Xbox 360 Review: Dead to Rights: Retribution

No amount of retribution can save Jack this time…

This is the first Dead to Rights game I have played, mainly because past games were never well received. Retribution is a mixture of hand-to-hand combat, third-person shooting, stealth and a dog ripping off its enemy’s manhood. But does it try to do too much? Essentially yes, basically it tries too hard with different game types while none of them work particularly well.

The plot for Retribution is paper-thin and serves only as a way for Jack to go and kill everything in his path, with his dog Shadow at his side. There are times where you will play as Shadow while Jack is injured and you essentially just leap at enemies, ripping them apart…there’s even an achievement for a groin takedown called Scrotality.

Jack combines weapons and combat, but most guns contain only a little bit of ammo. Headshots are incredibly easy to pull off, even with blind-firing. Fighting ends up being a bit of a button-basher and perhaps a bit too simplistic for some, although there are some specialist moves that you can pull off. Enemies are sadly, very idiotic at times…the game just lacks any originality and feels more of a chore to play in certain parts.

The game is also quite short at about 8 hours, with 3 difficulty settings for extra replay value. There’s also no multiplayer or co-op modes, which might have lightened the game up a bit. It would have been good to have one person playing as Jack and the other as Shadow, but alas they didn’t see the potential in this.

Visually, Retribution isn’t very strong with average character models, effects and the least said about the voice-acting the better. Music is fairly strong but can’t make up for some poor sound effects.

The Verdict

Dead to Rights: Retribution had potential, but sadly never manages to achieve anything original or fun during the 8 hour campaign. Jack Slate’s story is predictable and dull, while the gameplay tries to combine too many different styles poorly instead of focusing on a few that might work with a bit of polish.