The disappointing return of Jack Slate.
The game abandons all premise for story, while Dead to Rights 1 was a cheesy action-cop movie trope-fest, this has about 6 different cut-scenes with a poor excuse of a story thread tying them all together. I can't complain, this game went straight to business: Shooting down waves after waves after waves of thugs. It's a bit more mindless too, Shadow, Jack's canine partner, is but a a tool, and enemy bosses lack any sort of personality, you're in it for the arcade shooter action, not to be distracted with anything else.
As for the shooting, it's more restrictive this time around. You still rely on R1 to auto-target your enemies, you can still dive and dive in slow motion by using stamina, take cover behind objects, grab enemies as meat shields, instakill disarms and use Shadow to kill enemies, and now you can also duck too. But while everything returns... it's been nerfed. Shadow will either distract or kill enemies depending on how much Stamina you've got left, so no stamina = no Shadow. Instakill disarms now have a cooldown, although landing one fills your stamina completely, and using meatshields is tied to the very same stamina gauge as Shadow and slow-mo dives. And Shadow is almost useless unless you use him to cheese the game, he no longer inititates a cut-scene when he attacks, so why use him if he takes longer to get to an enemy and maul him than simply shooting at said enemy?
Luckily the AI is relatively stupid, once they see you they will freeze in place waiting for you to come to them. They might sometimes throw grenades, but they'll shout at you, so it's easy to dodge. Point is, if you're low on health, which you will be frequently, you can just sit idly by behind a wall, waiting for your Stamina to recharge and send Shadow over and over again, turning this arcade shooter into a waiting game. And it's not like I wanted to, but the game is so cheap that it turned into a viable strategy when I was short on health, since I didn't want to replay the entire segment again or go through the exceedingly long loading screens again either.
At least no more infinite enemies or stupid mini-games, right? Right??? Sigh, Dead to Rights II is a disappointing follow up to a great game and a mediocre game on its own right. To be fair to the game, when it's at its best, it's a rather fun arcade shooter, but those moments are rare and far in-between. It's hard to understand what the developers where going for with this game, as most changes feel so misguided or poor... The best way to experience this game is, probably, by not playing the first game first, that way you'll be able to enjoy this game the most... probably.
6.0 out of 10