If there's one thing that stirs up people when it comes to videogames its violence. People get all up in arms over videogame violence much more than over say film violence despite the fact that it considerably less realistic, the common argument of these people is that you as the player are actively involved in the violence with a game whereas with a film you are merely an observer meaning that violent games are a bad influence on peoples behaviour.
Meanwhile back in the real world where people are able to distinguish between fiction and reality there isn't much of a problem unless the people are nuts to begin with, getting negatively affected by the violence in a videogame is also not much of an issue if said violence is overdone and repetitive to the point of being boring, introducing Dead to Rights II.
In Dead to Rights II you play Jack Slate, a city cop who goes on the case after a high ranking judge and friend of the Slate family is kidnapped and held hostage by a group of nondescript but heavily armed and numerous assailants, Mr Slate is also heavily armed and so becomes the traditional one man army figure common to this sort of game in his attempt to free the judge, well a one man and his dog army to be fair as the gimmick in this game is that you can summon your faithful pet Shadow into the fray to perform his doggy duties of mauling the opposition and fetching firearms and ammunition for you in the same way that other dogs collect sticks and rubber balls.
The levels in which this all takes place are all pretty standard, you have corridor after room after corridor packed with gun toting enemies unfazed by the fact that hundreds of their colleagues have been dispatched by a single man and will come running at you anyway.
To help you to deal with the waves of enemies you may perform the now standard 3rd person shooter repertoire of moves including the 'back against a wall and peek' manoeuvre and the ever popular 'duck behind stuff and pop up all guns' classic room clearing trick.
This is meant to be a review rather than a walkthrough but I can tell you that the two procedures outlined above will get you through pretty much any situation you'll encounter, for more trickier sections you may use the Max Pay - err I mean 'diving around in slow motion' move which adheres to the unwritten videogame and movie law that all firearms become devastatingly powerful and accurate when wielded by someone who is moving in slow motion, plus this looks really good and no matter how many games feature it players are never going to tire of diving around in slow motion whilst engaged in gun combat, it simply rules.
The basics of playing the game can be learned from the games tutorial mode, unfortunately you don't get to play the tutorials but only watch videos of the game being played while scrolling text explains what is being shown to you, still you get the idea of whats to be done and how to do it, once you have played through the first stage you should have gotten used to the controls anyway.
Jack can be made to climb or roll over low obstacles or sneak around using the environment as cover as mentioned, the enemy can also be grabbed and used as bullet shields for a short while. Sometimes you will get hindered by an obstacle that looks like you should be able to jump or roll over and you can't, you will also find that not every wall can be backed against.
When going on the attack you use the R1 trigger to autoaim at the nearest enemy, this will surround the enemy with a colored crosshair that changes color depending on how accurate the shots fired will be, the accuracy of your shots depends obviously on the gun you are wielding and how far away the target is.
If you are close enough to an enemy you can disarm them, these disarms are fun as they get excessively violent sometimes and quite varied.
These sections don't play as well as the main gun-toting parts and its obvious that they are there just to break up the repetitive gamplay.
The graphics aren't the best seen on PS2 or even in this genre, sometimes I noticed the wall textures would jump a bit if the camera got at an awkward angle too. The rooms and corridors are decked out with many furnishings that can be used as cover, sometimes the scenery is destructible too.
The usual bars and meters are onscreen displaying your health, armor, adrenaline and also showing which weapon you have equipped and how much ammunition for that weapon.
A nice technical touch is that the game can be played in 16:9 widescreen ratio as well as the standard 4:3 and features surround sound output.
Dead to Rights II starts out as a good mindless shooter, unfortunately it never really gets any more complex or different with only the hand to hand combat parts breaking up the game a bit. Fans of the 3rd person blaster genre may enjoy this but with that genre already packed out with quality titles like The Punisher players may want to rent this one first before choosing to buy.