Review by Cow Killer

"One smoking barrel, thousands and thousands of dead bad guys"

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting too much from Dead to Rights when I started playing it, but after awhile, I found it to be a surprisingly fun action game. However, some things do indeed drag the game down a bit that could turn some people off. To find out if this game is for you, read on!

Gameplay: 7.5/10
-Ok, this is definitely the main attraction right here. Basically speaking, every action is pretty simplistic in execution and there was very little trouble when attempting to try and do a certain action at a given time. This is definitely important simply because the action in this game is fast and furious. There is almost always a constant stream of bad guys consistently trying to gun you down. I’m not joking when I say that throughout the course of the game, I seriously mowed down enough baddies equal to half the population of New York. All actions need to be done on the fly and the control scheme works quite well when doing this. Oh, and how many different actions you can do. You can hurl yourself forward and slow down time half way through your leap and unload an entire clip of ammo into an enemy, you can have your dog, Shadow, attack your enemies and have him return their weapon to you, you can disarm your enemies, knocking them off in the process, and do a myriad of different punches, kicks, and throws. The biggest problem here though is that despite the number of cool things that Jack Slate can do to take down the overwhelming mobs of enemies, there’s just not much reason to do many of them most of the time.

Throughout the game it was pretty effective to use the same tactic of ‘target your enemy and then just strafe around like crazy while pulling the trigger as fast as possible’ over and over again. Don’t misunderstand though. Running around blasting unending hordes of baddies isn’t such a bad thing, it’s just sad to see such potential for variety become practically obsolete. There were very few times where it was necessary to grab a hostage and use him as a human shield or to grab a canister of some sort of explosive and toss it at the enemy ending in a nice explosion after shooting it mid-air.

Also in this category of ‘cool, but overall kind of useless’ falls the numerous mini-games that pop up sporadically throughout the game. While these help break up some of the action sequences, some of them seem just kind of tacked on or just plain easy and boring. Some of the mini-games are kind of fun though such as the bomb diffusing parts where you have to guide a small metal pin through a given pathway or face being blown into next week. While all the options available between combat and the mini-games bumped the score up a bit though, their unnecessary nature knocked it back down again.

Story: 7/10
-Well, the story starts out kind of slow, but the given movie sequences between levels really help flesh things out a bit more near the end. This is definitely one story about revenge and a guy who most definitely gets it. It’s hard to say much more then that, but the progression of events definitely goes hand in hand with the mass destruction of hundreds of evil goons. There’s only one complaint here. How the heck does Jack’s dog Shadow end up finding him in all the situations where he loses him? Jack gets on a plane at one point and after it’s undoubtedly flown probably a good 300 miles, Shadow is right there waiting for him when the event is over. Ok… Now that’s just way too convenient.

Graphics: 7.5/10
- Ok, admittedly, the game came out over a year ago and was originally for the Xbox, so this score is a bit higher then what people would expect by today’s standards, but even now the graphics aren’t too bad. The only problem is that the graphics just aren’t quite as consistent as one would hope. In the opening movie sequence, everything looks spectacular, but in later movie sequences, they seem to degrade quite a bit. (I swear that those fire trucks near the end look like they were made out of Lego blocks) In game graphics look pretty good most the time though, but I had the same problem with things seemingly getting worse near games end. This is a port from the original Xbox version though and I can’t completely say 100% that they aren’t much better on that system, but since this is based off of the GameCube version, I have to say that the graphics suffice, but could be much better.

Audio: 8/10
- While the music itself isn’t all that memorable, the sound effects definitely are pretty good. More then once, the sound of a shotgun blast smashing into the wall next to me that I wasn’t expecting threw me off guard causing a frenzied run for cover. There’s also enough quality put into some of the battle music to put a frantic player into a good baddie smashing groove.

Replay Value: 4/10
-There really isn’t much to say here. Once you beat it, you can play the different mini-games whenever you please from the main menu or you can jump back to any chapter of the game and replay it on a different difficulty level, but there’s really not that much to do. That’s actually kind of bad from a game you can expect to beat within 5-8 hours.

Buy or Rent?
-Ok, this is kind of tough. The game is actually pretty fun to play through. Blasting tons of hordes of enemies is pretty entertaining, but if you expect something particularly deep or overly rewarding, you should look somewhere else. I guess that I’d say buy the game seeing as how you can find it for $15-$20 at most places nowadays, but you could easily beat the game in one rental period. If there’s one thing that I can say about the game however, it’s definitely an excellent time waster when you don’t have that much time to devote to gaming on your hands.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/22/03

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