Dead to Rights

Review

posted 11/27/2002 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: Xbox
Ever since I saw some videos of Dead to Rights I was anxious to get my hands on it. From what I saw, it looked like a pretty intense third person action game with gritty violence and great graphics. Now that I got to playing it, I have to say I am not really impressed with the game but it does offer some good aspects but the camera system needs a ton of work.

You play Jack Slate, a cop framed for murder. Your father’s been murdered and you have to go through a plethora of bad guys to find out just what really happened and clear your name. Like every John Woo movie, a number of bad guys equaling a population of a small third world country come guns blazing at you in trying to take you down. Using a variety of hand-to-hand combat and action style gun toting moves, you make your way through fifteen chapters to finally uncover the truth.

When playing Dead to Rights, I was reminded a lot of Max Payne. For starters, it’s a third person action game where the hero can perform various slow motion moves. Like Max Payne, you have an adrenaline bar that depletes as you use your slow motion dives to take out the enemy. Whereas in Max Payne you had to kill enemies to replenish the bar, in Dead to Rights it automatically regenerates slowly. The bar also doubles as a block bar so when you block hits from opponents, it also slowly depletes. The bullet time moves encompass a few dives in various directions but one of my main problems was having Jack dive the right way. Because the camera system didn’t stay behind Jack all the time and the action can get really heated, you can easily initiate a dive in a direction that you didn’t want to because of the way you were pushing the analog stick and the direction the camera swung to. In Max Payne it was pretty easy to dive to the left and right of enemies but in Dead to Rights the camera positioning made it a lot tougher.

Like Tomb Raider, Dead to Rights features an auto-aim for easier killing. To lock onto an enemy target you hold down the right trigger. A colored crosshair will form around the target with red being in close range, yellow being an ok shot, and green telling you not to waste your ammo. When in bullet time, you can easily take out multiple targets as cycling through various enemies is a lot easier when all the action is slowed down.

Various guns in the game allow for Jack some great toys to kill enemies with. From single and dual handguns to shotguns to flamethrowers, the weapons in Dead to Rights are fun to use. The ammo you carry is limited so you have to make sure your bullets count. If you do run out of ammo, you can engage in hand-to-hand combat. By going up to an enemy, you can perform a disarming move whereby you can do some fancy karate move knocking the guy out and taking his gun as part of one disarming animation. You can also slow it down to see the action really well. Once taken out, you pick up the gun that that enemy is using. Namco has also allowed you to view new disarm animations the more you use them. This is one way that makes you play the game through again as you might not get all the disarm animations through one sitting. Say you do have a gun though and grab an enemy. You can use him as a human shield or do away with by putting a bullet in the temple. It’s really cool to be able to utilize enemies for the sake of protecting your own skin and Dead to Rights does a good job in giving you this ability. While you do have some armor and can pick up more, grabbing a bad guy and forcing him to take his buddies bullets is pretty satisfying to say the least.
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