Dead to Rights

Games - Dead to Rights Review PS2 and GameCube
Dead to Rights Review PS2

Dead to Rights was originally released exclusively on the XBOX earlier this year, it was an intense third person shooter with a very steep and difficult learning curve as you where faced with what looked like impossible odds as you where faced with a ridiculous amount of bad guys. Due to the difficultly level some gamers thrived on the hard paced action while other just gave up and walked away. Dead to Rights has now been released on the PS2 and GameCube with both versions tweaked.

The story line is just the same, you play Jack Slater who is a cop with a dog named Shadow. They must investigate a murder only for Jack to find out that it is his father that has been murdered. So against direct orders Jack takes out his vengeance on loads of people and he understandable ends up on death row. The thing is though he is on death row for killing a man he did not kill so to put things straight he goes out on another rampage to find justice. Throughout the game the story is narrated by Jack and you will be treated with a couple cut-scenes. Overall the storyline is pretty good, there are plenty of twists and turns and you will become quite involved.

The gameplay resembles GTA, Final Fight but most notably Max Payne because they are both based on Hollywood action movies.

Games - Dead to Rights Review PS2 and GameCube
Games - Dead to Rights Review PS2 and GameCube

Saying that Dead to Rights is somewhat different because virtually all of the game is based in third person and the action sequences consist of shooting large numbers of enemies before reaching the objective. As the game moves on you will discover mini games that will have you manically hitting buttons to lift something or moving Jack around with great precision and timing to disarm bombs. These little interruptions offer a change from the frequently monotonous shooting and fighting found in the rest of the game.

The combat in Dead to Rights is good and it offers more than the usual third person action games available. Jack can fight hand to hand, send Shadow in to the action or just shoot his way through the hordes of bad guys using them as human shields. Hand to hand combat consists of the regular attacks such as punching, kicking and throwing but Jack can also disarm his foes. This manoeuvre will show Jack take the weapon from a foe and while delivering a death blow. This is a very handy move if you don't have a gun. Alternatively you can grab hold of a bad guy and put him in a vice grip so you can use him as a human shield while being able to shoot at the same time. If you want to waste loads of bad guys at once you will have to get the gun out. Jack is able to carry a number or firearms at once, which is a good job too considering the number of foes you will encounter. The guns in Dead to Rights cover a wide range of real world weapons from pistols, to shotguns to submachine guns to assault rifles and sniper rifles. Usually you will acquire fire power from dead guys, once you have a gun you probably wont have t for long because in Dead to Rights there is no reload option, Jack will simply drop the weapon when the ammo is expended. To actually shoot people in Dead to Rights all you need to do is press the R1 button and the game will auto aim, once you have shot one guy simply press the R1 button again to re-aim on the next nearest person. If you are using a sniper rifle or any other gun for that fact you can manually aim from a first person perspective. Unfortunately this doesn't work very well because it takes such a long time to accurately aim that someone else will have shot you first.

Jack Slate has even more moves up his sleeve that resemble the Matrix. Jack can jump through the air in any direction while aiming and shooting the enemy. If you wish to slow the mid air action down, a la Matrix, just keep the jump button held down. You will find that although the action has slowed down your rate of gun fire will be in real time speed which will let you take out a good number of targets before you hit the ground. This manoeuvre can't be used at will though, you will have to wait for the adrenaline meter to fill up, which will do so as you kill enemies and as time goes by. There are a few more nice moves that you can use which are similar to those found in MGS. Jack can duck behind objects for cover and flatten his back against walls enabling you to jump out and use the element of surprise. And then there is the dog Shadow who will appear and attack any nearby foe after a short combination of button pressing. Shadow is very thoughtful because after you see the mauling in slow motion Shadow will bring the enemies weapon to you before disappearing again. Unlike the slow-mo flying through the air trick Shadow can be used regularly as you only have to wait a minute or so before you can request his services again.

After hearing all of the good news about the combat in Dead to Rights you might have thought that the developers had all of the bases covered, well not quite. Unfortunately the camera isn't very good you will have to do quite a lot of camera movement yourself using the right analogue stick. When you are in a sticky situation in a corridor you will find the camera has a mind of its own. Other times the camera is locked in position which doesn't help that much either. Worst yet though is the hand to hand combat, after fighting hordes of enemies where weapons are not available. This gets quite repetitive after a while as you will be fighting large groups of enemies using the same basic punches, kicks and throws. Fortunately this doesn't last long because the PS2 and GameCube versions of Dead to Rights are easier than the XBOX version so the pain or repetitive punching and kicking doesn't last quite so long.

Graphically Dead to Rights is not going to be the best game you have ever seen but Jack does look pretty good and everything runs pretty smoothly. The other characters look pretty blocky as do most of the environments. One thing to not is that none of the scenery is breakable. Animations on the other hand are pretty good and the blood looks pretty cool too. The XBOX features the sharpest graphics followed closely by the GameCube. The PS2 version graphically is the lesser of the three consoles. The sound is good although the music can be a bit repetitive and uninspiring. The voice acting from Jack is generally good as is the dialogue. Best of all are the sound effects from the various guns, they all sound very convincing and realistic.

The Playstation 2 and GameCube versions of Dead to Rights are very similar to the XBOX version except the new kids on the block are more accessible. If you want you games to be challenging you had better start with the difficulty level set to the toughest and if you are the average games the standard difficulty rating should be adequate. Never the less Dead to Right is a good game is a little rough around the edges, the action is hard and fast and it is mostly a very enjoyable game. If you have a selection of consoles the XBOX version looks slightly sharper, apart from that all three versions are essentially just as good as each other and Dead to Rights is a welcome addition to all three consoles due to its great variety of attacks, mini games glimpses of originality.

7.5 out of 10

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