Dead to Rights II
My first reaction after receiving Dead to Rights 2 went something like this (slight variations are possible): “Hmm, what have we here? Dead to Rights, wasn’t that some B-title from several years ago? And now a sequel? Jeez, Louise…”. I was expecting a mediocre game and for once my gut feeling was right…
Namco’s Dead to Rights II, the sequel to 2003′s not-so-special action romp Dead to Rights, once again puts you in the role of Jack Slate, a cop, known and feared for his unorthodox methods to bring criminals to justice. This time, you have to search for a kidnapped judge to make sure some crooks stand trial. Whatever. Not that it matters anyway, since this is one of those games that’s just about killing people and blowing stuff up. Lather, rinse, repeat.
As you would expect, the storyline *cough* is accompanied by corny dialogues. It’s even that bad, I’d advise the responsible voice actor to go find a job he’s actually good at. The music fares a little better, but not much. It’s your average collection of up-tempo songs. Surpisingly enough, it didn’t bother me, but on the other hand it never stood out either.
That actually goes for the entire game. Dead to Rights II is a fairly enjoyable experience, but also a forgettable and one-sided one for that matter. The game never shifts into lower gear. It just sends wave after wave after wave of bad guys your way and gives you a truckload of different weapons to dispose them with. The levels are strictly linear, with an occasional detour to flip a switch or press a button in order to advance. To give you the illusion of varied gameplay, the game also throws some melee-levels into the mix. Ironically, these brawling sequences are by far the dullest and most boring in the entire game, since you can simply button bash your way through the copious amount of thugs.
What saves this game from total anonimity is the fact that it gets the core shooting done right. The guns pack a nice punch and there are other neat things that spice up the shooting sequences. The use of shootdodging for one. In typical Max Payne fashion, you can dive in slow-motion while shooting several bad guys to pieces. To make things easier, you simply lock on to an opponent with R1 and fire away.
The thing that surprised me most was the low amount of ammo you can carry. For a game that spells no-nonsense shooting, only being able to bring two clips of ammo per weapon is simply inadequate. It’s not that you have to use your weapons sparingly (on the contrary), but constantly changing weapons can be bothersome at times. But when your weapons do run out of juice, you can still resort to your dog or some violent disarming moves. With a simply tap of the button, you can order your trusted canine friend to attack enemies. Truth be told, I seldomly used him. The disarming moves however are shockingly cool. Just push the square button and Jack will grab an enemy, remove him of his weapon and then shoot him through the head, break his neck or do some other violent thing to him.
The game’s visuals are also average. The characters look jaggy and undetailed and most textures are just blurry. Apparently the Xerox machine (all rights reserved) over at Namco’s was insanely popular, since you’ll be seeing a lot of the same enemies and environments return. Some levels are pretty nice though, such as the train station or the strip club. It also runs very smoothly and the explosions are more than ok, but overall, graphics aren’t the game’s strongpoint.
Dead to Rights II offers tons of action. That pretty much sums it up. It’s just about gunning (or beating) down wave after wave of mindless enemies, nothing more, nothing less. Still, it gets the basic shooting right, so you’ll probably get some fun out of it. Just don’t expect too much. If you’re looking for a decent game to rent, Dead to Rights II fits the bill.