deactivated-5947ff563ec78's Ride to Hell: Retribution (PlayStation 3) review

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Absolutely atrocious in every sense of the word.

I'm pretty sure by now everyone knows the story behind Ride to Hell. What was originally announced as an 1960s-based open-world game set around a biker gang reemerged as a linear mess with it's only redeeming value being a laughing stock for those fascinated with the lowest of gaming lows. Originally this was my experience behind the game through watching gameplay footage and video reviews on YouTube, though I had to play it for myself to really know how bad it was. I'll just say that while it was super cheap on PSN, I still feel ripped off. This game really is as BAD as people say it is.

What starts off with a non-sensual opening sequence (complete with QTEs and turret sections) quickly begins with the story following Jake Conway, a biker who recently returns to his uncle Mack and younger brother Mikey after being stationed in Vietnam. Right from the start, the problems are apparent. The cutscenes are terrible, with some of the most abysmal voice-acting you could find in a story-based game along with badly-written dialogue ("Ellie says I'm really mature for my age!") and bizarre lip-syncing with character mouths that flap up and down like Muppets. Mikey of course, tired of being told what to do by Mack goes off into a nearby town on his bike while Jake is instructed to chase him down, which imminently begins the first driving sequence.

Driving is a mess, you are simply forced to drive in one direction across a poorly-designed linear road as you swerve to avoid unnecessary obstacles like roadblocks and construction sites. Try to turn around or collide with something and the game will fade out automatically putting you back on the road. Have this happen several times and for NO reason, your bike will automatically swerve to the right and blow up, killing you and failing the mission. As you finally catch up with Mikey, you are confronted by a gang of rival bikers who spout out more horrendous dialogue ("you ever SLICE an ear off a baby COW?!?") and proceed to hunt you down. Some on-bike combat occurs, which lazily consists of QTEs that require you to tap buttons to knock enemies off their bikes, which ridiculously explode on impact seconds after. Even after taking out the bikers and escaping them well far, they catch up with you anyway and slit Mikey's throat while leaving Jake for dead.

Not that you'd give a shit though, you'd likely be wishing the game had just ended at this point. But no sadly, Jake regains consciousness and unsurprisingly, goes on a revenge spree trying to hunt down the rival bikers who killed Mikey, resulting in more missions that consist of the same lazy, repetitive gameplay that I've already mentioned. On-foot mechanics are just as bad, with lazy combat with less strategy than Simpsons Wrestling which simply just consists of QTEs and tapping the same button over and over until your opponent falls dead, rinse and repeat. Gunplay is also broken, with highly inaccurate aiming and enemies that take a dozen shots before finally going down. Headshots are the only effective way of killing them, which usually results in an annoying slow-mo effect imminently after.

Outside of missions, there exists a small town you can roam around and purchase various things like drugs, weapons and even customise your own bike. Not that it matters though since the game has some of the worst driving mechanics around. Jake for the most part is an unlikable arsehole. His logic is flawed in the fact that he wants revenge for his murdered brother (who had it coming anyway for driving off despite being warned), but throughout the game kills DOZENS of innocent people like factory workers and police officers, whose families will likely be wanting revenge as well but will unfortunately never get it. Then is the trashy way that women are portrayed, usually as strippers or prostitutes who are only around for Jake to get sexual favours from after saving them from rape attempts. What follows are eye-rolling cutscenes of Jake having fully-clothed sex with women IMMINENTLY after rescuing them, accompanied by some horrible soft-rock music.

Speaking of which, the soundtrack is another aspect that sucks majorly. The main theme "Pressure and Time" by Rival Sons is a catchy upbeat rock tune, but far too good of a song to be in this garbage. Most of the in-game music consists of trashy and repetitive 70s noise/garage-rock that actually goes pretty well with the atrocious quality of the game. Other aspects of the audio aren't much better, with missing sound effects during cutscenes, bad voice acting as I've already mentioned and crappy shooting sounds that seem as if they were recorded in a tin-can. Graphically, the game doesn't look horrible. The desert environments have a decent enough atmosphere, but they are questionably dated for a 2013 game and there are also numerous texture drops and ugly character models throughout.

Overall though, I think I've said what needs to be said. Ride to Hell: Retribution is definitely one of the worst mainstream games to be released in recent times. The cliche poorly-written storyline, boring combat, countless glitches, repetitive soundtrack, unlikable characters, creepy sex scenes, this is a game that gets NOTHING right. While there may be humor to be found with it's abysmal quality, you're really better off playing something else. Deep Silver should be absolutely embarrassed that they allowed this train-wreck to make it onto shelves, as should any self-respecting developers involved. This game is ugly, trashy, repetitive, and just not worth your time at all. Unless you have an urge to seek out notoriously shitty games, stay the hell away.

Enjoyment: 1/10

Quality: 2/10

Overall: 1.5/10

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