapons with special disarm moves or dishing out Jack’s own brutal brand of justice with deadly takedown moves. Jack is equally lethal in close-quarters combat, offering players branching melee combos, counterattacks and disarms as they take the fight to the criminal element of Grant City. Jack encounters a variety of ruthless gangs in the filthy slums and menacing alleys of Grant City, each with their own unique abilities and fighting style that test his resolve to crush their murderous stranglehold. Deadly on their own, Jack and Shadow are even more formidable as they team up to defeat the threats they uncover. Players take full control of not only Jack, but also Shadow at various points in the game to stalk enemies or reach areas of the environment that are not accessible by one or the other. Shadow’s heightened senses make him skilled in detecting new threats or flushing out enemies from cover so that Jack can easily dispense with them. [Namco Bandai Games]

While it does nothing revolutionary or particularly surprising with the genre, it's still a good, solid offering.


Darren Rea

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