Review by KFHEWUI

"Sloppy execution holds Dead to Rights back from reaching its full potential"

Jack Slate is a cop in Grant City, and one night while on patrol, a call comes in for shots fired at a construction site. He goes to the site, and he discovers that his father has been killed. This starts a downward spiral for Jack with many twists and turns.

Dead to Rights story is generic and cliched however it is well written and it is enjoyable even if the amount of plot twists get ridiculous.

The controls are decent, and they are responsive except for the grab break which feels clumsy and sluggish.

The graphics are average, but the cut scenes look fantastic. The animation and models look nice.

The music gets the job done, and the music fits the mood however the sound track is not memorable. The voice acting is a mix bag with some of the voice acting sounding great like Jack Slate however other voice acting is downright embarrassing. The sound effects are decent, and the guns sound right, and the punches and kicks pack weight.

The game play consists of killing dozens of generic enemies, collecting keys, and eventually playing a mini game, and most of the mini games are generic and forgettable with the exception of one mini game where a stripper distracts guards which is completed by press the buttons that scroll by at the bottom of the screen.

The gun play is a mix bag, and there is a cover system in the game however the cover system feels pointless thanks to the putrid AI which the strategy for the AI is to run right over to Jack and starting firing endlessly. Even if the player does get into cover, by the time they do, the enemy will have already run over and done a lot of damage. Dead to Rights has a slow motion dive where Jack can dive and everything will slow down to kill enemies, and this can be very useful thanks to one fatal flaw which is the lock on system. The lock on system is clumsy and broken. Holding R will lock on to an enemy however R also has a second ability which is to rotate the camera behind Jack so if the enemy is too far out of the lock on range, the camera will center behind Jack. In the heat of battle this can be a huge problem since it is not obvious how close the enemy must be to lock on even if it looks like the enemy is close enough, the lock will sometimes refuse to lock on an enemy.

Melee combat is also a flawed experience, and it has one major issue which is the grab break. Jack does not learn this move until later in level 3 however enemies can use grab before this, and grab is the most damaging melee attack. Even more annoying is that melee fights usually take place against 3 or more enemies and fighting several enemies at once is irritating since they love to overwhelm the player. It also does not help that the health system is terrible. The game uses med kits however the med kits are poorly placed and are also sparse, and several areas in level 3 has Jack fight eight enemies at once which is a total nightmare. Level 3 really hurts the game and it brings the game to a screeching halt.

The difficulty is extremely unbalanced, and it does not help that there is only one difficulty. Most of the difficulty comes from the clumsy game mechanics like melee combat and brain dead AI.

Also the game has some other issues, and a few times Jack became stuck in the scenery. Replay value is zero since once the game has been beaten, there is nothing left to do except replay however just beating the game is arduous.

Dead to Rights have some interesting concepts however the sloppy execution holds Dead to Rights back from reaching its full potential.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 06/11/12

Game Release: Dead to Rights (US, 08/19/02)

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