Dead to Rights Xbox


Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 39
  2. Negative: 2 out of 39
Buy On
  1. The body count is rivaled only by novel game-play features and production values that make blood spurts akin to snowflakes-no two are the same.
  2. Game Informer
    Never before have I seen an action title with such deadly depth. [Sept 2002, p.86]
  3. netjak
    Despite the less-then-mediocre camera movement and control, Dead To Rights is a fun romp through a Hong Kong-like movie with all the thrilling elements and action sequences that would make John Woo proud.
  4. With so many ways to kill your enemies, you will never get bored of the same sort of stuff every gunfight.
  5. This game is about variety to the Nth degree. You can fight a hundred different ways and still never be wrong.
  6. 85
    Had the fighting engine been better, this one would easily trounce "Max Payne" as king of the bullet-time games. But the fighting is too plain, too poor, and there's far too much of it.
  7. Official Xbox Magazine
    The challenge comes from learning how to avoid the enemies, not figuring out what to provides a quick paced progressive story with a very nice game. [Sept 2002, p.89]
  8. 85
    But taking it for what it is -- a fast-paced, story-based action game with plenty of enemies and violent ways of eliminating them -- Dead to Rights is a highly enjoyable adult diversion for Xbox owners.
  9. A game that won't bore you after an hour of gameplay and will literally leave you speechless at times.
  10. An unapologetic action game in the same vein as Max Payne, but with a dog sidekick and hand-to-hand combat.
  11. 82
    Even with its visual shortcomings and ambition that keeps the game from being as tight as it could have been, Dead to Rights is a riot, packed full of non-stop action that will have you and the buddies playing hours through the night.
  12. Finally, I should just add that this game features sexy looking strippers in tight thongs! And you get to play one! I mean, what more can you ask for really?
  13. This story-based, action-adventure title is probably the most gratifying Xbox-only game this summer, even though it does have some flaws.
  14. AceGamez
    The run-and-gun portions of Dead to Rights come together so perfectly that you become enraptured by your ability to take down hordes of bad guys in classic Jon Woo style. It's these intense, visceral, wicked gunfights that make you forget reality and draw you completely into Slate's fantasy world of fast and furious gun-slinging action. Sadly, the beat 'em up sections of the game mar what otherwise would have been a perfect title.
  15. There's no denying that this brave attempt at combining styles has resulted in a good solid title that's entertaining and fun to play.
  16. I think DTR should also get some credit for its control scheme, which is very intuitive.
  17. The escalated difficulty of mixing all these together (now instead of one or two game types, you have half a dozen) and inconsistency in pacing the sequences ironically makes the holistic package less accessible.
  18. 80
    This game is jam packed with a range of fighting moves, weapons and a particularly vicious but faithful attack dog that our Max could only wish for.
  19. A great game for action lovers, even though it lags at points. It doesn't quite compare to the total immersion of "GTA3," but when you're more kicking ass than Charles Bronson and looking better than John Shaft while doing it, who cares?
  20. The lock-on targeting system can be a royal pain as well, since it almost always targets the enemy that is closest to you. This leads to an abundance of problems that occur during the game's most difficult scenarios.
  21. Could have been great, but has to settle for being good because of the annoying camera issues and the graphics shortcomings.
  22. No one said being the hero was going to be easy. Overlooking its problems and getting past that learning curve certainly won't be, but if you manage to, you'll find that Dead to Rights is an intense and challenging game.
  23. An intelligent action title that injects some strategy into the usually mindless action genre. Although the graphics are unremarkable, and the difficulty can be unfair, the gameplay has a lot to offer.
  24. Beyond the disarms and shot dodging, it's not worth much more than a rental.
  25. Namco threw in everything except the kitchen sink in terms of gameplay, and DTR suffers for it.
  26. 70
    It's worthwhile to trudge through the occasional dull punch-fight and inane spat of dialogue to get to the next wicked little gunfight.
  27. One of the few tough-as-nails games with the power to keep drawing you back to it, long after you've screamed enough words at the television screen to make a sailor blush.
  28. You can tell this is a PS2 port, which doesn't make it a bad game, but it doesn't let it shine as it could have.
  29. Entertainment Weekly
    DTR is weighted down with too many bad minigames, most of which seem designed with the sole intent of inducing repetitive-stress injuries. [6 Sept 2002, p.89]
  30. Despite throwing in a canine companion, button-tapping mini-games and retweaking difficulty levels and so on between NTSC and PAL, Dead to Rights is fundamentally underwhelming to look at, repetitive to play and riddled with more flaws than bullet holes, and this'll stick like rigour mortis after your fiftieth fistfight.
  31. Strictly a single player event and with no additional modes outside that of the repeating chapters or limited mini games there is no reason to return.
  32. Play Magazine
    An outrageous display of frenetic excess, pulled off with enough grimy flair to plunge us into its pestilent world, Dead to Rights is a satisfying jolt of adult gaming. [Aug 2002, p.64]
  33. Someone had a good idea and great reference material, but the end product is repetitive and lackluster.
  34. GameNow
    Each level starts out as fun, but with the gameplay so frustrating and immensely difficult throughout, what starts out as entertaining often becomes mere work in no time. [Sept 2002, p.42]
  35. Even though the graphics are weak, the gunplay is nice and the various mini-games help break up most levels.
  36. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    But where DTR falls flat is in the execution. Why learn the subtleties of the fighting controls when the most effective attack is "punch, punch, punch"? [Sept 2002, p.156]
  37. It is a mere sheep in wolves clothing that uses only the most socially timid and comfortable clich├ęs like cigarettes-for-trade and prison escape maps to paint a PG-rated teen-friendly novelty amusement park interpretation of prison life.
  38. Xbox Nation Magazine
    Uneven graphics, hollow gameplay contrivances, and a wholesale lack of compelling drama mar the enormous effort which was clearly put into the game. [Fall 2002, p.104]
  39. 40
    Between the dull punchfests, the insanely accurate enemies, and the extra difficulty created by forcing the player to rely on autotargeting, completing Dead to Rights quickly becomes an act of will.

Awards & Rankings

#30 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2002
#18 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2002
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Aug 15, 2017
    The gameplay is alright, but not all that enjoyable. I found myself pushing forward to see what would happen in the story, but by the time IThe gameplay is alright, but not all that enjoyable. I found myself pushing forward to see what would happen in the story, but by the time I got to the prison sequence, I started to realize this game's many flaws. First of all, there are way too many pointless minigames. They're not fun and some of them take a little longer than is necessary. Second, the hand-to-hand combat you are required to do in the prison is atrociously bad. Now, I get this isn't a modern game, but being able to counter would have made it passable. As it stands, you have to spend more time exploiting the invisible barriers that enemies stop being hostile past, tossing them into that are and then wailing on them as they walk back calmly to their patrol area. It's a mishmash of bad minigames, poor combat and frustrating fights. Like Sickle, who has too much health, does too much damage and you have to exploit him by grabbing him and punching when he breaks free, as he's vulnerable... or Tattoo, who has two invulnerable (yes you heard me, invulnerable) companions who will interrupt your fight with him. Your adrenaline recharges too slow, your hits don't do enough damage and are usually blocked or dodged and your enemies outclass you. The entire purpose of the game is to frustrate you. Screw this game, I'd rather play Retribution. I remember it being annoying, too, but at least it was fun. I'd rather toss this back in the $1 overstock room that I found it in. No wonder no one wanted it. Full Review »
  2. Mar 18, 2017
    Not a very good game but there are two really good things about it that might interest you.

    1... Very challenging. Once you play enough you
    Not a very good game but there are two really good things about it that might interest you.

    1... Very challenging. Once you play enough you get a good grasp on the learning curve. Good luck getting out of prison lol.

    2... It's story is very pleasing in that action movie die hard sort of a way.
    Full Review »
  3. Sungus
    May 28, 2004
    Bought this game based on the Maxim review in its mag. I'll never take their reviews at face value again. The game play is OK, but it Bought this game based on the Maxim review in its mag. I'll never take their reviews at face value again. The game play is OK, but it gets tedious, the enemies never effin stop coming and they are damn good shots. This game is insanely difficult, but I guess it is supposed to be worth it. Not worth the time for me, I just stopped playing it after a while. Full Review »