Dead To Rights: Reckoning Reader Review
Shooty bang sticks
Remember the heady days of Megadrive ownership? For a while, virtually every title worthy of note on the thing was some kind of horizontal walk/beat 'em up/shoot 'em up with little or no difference between them save a few graphical tweaks.
Then along came a title that changed all that, and allowed you to fight alongside a canine engine of pure destruction, a dog sidekick that could gnash, chomp and scoff his way through enemy protagonists with more alacrity than your trendy little Paris Hilton-esque rat-dog gets through Iams dry mix.
Without wandering too far off the beaten track, Dead to Rights: Reckoning once again lets you relive those glory days, this time in 3D and as an ass-kicking lantern jawed cop rather than a mystical ninja.
Rebellion Software seem to be finding more and more hidden beta test software left on buses now. By that, I mean they're actually churning out some good stuff after the utter dross of some of their 2000 AD licensed games (the excellent Rogue Trooper notwithstanding). Dead to Rights: Reckoning shows that they've got a handle on the dinky little insides of the PSP too as it's a neat little game. Perhaps nowhere near as purty and satisfying to play as Rogue Trooper but as a handheld game it's perfect for pick up and play, and even has a nicely rounded off Wi-Fi multiplayer mode too...
The game boss, the game!
Our main hero Jack Slate and his dog Shadow find themselves in another sticky wicket. Those who've played the PS2 original Dead to Rights may recall that the game is an all out action shooter, and that if things get particularly hectic you can send Shadow in to do your dirty work for you (someone call the RSPCA). He loyally wades in and bites the bad guys to death, leaving you with breathing space to continue on to your goal, rescuing the girl and shaking the mayor and the chief of police by the hand.
The backstory's the usual triad/mafia/hoodlum-laden hooseafudge but it's not important. All you need to know is that each level usually has a boss languishing somewhere on it. Wade through his thug footsoldiers, kill him and rinse and repeat.
So why is this game worthy of your attention? Perhaps it's because it's just so easy to get into and quite playable - even the nastiness of the PSP's analogue arthritis inducer doesn't really mess up your gaming mojo, as the control system is pretty intuitive and aiming / shooting is nicely dealt with. Jack can athletically leap around Max Payne style, and dive behind cover while loosing off a volley of shots at the enemy in nice treacle-slow bullet time. Graphics and presentation are quite pleasing for a PSP game, and though the smart money would be behind Killzone: Liberation if you want a real run and gun showcase for your chav rear view mirror-styled console of choice, Dead to Rights offers bargain bucket thrills with a twist from man's best friend thrown in.
7 / 10