Dead to Rights impressions and media

Check out new media from and impressions of Namco's upcoming Xbox action game.

We've gotten our hands on the E3 build of Dead to Rights and taken footage illustrating the various types of gameplay you'll find in the game. The demo offers three sections to check out: a tutorial, a nightclub, and a cemetery. Each area offers a sampling of what to expect in the actual game.

The tutorial also serves as the game's interactive opening sequence. You'll be familiarized with the various aspects of control via onscreen prompts as you guide main character Jack Slate through a construction site. While most of the moves you'll learn, such as targeting and shooting, are pretty standard in 3D action games these days, DTR serves up some stylish additions to the moves you'd expect to find in the genre. The ability to disarm opponents, which rewards you with not only a shiny new weapon but also a slick little cutscene, is extremely cool. As you make your way through the game, you'll actually unlock more ways to grab a weapon and take out an enemy, which you'll be able to perform on the fly by inputting button combos during the move. The appeal of disarming is matched only by grabbing enemies and using them as a human shield in the middle of a firefight.

Besides learning Jack's array of moves, you'll also be taught how to use his K-9 partner, Shadow. Jack's four-legged sidekick can be selected and used to attack enemies if his yellow stamina meter is full or at key points in the game, when you'll have to control him exclusively. In addition, you'll be introduced to some of the minigames that will crop up during the game and add a bit of variety to your experience. The tutorial level introduces you to picking locks, which is done in a slot-machine-style game that has you pressing the X button to stop a row of spinning tumbles in a certain area.

The nightclub level opens up with one of the more "interesting" minigames. As mentioned in our 2865671earlier look at the game , you'll be controlling a stripper with a heart of gold, who knows how to work a pole. Once you make it past that sequence, you'll become acquainted with the game's robust combat engine. Control is tight and responsive, with a nice assortment of combos to discover. The most appealing aspect of hand-to-hand combat is how easily you can switch between it and using weapons.

The cemetery level served to test the skills you learned in the other two areas. Essentially an exercise in survival, the level has you facing off against a vicious assortment of gun-toting clowns and forces you to use everyone one of Jack and Shadow's tricks to make it through.

While the demo should give you a good understanding of what to expect from the game, the full version of Dead to Rights will obviously offer more. In addition to the lock-picking minigames, the game will offer arm wrestling, weightlifting, speed bag punching, and bomb disarming among others. In terms of gameplay, you'll find sequences in which you'll be chasing after a car in first-person mode, which will let you use an onscreen cursor to fire at your target, à la Time Crisis. You'll also find sniper sequences, as well as segments, in which you must escort a character to safety.

Look for more about Dead to Rights in the coming weeks.

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