Review by Bkstunt_31
A below-average game in a crowded genre of excellent titles.
Dead to Rights 2 is a third-person shooter and the sequel to Dead to Rights, a game which I almost played all the way through when I first tried it. Since I liked the first game so much, why not get the sequel? Well, sadly, not everything gets better with age.
Dead to Rights was a fairly unique take on a shooter game, featuring Nick Slate, a Grant City Cop and his dog Shadow as they uncover a huge government conspiracy. It also featured a good plot, starting off by having Nick investigating his dad's death, sending him to prison, and than having him run all over Grant City to take down the bad guys, so it's sequel, Dead to Rights 2 should be even better right? Wrong. Dead to Rights 2 has one of the worst stories I've ever witnessed. Taking off right after the original game, DtR2 has you investigating the kidnapping of a government official who used to help your dad and you out. It's more or less of a cheap excuse to get Nick shooting people again.
The gameplay takes on many of the same aspects as the first game. The gun selection varies nicely, and the ammo supplies are limited, forcing you to often switch guns mid-attack (the game automatically switches for you). The problem with this is that your character often switches to a shotgun when you need a handgun, costing you dearly for the games mistake. The aiming system is fairly simplistic and Nick can still disarm enemies and use them as a shield. And, of course, he can still sick Shadow on them to not only steal their gun, but kill them as well. In fact, it is entirely possible to sick Shadow from behind a wall on your enemies to take out an entire area.
The game is divided into small chapters for you to tackle, but nonetheless, this is a short game. Also, since you can basically clear the game with just your dog attack, it hardly holds any challenge at all. The only real challenge I had was with the bosses, some of which are unbelievably hard. Overall, the gameplay is fairly average, just try not to overuse Shadow.
Another fairly average category, I found the graphics to be about on par with the first title. The environments vary from chapter to chapter, each with quite a bit of detail, but they do have you backtrack through the stage quite often (with new enemies to kill, of course). Animations are pretty smooth and good looking as well. There were a few problems I encountered, though. Sicking Shadow on people relies entirely on having a clear path to the enemy, and sometimes Shadow will catch a corner and freeze up. Also, the variety of enemies is extremely limited, having only three different enemy character types in any given area.
Music/Sound Effects: 7/10
The music is divided by what chapter you are in, but nonetheless it is primarily composed of rock singles that loop each other over and over. Pretty average stuff. The writing is bordering cheeseville, though, but there were a couple of moments when I had to laugh at what Nick said (one in particular was a Pulp Fiction reference). The voice acting for Nick was extremely well done, he nailed the gritty character type and obviously deserves to be in a higher-profile game, but the enemy voice acting was pretty sad. This includes Asian enemies who sound like regular white guys who can't say much more than classics like: "We're going to get you!" or "You're Dead!". Other than those lovely lines, the sound effects are pretty much exactly what you would expect.
Re-playability/Extra Content: 6/10
I was kind of surprised by the "Quick Action" menu option, it's basically throwing you fully loaded into an environment and than throwing fifty enemies at you in waves of three or more. Nothing too special. There are also some weapons to unlock, but the story is so short and unremarkable that re-playing the game is rather pointless.
A below-average game in a crowded genre of excellent titles. Surely you can find a better shooter than this, I would recommend that you stay away from Dead to Rights 2, no matter how cheap you find it. It's a shame, really, as I actually enjoyed the original. If Nick plans to come back, hopefully he will take some pointers from his first title. Have fun and keep playing!
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: Dead to Rights II (US, 04/12/05)
Got Your Own Opinion?
Submit a review and let your voice be heard.