Dead to Rights

a game by Torus Games

Platforms: Playstation 2GBAGameCube

Genre: Action

If John Woo had made a video game, Dead to Rights could very well have been it.

For those of you who played the game Max Payne, Dead to Rights is going to feel very familiar in some ways. Both games involve a lone wolf cop who has members of his family murdered, coupled with a situation that goes from bad to worse, and guns' many, many guns. However, Dead to Rights introduces a style of gameplay more familiar to those who have played Shenmue.

Dead to Rights is an action shooter game that plays in the 3rd person perspective. As Jack Slate (super cop) you will adventure through 15 different scenarios that will have you dodging bullets (ala the Matrix), using your enemies as a human shield and playing one of the many mini-games that the game requires you to complete. Dead to Rights features one of the most fun control schemes I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. Imagine those cool Jackie Chan movies where Jackie does some sort of insane feat of agility to disarm an opponent. You get to do that in this game. If you find yourself in a situation where you are outnumbered four to one, no problem, merely grab one of your foes and use him as a human shield while blasting away at the other three. If he lives through the melee, put your pistol to his head and give him a cranial wind tunnel.

In all honesty, I thought that I would be disappointed with this game, especially when I saw that Jack had a canine sidekick named Shadow. It was the kind of kitschy thing that I was almost certain would turn me off. Fortunately Shadow is actually pretty handy for disarming bad guys and his scenarios don't occur often enough for them to be overly distracting.

On the other hand, the mini-games that occur throughout the game can bog down the gameplay as the best parts of the game involve the shooting and action. I didn't mind the mini-game at the beginning that involved the stripper (this one is not for the kiddies) but others just had no point being in the game.

Graphically, the game could be a little sharper. Here is a perfect example of a game being ported over from the PS2. But the game comes at you at a breakneck pace and the varying situations that Jack finds himself in more then make up for it. Additionally, the audio seems more Max Payne-ish and as a matter of fact, one would think Jack and Max are brothers they sound so much alike. Other than the decent voice work, the game's audio is just middle of the road.

A better than average action title, Dead to Rights is a game designed for the mature gamer. If you like your action down and dirty then this one could be the stocking stuffer you've been hoping for. But if ultra violence and two-fisted gunplay hold no interest for you, then take a pass.

Dead to Rights Downloads

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Dead to Rights stars a framed cop hunted by both cops and crooks, living in a city known for its criminal element, trying to exact revenge for the murder of a family member. No, it's not Max Payne, but it's damn close and it's very good.

You play, Jack Slate, model police officer, whose life is altered by the murder of your father. Tracking down the murderer puts you on the trail of a conspiracy that threatens Grant City itself. Dead to Rights may begin with a storyline akin to Max Payne, but it really distinguishes itself by adding a variety of game play that keeps this game fun from beginning to end. One minute you are mowing down thugs ala Max Payne, the next you are grinding it out on stage as a stripper, followed by a host of other mini-games that go a long way toward breaking up the game play. While some of the mini-games seem a bit forced (like weight lifting or hitting a punching bag), others fit seamlessly into the game, like sniffing out bombs as Jack's dog, Shadow, or the diffusing bombs mini-game. I laughed openly when during the water torture, you survive by pounding the 'X' & 'O' buttons. All mini-games are directly playable apart from the main game.

The graphics are top notch with well-crafted cut sequences that take you smoothly from one level to the next. The only complaints are that some of the melee animation in the fight sequences seems a bit choppy. At times I struggled with the camera control and occasionally Jack would get stuck on objects. And even though the game has good length to it, many of the levels are re-used several times in the game.

Dead to Rights has added a variety of combat moves that makes fighting in this game extremely cool. You have your pick of the latest firearms to dish out justice ranging from your standard .45 caliber pistol to assault & sniper rifles, flamethrowers, machine guns, rocket launchers and more. If you run out ammo for a specific gun, the game equips the next weapon in your possession, so you can continue firing. Melee combat plays out like a standard fighting game with leg swipes, kicks, punches, pistol-whips, disarm moves and combination moves. Especially fun is using your opponents as a human shield, which is required for survival in some of the larger fights. You can even have Shadow take them out dog style and retrieve their firearm! What gritty police game would be complete without the slow motion Matrix-ish dive and shoot? Don't worry'Dead to Rights has it. Sound violent and bloody? It is. This game earns its mature rating.

The bottom line is that the plot is engaging and well crafted as it unravels the storyline slowly over the course of the game with several good twists. The voice acting is equally well done and just adds to an already good game. While Dead to Rights isn't perfect, it does have superior game play with a ton of variety to it and is extremely enjoyable. If you own a PS2 and aren't frightened by the Mature rating, this game rocks and is worth checking out.

reggie posted a review
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