Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


Ride to Hell: Retribution Review

  • First Released Jun 24, 2013
  • Reviewed Jul 11, 2013
  • PC
Aaron Sampson on Google+

Ride to Hell: Retribution is a hideous, slapped-together action game saturated with poor, nonsensical design choices.

Much like with terrible movies and songs, games that are nigh unplayable are something of a collective joke shared by millions. Unfortunately, Ride to Hell: Retribution is unapologetically, aggressively horrid. Set in the late 1960s and ostensibly built around the exploration of post-traumatic stress disorder that followed more than a few soldiers back home after the Vietnam War, Ride to Hell initially seems like a fresh take on video game warfare. That initial optimism quickly wears off however, as the complete disregard for anything even remotely passing as fun or functional gameplay becomes apparent.

Biker gangs fight near heavy construction equipment. Who knew?
Biker gangs fight near heavy construction equipment. Who knew?

The protagonist of this hellish torture software is Jake Conway, an emotionally scarred Vietnam veteran looking to make a nice, calm life for himself following his return stateside. Shortly afterwards, Jake's younger brother is killed by a biker gang, at which point Ride to Hell becomes an excruciatingly cliched tale of revenge. Every attempt at maturity devolves into shoddy melodrama. By the tale's end, provided that you haven't attempted an auto-lobotomy, you'll have been drenched in the game's pathetic, out-of-touch approach to sex, violence, and masculinity. Even if Ride to Hell could pass as a broken and buggy parody of the patently offensive, none of the characters seem to be in on the joke. Tragedy is greeted with no more subtly than a prolonged, agonizing "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" and sexuality is given the same level of reverence as a pornographic film. In the few instances Ride to Hell begins to approach something of even tangential relevance, poorly written, self-referential humor kills the mood.

Worse yet, every mind-numbingly awful innuendo and facsimile of human emotion is further injured by some of the most horrific voice acting imaginable. Video games are not often exceptionally voiced, but it's probably been the better part of a decade since something this ear-bleedingly bad has been released. Most of the characters sound like they were recorded in their bedrooms, moments after being woken up from a good week or two of binge drinking. The actors cannot cobble together anything like tangible human emotion.

At least some of these crimes against conscious thought might find forgiveness if Ride to Hell weren't such a technical disaster. Crashes, graphical bugs, disappearing audio, and many more issues are shockingly frequent. In some instances, enemies will appear and then die for no apparent reason. Timed missions sometimes randomly end 30 seconds or more early, and your survival seems randomly determined. When playing Ride to Hell, you exist at the whim of some of the buggiest software ever released.

The screen's gone black and white. That's how you know things are serious.
The screen's gone black and white. That's how you know things are serious.

Going beyond pure technical problems, Ride to Hell actively hates you and your sanity. Most of the controls are woefully positioned with almost no regard for what would actually make sense. Instead of keeping with WASD for movement, and using the keys closest to them to keep things easy for the player, the two most important keys for large chunks of the game bounce between E, R and the mouse buttons. It's disorienting, and you cannot remap the keys, so the controls are never practical. Furthermore, some keys are bound to functions that aren't ever labeled, so you're left to flounder until you figure out what the game expects of you.

When you strip away all of the profoundly rotten layers of this particular onion, you discover action that is merely shallow during the rare moments that it isn't fundamentally broken. Within the first few minutes, you're introduced to all of the major elements of play. Shootouts, fistfights and chopper duels constitute the lion's share of Ride to Hell, and each of them is worse than the last.

For the most part, gunplay is actually functional, in the sense that the targeting reticle moves when you attempt to move the joystick or mouse, and people generally die when you click on them. Even so, the reticle has an agonizing amount of lag that will cause even seasoned shooter veterans to miss easy shots. Thankfully, your foes have just as much trouble hitting you, provided they choose to do anything at all.

Melee combat is based on the shallowest quick-time events imaginable. There's no system for combos, no real learning curve, nothing allowing you to learn and improve your play over the course of the game--just button-mashing. Fighting rival biker gangs on motorcycles works pretty much the same way: a random key will flash on the screen and you're given a few fractions of a second to respond appropriately. With road combat, however, enemies rush in from nowhere and lock you into a battle before randomly flying off and exploding, often without you having to really do anything. They just ride up next to you and then die for no reason, and that's about it.

Pro tip: that symbol means 'press shift.'
Pro tip: that symbol means 'press shift.'

Outside of killing folks, there isn't much to do. There are a few hubs, and there's an open world that supports some degree of exploration, but Ride to Hell completely misses the point of having an explorable landscape. For such an interesting setting, the game is populated with virtually nothing of interest. There's a shop where you can buy more weapons, and there are a few characters to talk to, but more guns means more awful combat, and more dialogue means more tragic storytelling and unbearable voice acting.

Ride to Hell is painfully insubstantial. Its mechanics are mostly broken and have no depth, there's no sense of progression, and there are no skills that can be learned and then applied to create a feeling of accomplishment or a better understanding of the game. That people are being asked to spend time and money on this garbage shows a profound lack of respect for consumers. All one can do is marvel at the latest entry to the list of candidates for "Worst Game of All Time."

Back To Top
The Good
The Bad
Some of the worst voice acting imaginable
Awful writing
Controls only occasionally function properly
Almost every aspect of the game is broken in some fashion
Poorly veiled attempt to pass off juvenile melodrama as a mature story
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

327 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for MetalGearGas

I am riding to hell

Avatar image for lilflipp

Lol at the people who got stuck reviewing this game.

Avatar image for firedrakes

what really bad. is thor the god of thunder is a better game then this.....

Avatar image for linuvinteler

It doesn't even deserve a 1/10

Avatar image for StickFigures720

I wonder if the developers made this game bad on purpose.

Avatar image for laforgus

@StickFigures720 You know what?.. i was thinking the same thing!

Avatar image for Re-Skull

Damn ! this game is aweful .. mostly because of it's sex and violent ... if these things was cleared off of the game it was a good game for children under 13 !!!

Avatar image for Ripper_TV

Who's that GAMESPOT STAFF guy? You scared, Gamespot?

Avatar image for ChaosAngelZero

And STILL, this seems like a better and more fun game than fucking Papers, Please.

Avatar image for lilflipp

@ChaosAngelZero Papers, Please was good.

Avatar image for Inlex

Zero Punctuation led you here, didn't it...?

Avatar image for Zekethompson22

@Zaydin-1990 @Zekethompson22 Haha that that is to funny.

Avatar image for Dark_Rage

Last screenshot : 'And the biker thus lost his face to the oil tanker'.

Avatar image for foojam

New layout of gamespot sucks big time.

Avatar image for reddead123

One of the defining games of our generation! once i bought this i seriously havent been able to turn it off!

Avatar image for Fantasy_Dragon

You're winner!

Avatar image for Zekethompson22

This is the lowest score I have seen on this website.

Avatar image for Zaydin-1990

@Zekethompson22 Only other game I've seen on Gamespot this low was Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. As far as I'm aware, the only games to score 1.0s on Gamespot are Big Rigs, and now, ten years later, Ride to Hell.

Avatar image for rgcool

Must have watched Angry Joe's review first

Avatar image for RecurringEspion

Oh my god my balls just exploded at the sight of those graphics and my eyes fell out due to the sight of the mechanics and my heart gave out due to the well written story line!

Avatar image for 2POWERFUL


Nah, someone who just likes the game regardless, for casual fun.

A post like that makes me assume, that you are a Sony Fanboy, or something.

Avatar image for DoomBFG86

You should see the zero punctuation review for it.

Avatar image for DoomBFG86

@heguain We already have a shity edition

Avatar image for DoomBFG86

I need this game. Beautiful masterpiece. A true work of art.

Avatar image for BillyWigham

So glad to see Peter Johnson continuing his abysmal track record for destroying games by focusing on his wannabe film maker obsession.

Avatar image for Earthbound_X

It's no where close to the worst game of all time, but it is very bad.

Avatar image for LegendKen

Look at the Game Emblems, it is a full collection.

Avatar image for DoomBFG86

@LegendKen The 'slide show' frame rate one isn't there...

Avatar image for vadagar1

screw witcher 3 this game is the future :D

Avatar image for DrKill09

Not as bad as Aliens Colonial Marines.

I at least got SOME enjoyment out of it.

Avatar image for thorn3000

whaaat? user score only 3.1? come on people vote it up! every game which has the most abyssal of critic rating always has one of highest user rating...look at garbage truck simulator, that was a game!....well, I honestly now want to try the game

Avatar image for GaudyMarrko

i havn't seen a GS review this bad in ages and that makes me want to play the game just so I can establish what the bottom of the barrel actually looks like and give myself some perspective so i'll be able to enjoy other games that sucked half as much a lot more.

Avatar image for mastermetal777

@GaudyMarrko Only one other game has gotten a score of 1/10 from GameSpot, and that was Big Rigs Racing, a game that was so broken, you couldn't even lose.

Avatar image for manocanada

I tried to buy this game on XBL and it kept popping up warnings like "do you really want to buy this?", "why don't you spend $30 on a charity instead", and " please just go outside and do anything but play this game".

I am confused? Any of you guys getting these warnings?

Avatar image for GaudyMarrko


actually deep silver dropped the project back in 2009 and Eutechnyx was mostly to blame for trying to make it without them assuming wikipiedia isn't lying to me

Avatar image for bielzabob

Random Encounter!!

Avatar image for toshineon

Now I want to try this.

Avatar image for Dirty_Hairy

I'm playing it and, even though it sucks ass, it's not bad enough to deserve a 1.0

This is yet another score by gamespot to attract attention and get people talking.

Avatar image for GaudyMarrko

@Dirty_Hairy EMG gave it a score of 0.5 out of 10 so I wouldn't say that

Avatar image for Pirate700

@Dirty_Hairy It's averaging a 19 (or 1.9) so I don't think it's fair to make that claim.

Avatar image for Hurvl

What, no mock 10/10 reviews? You disappoint me (but I also secretly applaud this honesty).

Avatar image for deactivated-5ca532262d747

game looks fun tho

Avatar image for deactivated-5ca532262d747

lmao punching while theres a gun in his hands

Avatar image for 5529319

As bad as this game sounds and looks, this one does not deserve to be put together with Big Rigs.1.5. I'm going to torrent this game or something, my interest is piqued.

Avatar image for firedrakes

Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing has been tied for worst game

Avatar image for thorn3000

@firedrakes nope, Big Rigs has 8 from 100 on metacritic, making it the lowest rated game of all time, in fact the 8 comes from the fact that certain critics scored it 10 since they do not have a zero rating...if metacritic would take into consideration the 1 (i.e. 10) rating as the lowest achievable (a virtual 0) the game would actually have 0 from 100 as a rating, so the lowest you can get as in fact none of the reviewing websites have found even 1 redeemable quality on the game - see ....this game in comparison is way above it, averaging somewhere between 10 and 20.....then again big rigs was released in pre-alpha state

Avatar image for rivalry2013

game of the year anyone?

Avatar image for vadagar1

@rivalry2013 indeed

Ride to Hell: Retribution More Info

  • First Released Jun 24, 2013
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • Xbox 360
    Take on the role of the leader in a motorcycle gang, riding full throttle through the West Coast in Ride to Hell.
    Average Rating244 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Ride to Hell: Retribution
    Developed by:
    Eutechnyx, Deep Silver
    Published by:
    Deep Silver
    Adventure, Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language