Dead to Rights
Wouldn't it be useful if there really was such a thing as bullet time? There are surely innumerable situations where such an ability would come in handy. Exams would certainly be less stressful if two hours became eight. Sports would be mastered with consummate ease. Games like Ikaruga could be completed by mere mortals (indeed, if memory serves there is a slow-motion option in the game). And all that is well and good, but lets face it, the real reason the world's physicists should strive to create real bullet time is so that people like us can kick some real ass. Think about the possibilities. The local bouncers not letting you in on account of your supposedly inadequate footwear? Simple, give him and his mates a bit of the old matrix one-two, and you're doing the slow-mo shimmy in the door in no time. The local 'yoof' giving you jip? Easy, my friends. A couple of flips and some chop-sockey later, and they're off to bother some old age pensioners instead. It's easy to see, therefore, why the world of gaming has taken a keen interest in all things bullet time. The latest to follow this trend are Namco with Dead to Rights.
Dead to Rights is a bit of a cocktail of a game. It has a generous helping of Max Payne style gunplay, some Matrix-esque melee combat, a slew of mini games and even a dash of sniping. None of the parts ever manage to quite equal the best of the games they obviously seek to emulate, but altogether the mix is quite pleasing nonetheless.
The main game play component is the gun combat, and fortunately this is also the most well designed and enjoyable section of the game. The game involves running around the usual gamut of locales as disgraced cop Jack Slate (uber-cliché), dishing out some good old-fashioned what for to a veritable army of gun-toting goons. Combat is simple to control and although not incredibly deep, does certainly entertain all the way to the end. Jack targets his enemies using the right trigger, causing a target reticule to appear over the nearest enemy. A red reticule means the enemy is in perfect range, yellow means he's a little too far away for a clean hit, and green means he's out of sight or range. Blue indicates a dead target. The player cycles through the many potential targets by releasing and pressing the right trigger.
Once a favoured target has been acquired, Slate has a number of ways to dispatch his enemies. There is a large variety of suitably ostentatious weaponry, and using a slow motion leap Slate can emulate any number of Woo-style heroes and take out multiple targets in one pass. Slate can also take enemies hostage for use as a shield, and this becomes a vital tactic later in the game as the number and deadliness of opponents increases dramatically. Hostages are cynically executed when no longer required.