A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dead to Rights: Retribution is one bloody and violent game, making it not for kids. In fact, it's blood upon blood upon blood. Blood gushes, spatters, spews, flows, and pools almost constantly, pretty much from every part of the body that bleeds. Profanity flows almost as freely as the blood. Drugs and sex, while not as prominent, are also a factor. You'll sometimes see a thug snort cocaine; you'll see strip clubs, signs for sex, and unclothed women in the shadows. Still, the brutal violence is likely to be the biggest concern. Character Jack Slate is on a mission of retribution, as the title states. That means non-stop violence of the bloodiest kind; including violence inflicted by his dog, Shadow.
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What's it about?
DEAD TO RIGHTS: RETRIBUTION is the second iteration of this third person shooter series that's steeped in violence and vengeance. It's up to outlaw vice cop Jack Slate, betrayed and mocked by his peers and his enemies, to clean up Grant City and its various criminals, thugs, loons, terrorists, and Mafia-type bosses. Along the way, he'll uncover a vast conspiracy behind Grant City's ever-growing crime rate. Slate, a one-man killing machine somewhat like 24's Jack Bauer, teams up with Shadow, a one-dog killing machine, to rid the gritty metropolis of greedy, power-hungry enemies who are as violent at Slate himself.
Is it any good?
Unfortunately, Dead to Rights: Retribution doesn't feel that new or intriguing. You've been immersed in this kind of plot -- outsider gets back at his enemies -- many times before. Slate, who runs and guns through various environs, also uses his hands to kill and maim his opponents. Four letter words spew forth almost with the same amount of gusto as the blood that spatters. But the plot of outlaw-cop-as-anti-hero has become cliché.
There was also an opportunity missed in the game mechanics: It would have been nice to have the ability take complete control of the dog Shadow, from both a physical and mental standpoint. This Cujo of a feral canine (who sometimes attacks the groin) could have been the saving grace of the game. Instead, Shadow is only sometimes fun to use because you don't feel you have truly assumed the form of this crazed half-wolf. Though there are good points to the game, including the adrenaline rush of sneaking up on baddies, you might think about renting Dead to Rights: Retribution before making an investment in buying.
Talk to your kids about ...
Do you feel the violence is over the top and therefore acceptable as satire? Or is the bloody nature of the game too much to take?
Jack Slate is a police officer who constantly breaks laws himself. Can a character like that truly be called a hero? Is there anything admirable about Slate? Or is he no better than the game's villains?
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