If Namco's upcoming action game, Dead to Rights, seems like a story that has been plucked straight from an action movie, it's because it has been. In it, you play as Jack Slate, a fugitive cop who's been framed for murder. After his gutsy escape from the Iron Point Penitentiary, Jack must delve into the twisted underbelly of Granite City to exact revenge on those who set him up--all in his quest to avoid the confines of the slammer. You should expect nothing else from a game whose scenario was written by a Hollywood scriptwriter.
Dead to Rights is a third-person action-adventure game, with an emphasis on "action." The game will focus on both hand-to-hand combat and gunplay, and it will allow you access to a variety of moves. In the hand-to-hand category, you, as Jack, will be able to punch, kick, and slam your foes, and you'll be fully able to block their attacks. When armed with a gun, though, you'll be able to fire at specific parts of your opponents' bodies, effectively letting you cripple them instead of slaying them outright. You'll also be able to disarm certain foes, by grappling them, to subsequently use their own weapons against them. Nonlethal weapons will also be littered throughout the scenes, which will let you neutralize characters that you don't necessarily want dead (cops or enemies key to the story, for instance).
The game's intelligent autotargeting feature will supposedly make all this possible. Namco states that the system will let you shoot with pinpoint accuracy, while walking, running, or performing all manner of acrobatics: dives, tumbles, and flips. The game will also, at times, shift into slow-motion sequences, which will serve to let you accurately perform all these seemingly complex actions. Exactly how fun tumbling around and shooting people in slow motion will prove to be is yet to be determined. The system sounds enticingly deep, however, and we're anxious to see it in action.
We've seen a few stills of the game, and the art direction seems to be right on. Granite City is a dank, gritty place--perfectly suited for the type of hard-boiled feel Namco is hoping to achieve. Jack Slate is your typical solemn, harsh action hero--taut, unshaven, and dark-haired. And he wears a leather jacket. The few in-game shots that have been released depict a detailed real-time hangar environment, complete with a minijet. The poly counts seem modest, but the models look well formed, and, according to Namco, animation is the area in which it will shine.
Dead to Rights seems ready to provide another take on the third-person action shooter already well populated by games like Syphon Filter and the upcoming C-12. We're anxiously awaiting more on the game, which will undoubtedly make an earnest appearance at this year's E3 expo. Keep your eyes open for info, as May comes around.