bitparade: Dead to Rights 2 (PlayStation 2)

Dead to Rights 2 is a strange beast, it seems intent on distancing itself from the original game but also wants to be associated with it. This may sound contradicting, but thats how Dead to Rights 2 plays.

The original didn’t receive favourable reviews when it was released 2 or 3 years ago, so its understandable that the developer wants to change things around a bit and take a slightly different approach, although, with it being a sequel, or in this case a prequel, it has to be the same style of game, and in this case its a generic third-person shoot-’em up.

Although the game offers nothing new, it is a fairly decent shooter at times. The game is fast and frantic and isn’t complicated to get to grips with at all, and is ideal for the odd quick play when you cant think of anything else to play. This short play method is accentuated by the level design, which at best is repetitive and almost purely corridor based.

It literally gets to the point where every 5-10 minutes you are confronted with a loading screen thats lasts just as long as each section of level. So on average an entire level can take between 15-30 minutes including 3 loading screens which makes the game feel like a throw back to some early PlayStation titles, especially when you look at titles such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas which use disc streaming to create and entire State that only has 3 or 4 load points. This is also a problem when it comes to the graphics, as although the graphics in the GTA titles aren’t great, they’re quite a number of rungs above those of Dead to Rights 2, which at best looks like a high-end PlayStation 2 launch title.

No shoot-em up would be playable if the targeting system was terrible, and while Dead to Rights 2 isn’t awful, its nothing special either. Holding down a shoulder button will lock onto the nearest enemy with either a green, yellow or red icon depending on how likely your bullets are to hit the guy. This would be great if it actually made an impact on your shots, but Jack Slate seems so cock-handed with a gun that you miss just as many shots when the target is green as you do when its red. Its just as well that you recieve plenty of ammo whenever you kill someone then.

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