Dead to Rights – PC – Preview

Dead to
Rights originally hit on the Xbox almost a year and a half ago, and featured
some innovative features and non-stop action. The game is finally hitting the
PC, almost a year after the game went cross-platform on consoles. Aside from a
few token graphical tweaks, Dead to Rights is still pretty much the same game
that came out last year. However, it’s still a pretty fun action game with lots
of great cinematic elements.

 

Dead to
Rights puts you in the shoes of Jack Slate, a cop on a quest for vengeance after
his father was killed. However, things quickly get complicated as he gets framed
for a different murder, gets sent to prison, escapes and ends up on the run from
the cops as well as tons and tons of gangsters and other hoodlums throughout the
city.

 

Dead to
Rights is an action game, and a pretty intense one at that. The preview build
had literally hundreds of enemies in each level, all armed to the teeth. The
gameplay offers a pretty nice mix of gunplay and hand-to-hand fighting as well
as some pretty sweet moves, like the ability to disarm an enemy and immediately
use their gun on them or the ability to use an enemy as a human shield. Jack
Slate also has a dog buddy, Shadow, who can run in and defeat enemies and take
their weapon back to Jack. The use of Shadow is pretty limited as you need to
have a special gauge filled in order to use him, but it is pretty useful in
tight situations.

 

The
game offers up several innovations that add to the cool factor of the gameplay.
One cool element is the “dive” feature, which allows diving through the air,
slow down time to a crawl (similar to Max Payne’s bullet-time) and fire away at
several enemies at once. This comes in handy when you have many baddies around
and need to take them all on at once. The use of explosive canisters is done
very well in this game as well. In order to use an explosive canister, you must
first pick one up and auto-target an enemy and throw it at them. Time will then
slow down, and you’ll have to shoot the canister to explode it in your enemy’s
face. It’s a great concept, and looks extremely cool in practice.

 

The
gameplay still falls in the same traps as the console versions, however. The AI
is still very predictable, follows patterns and is easily defeated. The camera
also tends to be very frustrating, going haywire when the onscreen action gets a
little hairy. The mini-games are still a waste of time, being simplistic and
cheesy and not really adding anything to the game. Also, the constant fighting
and shoot isn’t varied and grows redundant after a while.

 

Aside
from a few tweaks like increased resolutions and slightly cleaner player models,
Dead to Rights doesn’t offer many improvements to the graphics of the console
version. The characters are well-animated and the environments are clean, but
the special effects and textures are sub-par for the PS2, let alone the PC.
Overall, the graphical presentation is not as strong as most PC games.

 

The
sound effects are quite good, and add nicely to the cinematic quality of the
game. The weapon sounds are varied and realistic, and they sound great both in
real time and when the game enters bullet-time. The music is appropriate and
sounds like something out of a John Woo film, changing with the intensity of the
onscreen action. The voice acting is also very nicely done, with many characters
narrating the cutscenes and well as in-game play.

 

While
Dead to Rights is essentially the same game released over a year ago, its still
offers up a tasty dish of non-stop action and cinematic storytelling. If the
gameplay problems and graphical inadequacies can be fixed up, then PC gamers
should find a pretty solid action game when Dead to Rights is released later
this year.