Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 44
  2. Negative: 10 out of 44
  1. 42
    My issues are that this game is so damn generic, shallow, and content with being nothing special, it surprises me that it asks you to pay full price at the door.
  2. Dead to Rights: Retribution is an enjoyable game with huge action elements, mixing beat´em up and shoot´em up in some variety of ways. It has easy combat mechanics and amazing takedowns moves, but honestly the game doesn´t offer the same experience than other titles like Batman: Arkham Asylum.
  3. A reasonably solid action game with a few good ideas, but definitely a step below the top-tier franchises.
  4. The Dead to Rights sequel starts with entertaining ideas and mission variety , but really loses its drive during the second half. Retribution is an average shooter/fighting mix with a cool dog as your partner.
  5. The best part about the game? It's fun. While not as deep or as 'epic' as its peers, Dead To Rights: Retribution is a lot of fun from start to finish.
  6. It's simple, enjoyable, and in wisely steering clear of trying anything grand or complex, is an enjoyable if self-contained success. [May 2010, p.97]
  7. Far below the best that has been accomplished in this generation.
  8. Dead to Rights is an old style hard boiled. A sort of latecomer Max Payne with some stealth sessions trying to rejuvenate a tired formula.
  9. Dead to Rights: Retribution showed a lot of promise with some innovative side-steps, but fails when it comes down to line.
  10. Dead to Rights: Retribution isn’t subtle or refined, but it excels at letting players move from one sleazy place to another and scouring it clean of life.
  11. I would give a C+/B- based solely on the merits of the game, but I just can't ignore unsavory business practices when they're out to con gamers like you.
  12. Yes, it's cheesy and not the most polished shooter on the market, but it's the perfect rental, a game that'll last through the weekend and dish out plenty of rewards.
  13. With a forgettable story, bland characters and a huge sense of déjà-vu, Namco’s re-envisioning of its precious Dead to Rights franchise manages to keep you afloat, but never elevates your level of excitement beyond just treading water.
  14. Dead to Rights: Retribution might not be particularly bad in a certain aspect, but it’s so mediocre and uninspired that there is no valid reason to spend your time on it.
  15. Namco delivers violent and old school action that feels just like a Chuck Norris movie. Unfortunately, also in the bad way. That means the story stinks and the dialogue is unbelievably bad. Still, it feels good to just disconnect the brain for some heavy action that really feels like a direct to DVD movie.
  16. While there are some glitches from time to time, there's nothing about it that stands out as being broken or unplayable. That said, there's not a single moment worth experiencing.
  17. I’m only recommending this game to the patient—desperate for something they’ve experienced before.
  18. While it sometimes feels as rough as a Grant City alley, Dead to Rights: Retribution's vigorous combat system and brutal energy make it an entertaining tale of corruption and vengeance.
  19. Dead to Rights: Retribution isn’t the most refined shooter out there. The story is mediocre and it can be rather ugly at times, but if you don’t take it too seriously, the gameplay’s versatility and throat-ripping ferocity is fun while it lasts.
  20. Dead to Rights simply coats the environment in red and its characters in force-fed grime and loathability. What's left is an experience that provides some basic action sustenance, but lacks any real purpose or direction.
  21. Yes, Dead To Rights: Retribution is violent. It’s also dark, vicious and amoral, with ten levels packed with face painted thugs waiting to get killed in all manner of slow motion, blood splattering ways.
  22. A pretty big disappointment, especially when compared to other action games including the two that I mentioned. I have no issues with someone making the equivalent of a B style game, and let's face it, that's exactly what Dead to Rights is going for here. However, it misses the mark completely when it comes to gunplay and combat, and the sterile, boring environments that you get to endlessly shoot dudes in don't help it at all.
  23. Dead to Rights: Retribution doesn't try to reinvent the wheel; instead it's perfectly fine wallowing in the franchise's past successes.
  24. At the end of the day, this feels like a reboot that needed a little antivirus first.
  25. Perhaps the greatest issue with Dead To Rights: Retribution is that it feels like last generation's ideas and standards reanimated for a new set of consoles.
  26. 60
    It’s rough around the edges –- shadows look like crap on people’s faces and the enemies aren’t smart –- but it could be worse.
  27. Dead to Rights: Retribution is a big disappointment. The gameplay is boring from start to finish and has a lot of visual flaws.
  28. Stupid story, repetitive gameplay and sub par controls. Some of the action is fun, but Dead to Rights should have been buried long ago.
  29. Dead to Rights: Retribution completely focuses on action, with no concession to relax. Clearly, for those who seek waves of enemies to eliminate with a funny gameplay and great graphics. Fans of pure action and visual entertainment will enjoy the adventures of agent Jack Slate and his canine friend Shadow.
  30. 68
    Fun and funny, but lowbrow and unambitious on a creative and technical level. [Issue#192, p.84]
  31. Ripping off enemies’ bollocks and ripping through their throats may feel rewarding, but it doesn’t make up for the game’s lackluster storyline, lack of any online multiplayer element, and poor overall effort put into the game.
  32. The cinematics, while cobbled together from a ‘90s cop movie handbook, are more polished than most. If you were starving, you could lick this dish clean and be satisfied. But it wouldn’t taste like anything you hadn’t eaten before. [June 2010 p74]
  33. What it lacks in imagination, it almost makes up for in accessibility and variety. [June 2010, p.102]
  34. A pick up, put down, trashy game that has elements of Max Payne and Double Dragon running through its violent veins.
  35. The game cloaks itself in a ridiculous and oftentimes debilitating darkness. [July 2010, p.80]
  36. 72
    This game is a typical pick up and play game. The game is at no point brilliant,[!] but contains a lot of fun. It's nice to play because of the action and the gameplay with the dog Shadow works well. It could have been better with the graphics and audio, but besides that it is a nice game.
  37. Dumb action shooter elevated by solid man-punching and smart dog-play. [June 2010, p.96]
  38. Simply put, this just isn't worth your money. This would've been an acceptable game back on the PlayStation and maybe even early PlayStation 2 days, but the level of shallowness in game mechanics, the poor visuals, the boring story, the lousy audio, and the awful controls make it totally unacceptable for this generation.
  39. It's like one of those trash movies: you feel somehow guilty but you still have fun playing it, thanks to the over-the-top action sequences and characters. Consider it if you like the brainless action genre and you can't wait for the bigger titles to come out the next month.
  40. The executions are designed to provide a was-it-good-for-you catharsis. They don’t. They come off as juvenile and obscene. Whatever shock value they might have wears off almost instantly, transforming the game’s supposed "money-shot" into something pedestrian and tedious.
  41. It offers a good challenge for action gamers, but they'll probably miss some features like a multiplayer mode, or some more depth.
  42. In the last nine months we've had Batman: Arkham Asylum, Bayonetta and God of War 3 – all blockbuster titles that have raised the bar for action gaming. In the shadow of these juggernauts, this is a decidedly tame offering.
  43. 70
    Dead to Rights: Retribution is a mediocre game. It has good points, it has bad points, but it never comes up with something special. It's a fun game to play, but just for once and never again.
  44. 64
    It is one of those games you can pick up at your local rental place, play for a couple days and completely forget about. It can be fun at times, but can be tedious and frustrating at others.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Aug 8, 2014
    A feeble minded 3rd person shooter video game that lacks originality and motivation to repeat. The voices are solid and playing with the dogA feeble minded 3rd person shooter video game that lacks originality and motivation to repeat. The voices are solid and playing with the dog is sometimes fun, but the story falls in short of being good. Full Review »
  2. James
    Apr 27, 2010
    A game that had massive potential and engrosing story lacks what would be called standard for games now a days. The single player is not A game that had massive potential and engrosing story lacks what would be called standard for games now a days. The single player is not enough to hide the lack of bonus extras (specifically costumes etc), and a lack of potential game modes for example: - a Challenge mode for the the dog Shadow (similar to Batman's AA except using Shadow to get the fastest time possible or no kills.) - A co-op where one controls Shadow and one controls Jack going through the story - A surival game where they have to survival round of enemies either PIt fighting style or with guns. As I said there is potential in this game but it was not captialised on its release. This game is by no means bad, the experience is good, unique and fun, but after you've completed the story and finished off the last trophies/achievements there is nothing left for you to do. DLC has been annouced for around June but is it too little too late? Full Review »
  3. Jan 17, 2015
    The Dead to Rights franchise is in trouble. As a series that started out with a strong opening title on the GameCube, Dead to Rights has beenThe Dead to Rights franchise is in trouble. As a series that started out with a strong opening title on the GameCube, Dead to Rights has been on a steady decline with each subsequent installment. In desperate need of something new, Dead to Rights: Retribution is released as the reboot that will revitalize the Dead to Rights license. However, without doing anything creative or memorable, Retribution fails to achieve its goal, and instead may just be a testimony to how far the Dead to Rights license has fallen.

    Retribution isn’t a bad game by any means. However, it isn’t exactly great either, and that problem mainly stems from the lack of any originality. The gunplay may be satisfying and is easily the best thing this game has going for it, but it doesn’t do anything to stand out from the standard third-person shooter. The cover mechanic works well but can also be inconsistent, and the bullet time ability), while fun is ripped straight from the Max Payne series, and even that franchise did more with its mechanic ten years earlier. The gunplay may be solid, but it doesn’t actually do anything to stand out in a market oversaturated with shooters.

    The melee combat is somewhat of a mixed bag. The standard light and heavy attacks can be chained together to create combos, and tapping the block button can be used to counter enemy attacks if timed correctly. This system is fine when fighting a lone enemy, but more often than not, you’re going to be swarmed by hostiles. When this happens, all strategy in the melee combat is replaced by erratic button mashing, and is only made worse by the suicidal AI brawlers that charge you in the middle of a firefight. Because melee combat completely exposes you, more often than not, you’ll just simply shoot the enemies down to get them out of the way.

    I will admit though, bosses and mini bosses are well-designed and creative, save for the final one. Some boss fights are simple, while others actually require tactics and strategy to defeat them. The only disappointing enemy is the final boss. Despite an epic battle setting, this boss centers around the shifty countering mechanic, making the final boss a frustrating mess instead of the epic showdown it should’ve been.

    The one thing Retribution has going for it is your companion Shadow. Despite being a dog, Shadow is deadly in combat, and you can issue commands to him using a simple button prompts. By doing so, Shadow can be commanded to take down specific enemies, open up their defense, retrieve weapons, or help you out when enemies gang up on you. For the most part, Shadow’s AI is competent, and he managed to save my life on a few occasions.

    There are even a few segments where you take control of Shadow, and infiltrate into areas through stealth gameplay, but like the rest of the game, the stealth mechanics seem to be copy and pasted from other games, and never changes as the game moves on. Despite the game trying to pass of the dog gameplay as unique, there’s no real difference from playing as a human, and it makes Shadow feel more like a gimmick, rather than something unique.

    The graphics in Retribution are not up to par. Not only has this game not aged well, but it didn’t even hold up compared to games released the concurrent and previous years. Overall, the game looks bad by any standard.

    The story, dialogue, and characters are full of cliches, and there’s nothing unique about the story, and despite the twists and “heartbreaking” moments, nothing really stands out. Your character, Jack Slate, is the stereotypical movie badass that you've seen countless times before.

    It’s in the games last few chapters when the game finally get better. In chapters 8 – 10, Retribution fires on all cylinders, with more drama and twists added to the story, better objectives, two unique and fun boss fights, better designed levels, and better objectives. It’s in these last few chapters where Retribution really comes into its own, and is easily the best part of the game.

    Overall, Retribution is not a bad game, but it fails to stand out as a great game. Retribution doesn’t have an original bone in its body, and instead relies on mechanics taken from other games, but fails to add anything to make them better or different. In some cases, they’re done better in the original titles they stem from. The saddest thing about Retribution is that it was supposed to be the reboot that would breathe new air into a dying franchise. Instead, Retribution might just be the final nail in its coffin.
    Full Review »