Take everything that made Max Payne cool, throw it in the garbage, take the garbage bag out of the can, tie it up, walk out to the road and throw the bag in front of a dump truck and you’ll wind up with Dead to Rights.
Okay… maybe it’s not that bad but it tries pretty hard to be Max Payne and to say it simply falls short would still be giving it too much credit.
You II play as Grand City detective Jack Slate. Your partner is a K-9 unit named, Shadow who is interestingly enough a Husky and not the typical German Shepherd breed of law enforcement canines.
The game begins with you taking fire at a construction site. The belligerents? Armed union workers apparently. Let me tell you something as a Union worker myself, despite hard collective bargaining, record profits and even strikes your average American Union is losing more and more benefits every contract. But I can guarantee you if we took Grant City’s everyone-bring-an-Uzi-to-work-policy we’d never have our healthcare threatened again.
They would just send in a dude like Jack Slate to murder us all. Which is exactly what happens. By the time last construction worker is shot in the face Jack makes a grim discovery: his father, Frank Slate who is also a a detective lying dead at the construction site.
On top of your dad being gunned down you get framed for murder and go to prison. Talk about a rough week. The narrative informs you that you are being fast tracked on death row. Your execution expedited by orders of the Mayor of Grant City that claims having a killer executed will help him win re-election against his political rival – who is some lady whose name I have already forgot.
So as you spend your last day alive in prison, a prison riot breaks out and you escape. From there you proceed to kill tens of thousands of human beings. The Mayor – his bodyguards who for some reason wear clown masks? Cops, construction workers, bomb squad guys, city officials, dock workers, convicts, security guards, pretty much everyone you look at.
And it’s not really fun.
Early on in the game to break up the monotony of having to kill every single enemy in every single room in every single level, the game offers mini games. The problem? The mini games are even more boring and or frustrating than the repetitive and (at times) damn near impossible combat.
Jack Slate has a small variety of weapons at his disposal. Gun play, slow motion (like Max Payne’s bullet time), he knows martial arts, you can disarm and take a human shield quickly and my favorite is you can sick Shadow on an unsuspecting enemy and maul them instantly. But even all of these tactics grow old fast. The game is notorious for its difficulty which is in part due to limited ammo of each gun (dude can carry twenty guns but one clip of each) and it’s relentless enemy spawning.
There are some fun just senseless run n’ gun straightforward shooting but the level design seals the game’s fate keeping it from being decent and much more a mediocre bore. The game consists of fifteen chapters – with each chapter you will enter a large room, fight 30-40 enemies, run to the farthest door, discover it is locked and another thirty enemies will come from the door way you entered. The final enemy will drop a key and you will move on. You will do that at least ten times any given chapter. It gets so god damn boring.
It’s these repetitive level designs that makes Dead to Rights closer to Trigger Man than Max Payne.
The voice acting is middle of the road, Jack Slate isn’t that likable and the villains are forgettable.
I would recommend Max Payne or 50 Cent Bulletproof before this title.