Dead to Rights (PS2)

Review

posted 12/26/2002 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PS2
Meet Jack Slate, he’s the exact same Jack Slate that you met a few months ago on the Xbox. He’s on a new platform in this mildly stripped down port that surprisingly, manages to be even more visually sub-par. Mix in some prominent influences from Hong Kong action movies, Max Payne, Streets of Rage, Britney’s Dance Beat and Mario Party and you’ve got Dead to Rights, a game that tries too hard to be everything but in the end, really isn’t much.

If you want an idea of what the game is truly about, I suggest you read John’s excellent review of the Xbox version of the game. We’ve already detailed what the game is about, no need to talk about that here. Instead I’ll try to focus on the differences between the two versions but to be honest, there really aren’t very many.

Not that I can fault the guys at Namco for this, it is a port of the Xbox title after all. For what it is, Dead to Rights is an action title that is full of potential but eventually, it collapses under its own weight as it tries too hard to be something different. It’s a very frustrating game to review because I knew that the developers had good intentions but it just doesn’t work.

This game is basically divided up into three very different games. You have the awesome Max Payne style shooting sequences, some mildly interesting (albeit forced) 3D beat-em-up style sequences, and a boatload of minigames that do nothing more than detract from the core gameplay.

The shooting sequences are some of the best that the genre has to offer, period. They’re definitely a blast to partake in, highlighting some of the more over the top aspects of our favorite action movies. You’ll be able to disarm your enemies will cool moves, grab enemies and utilize them as your human shield and perform dives that mimic Max Payne’s bullet-time feature. This is definitely the highlight of game as you’ll be doing all the cool things that you’ve always wished that you can do. It’s hampered by a pretty inept targeting system that has a few too many hitches for my liking but it’s still pretty fun.

Then there are these fighting sequences where gangs of enemies will attack you black ninja style. They’re pretty entertaining at first, until you realize that they’re entirely un-necessary. It seems like the designers went out of their way to force you to participate in these fights, especially when they could have been easily avoided. They’re not fun, they’re very repetitious, uninspired and far too numerous for my tastes.
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