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Dead to Rights: Retribution is a bit of an unusual game these days. It's kind of an up to date Streets of Rage-esque game, with a bit of gunplay and stealth thrown in for good measure.
You begin the game as Shadow, the faithful dog of the protagonist Jack Slate. A bit of a strange way to begin a brawler, playing as a dog, but nevertheless Shadow is a bit of a force to be reckoned with. During this time, the game just teaches you the basics, so you don't get to learn about what makes Shadow great until a bit later in the game. What does make shadow great is that he's both a vicious killer and stealthy at the same time. Holding L2, Shadow will enter stealth mode, and in this mode he will move silently and be able to 'see' any enemies in the surrounding area based on their heartbeat. Calm enemies will be blue, aware enemies are orange and hostile enemies will be red. In stealth mode, you'll be able to track these enemies even if they're behind walls (think Arkham Asylum's detective mode) - which helps a great deal when planning a stealthy attack. Once you've identified a target, approach him when he's alone and hit X to rip him to shreds, hide the body if necessary, and move on to your next victim. Sadly, you don't choose when to control Shadow, you will merely be given control when Jack requires keys to a certain area, for example, but there's a convenient Shadow-sized hole in the fence nearby. Shadow will then be sent through said hole to maul everyone in sight, retrieve the keys to the gate Jack is stuck behind, and then return. Although these sections are perhaps the most fun of the game, there are still a couple of minor issues - one is that shadow is incredibly weak. Get spotted, and it's more or less game over. Not really a major thing though - if you get spotted, it's your fault - not the game's, so if you die it means you did something wrong. The other oddity I encountered is that while playing as shadow, enemies are incredibly dumb. In more than one section, two enemies can be side by side, a few feet apart, and they won't bat an eyelid at the guy getting ravaged to death by the man-eating wolf a few feet away.
Playing as Jack is a bit less interesting, and is really just a generic brawler that throws in a few (admittedly good) shooter features, such as precision aiming and cover mechanics. It's pretty much by the book and exactly as you'd expect - triangle and circle to fight and square to grab an enemy and unleash the pain. You can also counter enemies if you manage to catch them at the right time, and you can enter 'focus mode', which will slow down time to help you out with this, but in reality the window for counters is quite large, so I really don't know why they bothered including this mode at all - perhaps the developers didn't feel that the game was quite generic enough yet. Bonuses in the form of particularly violent finishers are awarded if you manage to keep a combo going for long enough, and you can use enemies as human shields if the need arises.
As the game goes on, enemies become more frequent and harder to kill, as you'd expect. You'll encounter expert melee guys who are very difficult to kill with guns, and huge tank type characters with rocket launchers who can only be killed in a certain way. All good fun, but again, more or less as you'd expect. Gunplay is handled surprisingly well for what's essentially a brawler with shooter mechanics tacked on - there are a variety of guns including the usual pistols, machine guns and shotguns, and each is handled well - you can zoom in slightly and get more precise shots off with any weapon, and the game also implements a Gears-esque cover system which helps keep the game away from being a pure brawler.
Graphics are really just OK - nothing to really get excited about but at the same time they're far from terrible. Much like the rest of the game, it's all middle of the road. And to be fair, that's what really sums this game up. It's far from being a bad experience - indeed, I really had a fun time playing it, but at the end of the day it's quite forgettable. Recommended if you're inbetween AAA titles, if you can grab it cheap or as a rental.