Ride to Hell: Retribution PS3 review – Biker botch-job was born to be reviled
Very clever, Eutechnyx. You had me going for a while, but now I understand that your vehicular action game/cover shooter Ride to Hell: Retribution is in fact a masterwork. Never has a game held up a mirror so bravely to the gamer, subverted all the norms and values of the medium, and posed the question: “You guys like tits and stuff, right?”
Ride to Hell: Retribution – Sleazy Rider
Of course we do. Heck, seeing girls do sex in games is the highlight of our basement-dwelling existence. So when our hero the troubled Vietnam vet Jake comes across a couple in a motel parking lot, punches the man to death for no reason and then has lolloping, dead-eyed, wordless, fully clothed sex with the woman in the very next instant, we’re all clasping our hairy palms together in delight.
And how about that intro sequence. The clever deconstruction of the traditional videogame opening that eschews all exposition for something bolder, more nonsensical. Opener: Jake rides a completely silent motorbike down a road. Next shot: you’re firing a turret at men, for some reason. Before you can begin to make sense of this set-piece, it abruptly ends. Third shot: Jake and his silent motorbike. Paperboy gives you more context than this. It really… it really makes you think.
And… scene. I’ve turned to sarcasm as a defense mechanism to combat the utterly harrowing ordeal of having played this game, but waspy swipes just aren’t going to cut it. I can’t be clearer about this: Ride to Hell: Retribution is one of the worst creative endeavours you’ll ever witness, remarkable only for the multitude of incredible anecdotes you’ll take from a single play session.
For example: a man’s entire beard popped in during a cut-scene. I failed one mission in which I was driven along in a sidecar multiple times because Uncle Mack simply chose to stop driving and we were both shot to death. A tree fell in front of me in a cut-scene, then the viewpoint changed to top-down and sent me blindly into the tree, where I died. It takes fifty kicks to kill a man. Fifty. Several times I’ve found enemies who have no interest in fighting, so instead stand still and hope you don’t start kicking. Crucial sound effects are missing, as is any narrative cohesion or logical pacing.
I’d recommend it on the basis of the completely unintentional hilarity it generates on a minute-by-minute basis, if it wasn’t so obnoxiously misogynistic. No female in the game escapes the indignity of what passes for sex in Ride to Hell’s spasmodically-animated world – the rare examples who aren’t prostitutes might just as well be for all their chilling passivity in the face of Jake and co’s Neanderthal impulses.
Thus, it even messes up a shot at so-bad-its-good status, and should be avoided like a racist with typhoid. Riding to actual Hell over 1000 miles of broken glass using your own scrotum as a toboggan would be more enjoyable.