Review by jessetro

"An action-packed plunge into society's dark side!"

In this game, you are Jack Slate, an ***-kicking, bad-guy-killing cop who is seeking revenge for his father’s death. This game sends you into a 15 chapter journey through hell and back. Just a heads up: this game includes gruesome acts of murder, crime, political corruption, and some sexual content (which are exactly why you may want to play).

Gameplay: Dead to Rights features deadly combat on a whole new level. This game showcases impressive, lethal hand-to-hand combat in which you can execute a huge inventory of combos, and three nasty throws. There are also a huge number of disarms you can execute to steal the enemy’s weapon while simultaneously killing them. You may find yourself taking unnecessary risks just to see them done again. But the most important, and easily the most impressive part of combat is the weapons system. The aiming is easy to control after a few seconds of practice with the R button, and the special combat skills are a very creative and fun addition to the action genre. You must use your abilities to duck and hide, do adrenaline-pumped leaping shots, use human shields, etc. in order to kill, or be killed. Dead to Rights includes various handguns, shotguns, machine-guns, and other, more impressive weapons. You also have a canine helper named Shadow, who will maul whoever you send him after, and retrieve the weapon of the poor victim. The control for all of these actions is relatively easy to learn and do. Altogether this game has a very intricate and fun battle system that you must use every aspect of to survive.

Dead to Rights also has a variety of mini-games to break monotony.
From disarming explosives with little room for failure, to struggling for oxygen during water torture; they are both fun and pretty tough. Many are timed, and require quick thinking.

The only problem I had with the game was its difficulty. It can be pretty easy to die without using the above-said combat techniques. There is always a slightly easier way to kill this boss, or a skill needed to eradicate those irritating enemies. The enemy can easily kill you if you do not find and utilize these methods. Also, the difficulty of the game rises sharply. One may think the game is easy for the first thirty minutes of one-shot kills, but the next chapter the same person will be begging for mercy from the seemingly infinite scores of tough enemies, all with advanced weaponry. It’s also usually a necessity to kill every enemy in an area before you can continue

Plot: You play the role of Jack Slate, a deep-voiced, overly-masculine, clichéd hero. All of the other characters have original names and personalities. Jack arrives at the scene of a suspected gunshot, and finds his father, the victim, dead. His curiosity and rebellious nature throw him into a world of mafias, sex, confinement, blackmail, and corrupt politics. Around every corner there is a new suspect, a plot twist, a daring escape, and a new friend--or a dead one. Slate will travel through darkest regions of the lawless city to find his revenge!

I think the overall story is excellent, but sometimes the way in which it is told is kind of cheesy. Sometimes Slate seems to be too perfect of a hero. The plot also seems too predictable at the beginning, but after Chapter Two I found the plot to be very engrossing. The plot will be one of the main reasons you continue to play, as each chapter creates a new mystery to solve.

Graphics: The graphics are kind of a mixed set. The movies are very well done, with everything occurring as it should in nature. Hair will bounce, nervous hands will shake, glass and water reflect and refract, etc. The gameplay graphics, though, seem to like they could be mostly made by your average PlayStation. Mouths don’t move, everything is polygonish, and things viewed closely seem to have little detail. I would expect much better on a GameCube.

If one thing saves the graphics of this game, it would have to be the very well-done hand-to-hand combat. The combos look nice, the throws look painful, and the many disarms are just plain awesome. In one disarm, Slate will steal a shotgun, bring it under the enemy’s chin, and POW!!!

Sound: The sound was very impressive. The voice acting was remarkable, showing the right emotions, personalities, and not being under or overdone. The sounds of combat are realistic, with appropriate volume and pitch. There are good explosions, realistic footsteps, a few death cries, and very realistic weapon sounds.

The music, when present, does its job of setting the scene very well. It is nothing memorable, but the game would lose its emotion and realism without it. The music seems like it could easily have been remixed from your average action/adventure movie.

Playtime/Replay: This game’s time ranges from about 15 hours and up. As with most action games, Dead to Rights is a fun game to share with friends and use cheats for afterward, so it has respectable replay value. It is also a challenge to beat it again with a higher difficulty or to beat your old time, because you know what you are doing. This fills the game with more action and less thinking. This game can actually be more fun the second time around!

Overall: I saw a lot of effort in this game. Dead to Rights seems to display the perfect mix of environmental realism and movie-like fantasy. It definitely deserves a high score for its extraordinary gameplay, engrossing plot, and great sound.

Drum roll please...the overall score is...


Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/11/03, Updated 01/12/03

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