STAFF REVIEW of Dead to Rights (Xbox)

Thursday, May 8, 2003.
by Yellowlab

Dead to Rights Box art Dead to Rights might has well been called Max Payne 2. I swear I was playing the same game all over again. Both have a renegade cop on the edge who is wrongly accused, a dark gritty city, slo-mo bullet time, and all is 3rd person perspective. There are a few differences. Mainly, in DTR the lead character, Jack Slate, gets a K-9 dog ("Shadow") to assist him from time to time. Ok, so it's not too original, but that does not make it a bad game. Bottom line: If you have already played Max Payne and looking for a similar game, then this is for you. If you haven't played MP, then buy that instead.

On the plus side, I liked the auto-target system. I also liked the additional use of the dog on most levels. The story was nothing new, but it did keep my interest right through to the end. Overall the save points, placement of armor, and health were pretty reasonable and made it so the game was not too frustrating. The level design was very good with lots of strategically placed cover to hide behind and shoot, and also the diversity of the levels was good. The mini-games were a nice addition, but they disappeared midway through the game. On the bad side there were a few "bosses" that were ungodly hard (Pinnacle, Hennesey, and Fahook near the end of the game...yeesh!). There is no replay value. The camera is NOT your friend in tight rooms and stairs. And like I said earlier, this is far, far, far from an original game and is clearly a Max Payne rip off.

The graphics looked crisp, and the cinematics were good. It all does the trick, but it definately smells of a PS2 port. The character modules were very cookie cutter, and slightly on the boring side (I swear Jack Slate is Ryu from Street Fighter!).

Voice acting was the epitome of average. No celebrity voices are involved. It's what you'd expect from hack actors doing them. The guns and explosions were good. Each weapon had a unique sound and everything sounded good on the DTS 5.1 system. The music repeated a lot and was mostly of a generic industrial rock nature.

Fix the camera problems in tight areas and stairs. Give it some replay value.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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