When Ride to Hell: Retribution arrived I (stupidly) decided to take the review, why? Because I thought the initial trailer looked okay and despite some negative responses from people I follow on twitter I was hopeful that there must be some good somewhere in Ride to Hell: Retribution. Well, there isn’t, avoid this at all costs and woe betide anyone who spent money on what has to be the biggest pile of shit I have played on my 360! That’s right, I’d rather play Fighters Uncaged over this broken, poorly implemented mess of a game.
The hope of a Full Throttle/Road Rash substitute will remain unfilled, which is exactly what you will feel should you dare play RtH:R. Looking to cash in on the success of Sons of Anarchy, RtH:R from the outset will leave you with three simple letters – WTF! The opening sequence mashes together some events from the 37 story missions but it serves no real purpose. It’s not like this sequence highlights the awesome gameplay you’re about to experience, and two of these scenes don’t even happen in the game!
I’d like to tell you that this random juxtaposition of events gets better or at least makes some sense, it doesn’t. The game continually interrupts you with pointless cutscenes or long load screens. One scene had me escaping on my bike, after a load screen I found myself suddenly staring down the wrong end of a gun barrel. It’s in this moment the game attempts to tell its story. Your brother is then killed by a gang of bikers because of an old kill order on your family, it’s so boring I feel depressed even attempting to describe it. It’s forgettable, poorly told and not worth the agony of sitting through numerous cutscenes with poor voice acting that hold little to no emotion in the events unfolding on-screen, best skip them if you ask me!
The simplest parts of the game that should have been fun are completely devoid of any depth or enjoyment – Road Rash style bike fights? Forget it. Well-controlled bike physics? No chance. Great gunplay? You’d be lucky. I always like to find some good in any game and I’ve found enjoyment from most of the games I’ve played, after all sometimes all you need from a game is some mindless fun. Well, RTH:R fits the mindless part perfectly but fun? Erm…no.
Graphically RtH:H is ugly, last gen ugly, not even the cutscenes redeem the awful ape like characters. What’s worse is the sound effects (or lack of!). In one scene, as I struggled with a bad biker dude for his gun, the thuds and scrapes as we fought were completely absent, a ninja may as well have snuck in and stole the shotgun from his hands. This game will certainly win some awards, but not any good ones, the only thing I enjoyed was the soundtrack and to be honest that can grate on you at times with its constant loop or monotonous guitar thrashing.
Amongst the terribly linear shoot ‘em up galleries of bullet sponging thugs, there is naff riding sections shoved in for good measure. Not only are these sections boring, they’re predominantly on a linear road with little to do after you’ve nabbed your riding achievements for wheelie, power slide and jumping. Hit or clip a car/obstacle and it’s an instant restart back down the road. Soulless, dull and utterly pointless. There are sections where you must shoot or punch your way past enemies, it sounds fun but it’s one of the worst mechanics in the game, particularly a scene which sees you ride shotgun with a LMG. Serving as a boss battle, this guy soaks up bullets like it’s going out of fashion. To make matters worse, the old duffer who is in control of your bike can’t keep the dam thing steady. You will wrestle with the RS as you try in vain to get enough bullets into this guy you’re chasing and it’s this point that many will walk away from RtH:R in disgust.
Overall the gunplay in both the riding and on foot sections is a chore, enemies are bullet sponges with head shots the only way to go, but it’s quite hard to get your shot lined up, even the aiming of a gun hasn’t been developed properly, the aiming reticule feels twitchy instead of smooth.
Next up on my shit list is the hand-to-hand combat, it’s so bland and basic that it too feels lifeless and dull. The character animations float across the game environments and look robotic. QTE sequences are thrown in and wherever possible I opted for my gun instead of attempting to fight the numerous enemies coming at me with wrenches, bats and all manner of lame melee weapon.
Broken checkpoints, unclear objectives, doors that won’t open, Ride to Hell has it all! It’s boring, frustrating and altogether an embarrassment to video games. Enemies run into walls or get stuck in doorways. I’ve never seen a game riddled with so many broken mechanics and pathetic gameplay. Funnily enough the cover of Ride to Hell: Retribution features a 1%. Was this an early review? Maybe Eutechnyx were preempting that RtH:R would review poorly? Either way I’m going to oblige and give them what they want…