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Overview

This is a fresh reboot of the Dead to Rights franchise and will bring back Jack Slate and his faithful dog Shadow. The game's key features are brutal hand-to-hand combat sequences and bullet-time gun battles. The game is developed by Volatile Games and published by Namco Bandai.

Development

Dead to Rights: Retribution had a 3 year development cycle. It was publicly announced the 26th of February 2009 and spent 1 year in pre-development and 2 years in full development.

The game's artistic team wanted to retain the dark, gritty environments found in the previous games of the series. For this, they got their inspiration from all kinds of big cities found in the US. The game's animation was done with a mix of hand keyed moves and motion capture as says Ian Pestridge (member of Volatile games) to CGSociety.com:

When it came to Jack we hand-keyed all of his combat moves as we knew his fighting style would serve as the hook to hang the animation style from for the entire game. Some of Jack's takedowns began as motion capture, which was great in terms of getting the body mechanics and weight distribution correct. However, due to the brutal nature of the moves and the style, we hand-keyed a lot of the motions. Overall I'd say that, even including the cutscenes, we have a split of 70% hand-keyed data and 30% motion captured movements in game.

Volatile had the idea of bringing in a real dog to motion capture for Shadow's animations but instead resorted to doing his animation by hand. DTR: Retribution was shown at E3 2009 and went gold on the 29th of March, 2010. It was released on April 27th 2010 on Xbox 360 and PS3 and was met with average reviews.

Plot

The story starts at the docks of Grant City as a wounded Jack Slate stumbles onto the docks while some Chinese Triad thugs attempt to finish Jack off. However, Jack's dog Shadow tears his way through the Triad thugs, clearing a path for Jack to sit down at a shady bar nearby. Jack's friend Faith eventually finds him sitting in a booth with a wounded shoulder as he begins to tell a story in medias res.

He starts out with the hostage situation at Temple Tower, where the head cop on the scene is handling the situation poorly as Jack arrives, resulting in a woman being tossed off the top of the tower from several stories up. Jack decides to take matters into his own hands, leaving his gun and his badge on the cop's car to prove a point. He punches, kicks, and shoots his way through thugs from a gang simply called "The Union." However, Jack begins to think that something is wrong, as he notes the Union thugs are too well organized and supplied. Someone else is pulling the strings behind the scenes.

After fighting his way to the top of the tower, Jack manages to save the hostages and tries to go after the leader, a man named Riggs. However, Riggs flees the scene with the help of a strange gunship that even Jack admits seems a bit far-fetched for some Union thugs to have. Back at the police station, Jack gets dressed down from his superior officer, but the head of Grant City's SWAT team (Slate) and his own dad Frank vouch for him and welcome his courage at Temple Tower.

Jack heads down to the gym for a bit of sparring with his dad Frank and then the two of them head down to an old, dilapidated warehouse to investigate where the equipment came from that the Union had used. Frank remarks that the Union used to stand for the rights of the workers, but when the old industries tanked in Grant City, the Union turned into another violent gang. With Shadow's help, the two Slates work their way into the building and manage to find some circumstantial evidence, but just as they are about to question some Union witnesses the gang members are violently gunned down by Grant City SWAT members led by Redwater, forcing cops and Union into an all-out battle.

Eventually, Jack tries to chase after another lead when he spots a Chinese triad member at the scene, but when he finally takes him down he sees his father lying in a pool of blood and no sign of the killer. After beating the shit out of the aforementioned triad member in grief, Jack slips away to pursue his own path. Because the triad is somehow involved, Jack decides to go all the way to the top and find his leader, a man named Tseng. Jack heads to Chinatown and fights his way through several triad members, including the Black Hand, Tseng's personal guard.

In the process of hunting down Tseng, Jack stumbles across a crazy plot that a coked-up Tseng has cooked up: packing a train full of explosives and sending it into Grant Central Station. Jack hops onto the train and manages to defuse some of the bombs, but the train explodes anyway. Luckily, it didn't reach the station, and Jack is barely conscious as Shadow manages to drag him out of the wreckage. However, Jack manages to regain his wits in time as he fights through even more Black Hand members who are undeterred by the act, and decide to set explosives directly inside of Grant Central Station. After defusing the explosives, Jack finally confronts Tseng on a subway platform and fights him in a hand-to-hand battle. Eventually, Jack manages to get the upper hand and throws Tseng onto the tracks, where he gets hit by a speeding train.

Seeing all of his leads evaporate, Jack decides the only action left to him is picking his way through the wreckage of the old warehouse where his father was killed and hope he can find some new evidence. Eventually, Jack manages to find some evidence that the man named Riggs is actually working with the Grant City Police Department, though he's not sure why, he does find a map leading to the abandoned Pinnacle Stadium project that Riggs is apparently using as a secret base to hide his gear. However, as Jack prepares to leave the area, he finds himself attacked by members of the GAC, the Grant City Anti-Crime unit (even Jack notes that it should have been "GCAC," but "GAC" rolls off the tongue better). He notes that they seem to be stockpiling for some kind of war, but he's not sure why.

Soon after Jack arrives at the run-down stadium that was never built, he fights through a whole mess of GAC personnel who see Jack as a threat to their project and attempt to gun him down. Along the way, Jack sees that the sheer amount of high-tech weaponry and equipment being stockpiled here rivals even that of some military organizations. Then after catching sight of a news broadcast of the Grant City Mayor declaring "emergency powers," the pieces start to click together in Jack's head:

Riggs led a team of Union thugs to take over Temple Tower, but purposefully left most of the hostages and Temple hiimself alive to keep them afraid. After that, the GCPD and the GAC worked with that fear to pressure the mayor into giving them unprecedented power over not just the police, but the entire city, in order to give them a good reason to use the various weapons they stockpiled and turn Grant City into a de-facto police state.

Jack decides to get back at them by planting C4 on the GAC gunships and communications, but along the way runs into Riggs. Riggs tries to kill Jack using everything from conveniently-placed turrets to hidden mines, but Jack manages to avoid the traps and fights Riggs, then makes his way to a still-working gunship where he shows Redwater the evidence that Riggs and Temple were planning to double-cross him later. Redwater kills Riggs and drops Jack out of the ship, but not before the C4 Jack planted explodes.

Eventually, Jack finishes telling his story to Faith as a sniper's bullet punches through her torso. He fights his way through a whole bunch of GAC armored troops to get her to a medevac chopper. Then he takes the chopper to Temple Tower and shoots his way through Temple's guards in order to find the man himself and bring him in to prison for sentencing "the old-fashioned way." After fighting his way through even more guards, GAC troops, and yet another gunship, Jack eventually escorts Temple into the police station and defends it from a wave of GAC troops. Then he decides to take the fight to Redwater and the GAC headquarters in a final showdown.

After yet more gunfire, and one section involving a GAC Tank suit, Jack discovers that Redwater was the one who killed his father, who was afraid that he would tell everyone about the operation Redwater was running behind everyone's back involving the GAC. So Jack decides to fight Redwater and stabs him in the chest with a knife as he falls off a lighthouse. Eventually, Jack finally finishes his fight as he visits his father's graveside.

Characters

Jack Slate

The main character of the game, he's a vice Grant City cop and possibly Grant City's only hope. He has a act first, talk later mentality that sometimes put him at odds with his superiors. He sees himself as a good guy and has no pity whatsoever towards the bad guys.

His sidekick is his trusty dog Shadow. He (almost) never leaves his side and is a valuable ally. Slate used to be in the US Marines and is a killing machine. He excells at hand-to-hand combat as well at using a fire arm. His hobbies are kicking crime's ass, cursing and boxing with his father.

Shadow

Shadow is Jack's trusty dog. He's actually a cross between a wolf and malamute and has bright blue eyes. He's smarter than other dogs and is a pro in the art of stealth. He's very loyal to Jack even though he used to belong to his father, following him into battle and listening to his orders. He can also go fetch items for Jack such as keys and weapons.

He's a brutal warrior. His takedowns usually involve putting the enemy to the ground and ripping out his Adam apple. His enemies are scared of him, usually fleeing when he approaches. His hobbies are hanging with Jack, stealth and eating Adam apples.

Frank Slate

Jack Slate's father and Shadow's original master, he's a GCPD detective and the department's reigning boxing champion, teaching combos to Jack. He's not as aggressive as Jack towards crime, he knows how criminals work and wants to help the city get rid of them. He sees violence as a last resort and serves as a kind of mentor to Jack. His hobbies are boxing, solving crime and contemplating the "gold old days".

Faith Sands

She's an EMT who works to save lives. She's a friend of Jack's and sometimes try to reason him not to go on a bloody rampage. Despite respecting Jack's will to clean up the city, she wishes he could do it with a lower body count. Despite not always agreeing with Jack's methods, she's always there for him.

Riggs

He's the leader of the gang known as the Union. This gang is composed of Grant City's Union workers. After the city crashed economically, they lost their jobs and resorted to forming a gang that fights against capitalism. The game opens with the gang taking hostage Temple Tower. To orchestrate this attack, Riggs gains access to military equipment a starts to wreak havoc. Riggs has the gift of easily getting out of trouble and isn't shy to taking risks.

Music

The music was composed by Matt Black at the Abbey Road recording studio. The developers decided to record in this studio because of the sound quality. They aimed for an aggressive, modern score as to fit with the feel of the game. They wanted to make music that would fit with Jack's anti-hero personality.

Gameplay

Hand-To-Hand Combos:

The first games were famous for their incredible and brutal hand to hand combos. They are very useful for taking taking weapons from enemies, killing them silently or just for saving ammunition.

This game is no different. You can engage at any time in hand-to-hand combat and execute deadly combos. You have the choice between light and heavy attacks. You can fight multiple enemies at the same time by just orienting the stick in a certain direction. You can also dodge, block and counter. After hitting an enemy, you can finish off the enemy with a brutal takedown that usually involves Jack breaking the enemies neck in slow motion. You can also disarm enemies when you run up to them, this means Jack takes the enemy's gun, points it at his face and usually shoots.

Shadow

You get Shadow after the third level of the game and can use him in combat by giving him orders. You can point him in a direction, tell him to attack an enemy or guard you and if he's ever to die, you can revive him. All of this is controlled with the up and down directions and the aiming reticule.

Shadow Stealth Kills:

Shadow helping out Jack Slate take out an armored enemy.

The game features a mechanic where you can take the stealthier approach and kill guards using Shadow. This is not an automatic process, you actually control Shadow! Using his heightened canine senses you can see enemies through walls, hear their heartrates and generally feel out how the enemies are reacting towards your presence. He can also bark (loud or quiet) to attract and ambush enemies. His stealth kills vary, some involve him ripping out the enemies adam's apple, others have him going for the enemies crotch. He can also sprint and knock over enemies.

Cover System

Dead to Rights: Retribution features a cover system similar to it's previous iterations with a few tweaks to make it fit with current generation games of similar style. Think a mix between Max Payne 2 and Gears of War. You can hide behind most objects like cars and walls with the press of a button. You can go from cover to cover and even climb over your cover and kick the enemy who's on the other side in the face. Your cover is destructible and the game gives you the option to blind fire.

Another type of cover is human cover. You can grab an enemy and take him hostage. He can try to resist at which point you'll have to subdue him. You can use him to not only protect yourself but also open doors with his head and when you're done, you can give him a good kick in the butt (literally).

DLC

On April 28th, 2010, DLC was announced. Called the GAC pack, it adds two new modes to the game: Assault on the 87th Precinct and Riot Control. The first mode lets you play as a member of GAC (a soldier, a sniper and even a Tank). Your goal is to assault the precinct and you face off against GCPD officers. The second mode is similar to Horde mode found in Gears of War 2 with online leader boards.

The pack also comes with the Jack Pack and the Shadow Pack which were both already available for those who had pre-ordered the game. This means new armor for Jack and a cloaking ability for Shadow. The pack also comes with a visual filter called Action. This gives the game a visual signature close to the one found in Sin City, black and white with occasional red for the blood.

The GAC pack was released on the first of June for 400 Microsoft Points or 5 dollars on both the PS3 and Xbox 360 platforms.

Avatar Awards

The game features the following avatar awards.

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