Ride to Hell: Retribution
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|Ride to Hell: Retribution|
The game was originally announced in 2008 and supposed to be released in June 2009 as a Grand Theft Auto-styled open-world game set during the late 1960s, but it was cancelled in the same year due to the shut down of the development studio Deep Silver Vienna, until it was re-announced in 2013. The rights for the brand still belonged to Eutechnyx, and they restarted development into a different game, which was announced half a decade later, as a linear budget game, which was supposed to receive two spin-offs, including Ride to Hell: Route 666 and Ride to Hell: Beatdown, but all of them were cancelled due to its overwhelmingly negative reception.
The game takes place in 1969. The main character is Jake Conway, a Vietnam War veteran out to avenge the death of his brother at the hands of a gang known as the Devil's Hand.
Why It Will "Fly Off To The Right And EXPLODE!"
- Poor first impression: The game opens with Jake using a turret, driving his motorcycle, and getting into a QTE fist fight. The whole sequence jumps back and forth, has no set-up and shows a cutscene (Jake kills Colt, see WIWFOTTRAE #17) that was spoiled later in the game.
- Numerous bugs and glitches (i.e. Jake will occasionally walk upside down). They become worse in vehicle sections where parts of the scenery disappear, your bike appearing outside barriers, suddenly warping forward and falling through the road into limbo.
- The story itself is extremely poor and basic. It basically boils down to "kill the next gang member". And every single time, the gang member flees to 2 or 3 new hideouts to shamelessly pad out the game.
- Because of the drawn out mission structure, the game is roughly 12 hours long for a single playthrough on "Badass Biker" difficulty, twice as long as your average crappy game.
- The main characters are all unlikable and completely moronic. For example, Mikey spent hours wearing the very clearly labeled "Retribution" jacket and Mack never told him to take it off despite being fully aware that the Devil's Hand gang controlled the area.
- Speaking of the characters, many of them are generic and unlikable, being nothing more than just stereotypes such as the women (who are either damsels in distress or in some cases strippers), Carlos the hippie (who just so happens to be a drug dealer) and the biker gang characters themselves (including Jake, the game's protagonist).
- Outdated graphics, despite running on Unreal Engine 3, with ugly depth of field effect and oversaturated colors (though you can disable them by editing the config file), with some horrendous texture pop-in that make the game look even worse. Keep in mind, this game was supposed to released in 2009.
- Interestingly enough, DX discovered that by going through the game's indie files, he was able to drastically change how the game looks just by adjusting a couple things like removing oversaturated colors, obnoxious bloom, re-adjusting the FOV, and even changing the bike’s handling, making it a lot smoother to drive. The changes are so drastic that it made the game look like it actually might have come out in 2013.
- Lazy and puppet-like character animations. No character has any real face animation, with one of the worst facial animations in the gaming history.
- Jake's actions in the game make him a borderline criminal.
- The voice acting and dialogue are extremely poor; to quote Angry Joe, "It's as if the lines were recorded in the bathroom of the studio by unpaid interns!" And DX, "the voice acting was recorded via tin-can walkie-talkies." The most infamous line is spoken by Carlos: "Oh sooky sooky, oh wow".
- The PC version itself was simply a console port of the 360 version, making the PC version one of the worst PC ports of all time. As a result, there were no video settings to change the game's resolution (thankfully, it can be set in the game's config file) and graphics settings to get rid of the game's horrible texture pop-ups. Also, the horrible control scheme (which involves pressing F1-12 to scroll through the menu, among other things) for the PC port can't be re-mapped.
- Poor and unfinished sound design and audio mixing; many cutscenes are dead silent other than the characters' voices and inconsistent sound effects. The conversation between Jake and Mikey on a bike was a prime example of this.
- Awkward and disjointed cutscenes. For example, when Colt saw Mikey wearing the vest the game jumps to Jake and Mikey being pursued by the Devil's Hand bikers. After the pursuit section, it jumps to them got cornered by the bikers without any transition.
- The game randomly freezes/crashes.
- Misogynistic tone - Women in the game exist only to be rescued and to reward Jake with sex in cutscenes immediately after with no transition. These cutscenes are infamous for their hilariously poor animation (the character models clip through each other and look emotionless (see WIWFOTTRAE #4)) as well as the fact that they remain fully-clothed throughout instead of being nude while dry humping each other.
- The game is also insulting to bikers as they are portrayed as idiots and rapists who kill people because they don't like them.
- Many of the enemies you kill have nothing to do with the Devil's Hand (i.e. cops, truckers).
- There are 37 missions which are criticized for being boring and repetitive, and the game does such a poor job at telling you objectives. In the mission where Colt is the level's boss, the screen shows the text "all enemies are dead" while Colt is firing from a machine gun turret.
- Linear environments. The game was originally supposed to be open world, but due to the terrible development they had to make do with what they had and instead made every driving section "go from point A to point B". There are invisible walls that write "Wrong way, turn back now" and prevent you from exploring areas beyond when moving around outdoors, possibly due to the game being hugely rushed.
- Sloppy driving physics. Your bike steers like it's riding on ice, you can drift almost indefinitely and on game pads, the speed boost is mapped to the left thumb stick by pushing it forward. Your bike also stops still when hitting traffic at full speed.
- Extremely poor enemy A.I.- Enemies don't take cover (when they do, they still leave their heads poking out for an easy headshot) and melee enemies will opt to just bumrush you in shooting sections as well as get stuck on walls and shoot in random directions. Sometimes they ignore you completely.
- Enemies are bullet sponges that take forever to kill unless you headshot them. To make matters worse some enemies wear hockey masks that make them immune to headshots because plastic masks are somehow bulletproof.
- Ear-bleedingly awful and repetitive soundtrack (with the exception of Rival Sons' Pressure and Time that plays in the intro and main menu).
- Melee combat is so basic and broken that you can easily exploit by spamming the block-breaking kick, and occasionally Jake goes into rage mode where it becomes QTE fistfights. You can actually beat Meathook with this method.
- For some reason enemies can block sharp melee weapon attacks, making the combat even more unrealistic and frustrating.
- The camera is poorly positioned to where Jake is; he will always be at the left of the screen.
- Shooting is also broken due to the stiff aiming and jerky camera, plus enemies don't react to being shot at all unless you shoot them in the head, which is an instant kill and makes the game go into bullet-time whenever you get a headshot. Oh, and blind-firing is also broken to the point of being unusable since it has no accuracy at all.
- This gets much worse in the PC version, even if you set the sensibility to the lowest value possible; the aiming will still feel stiff and slippery, and for some reason the aiming will get even more slippery when you're aiming at an enemy, as if the game doesn't want you to shoot accurately.
- The only challenge in the driving sections is to not crash and you are not allowed to turn back, otherwise, the game forcefully restarts you at a checkpoint on road.
- It has some of the worst driving and shooting stages ever made. During these stages, Jake drives in slow motion and must shoot an enemy biker until he dies. Because of the game's rushed and buggy design, even if you kill them, they can still drive and not crash for a time while Jake is still in slow motion, dragging the game on further than it needs.
- Motorcycle combat is repetitive because every enemy does the same thing: drive up beside you, initiate a QTE, you kill them and shove them off the bike, causing the bike to fly off to the side and explode with the same animation and sound every time. These sections also have "Rage" attacks, but good luck if you ever get a prompt for one!
- Whenever you make a mistake three times in the bike sections, the bike careens off to the right and explodes for no reason instead of just showing Jake falling off the bike, probably because they had no time to make animations for it.
- Lazy and copy/pasted character models. The women in the game are particularly egregious, since they all reuse the same 3-4 models.
- Stupid and drawn-out level design. In one instance, Jake must deactivate an electric fence that he needs to climb over. To do this, he steals a truck after killing some innocent truckers, drives miles away to the power plant while killing cops, kills all the workers there, shoots the truck from a distance away and blows up the entire plant. All that... just to deactivate an electric fence.
- Speaking of that, in the aircraft graveyard section there are a lot of scrapped Boeing 727s and Lockheed L-1011s. At the time the game was set (1969), the first plane was brand new (It was introduced in 1964) and the second hadn't been invented yet, making it anachronical.
- Has a DLC expansion (named Cook's Mad Recipe) that is worse than the vanilla game:
- The DLC adds nothing to the game besides an almost useless sniper rifle with a horrible crosshair.
- The controls are completely inverted, causing the player to walk upside down.
- While there are things to collect like bike parts and paints, you can't unlock everything unless you play on "One Percenter" difficulty, which requires you to beat the game once beforehand to unlock. That means you have to suffer through this mess of a game twice if you want to unlock everything!
- If you try to open the achievements option in the PC version, it will show nothing and the controls will stop working, forcing you to close the game with the task manager. This is probably caused because the achievements option was originally intended to open the Steam game achievements.
- Towards the end of the game, there is an awful racing stage in which Jake must get first place to continue. Due to the broken and slippery driving controls, this section is extremely unreasonably difficult.
- Some enemies towards the end of the game throw dynamite at Jake. The blast radius of the dynamite is highlighted by a red circle, but it is actually much larger than the circle states. On top of that, when Jake is caught by the blast, he either becomes stunned for an extended period of time, allowing enemies to shoot him without the player being able to defend themselves, or he simply dies instantly, forcing the player to restart from a checkpoint.
- Terrible final boss fight in which the boss hurls insta-kill weapons like dynamite at Jake in a lazy attempt to make the game more challenging.
- On some loading screens, the game tells you that killing civilians will cause the player to attract the authorities, but the only civilians in the game are in dead end and these civilians are invincible. Shooting them does absolutely nothing, proving once again that the game was rushed.
- The title screen theme from Rival Sons is amazing.
- The cover of the game looks quite interesting, giving the impression of some good quality production (though unfortunately not in this case), especially by the standards of budget games. Although mostly smoke, fire, and motorbikes dominate, the same logo of the game pleases the eye as well as the drawn characters.
Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Xbox 360 version 15.00% and 19/100, the PC version 12.00% and 16/100 and the PlayStation 3 version of 10.00% and 13/100. it topped many #1 of worst games of 2013 lists and was called the newest candidate for one of the worst games of all time.
The treatment of women was raised in Phil Iwaniuk's review for Official PlayStation Magazine (UK), as well as criticizing the same gameplay and technical aspects as other reviewers, Iwaniuk called the game "obnoxiously misogynistic".
EGM said "Other games may have offered less content for more money or come up shorter in specific, individual areas, but I don’t think there’s ever been a game that does so many things so universally poorly" and scored it 0.5/10, with the only positive remarks being about the pause menu.
Dan Ryckert of Game Informer said, "With the exception of some Kinect and Wii games that flat-out don’t work, this is the worst video game I’ve played this console generation."
In the game's first review, Steve Hannley of Hardcore Gamer gave it a 1/5, calling it an "offensive abomination of a game."
Giant Bomb awarded it the Worst Game of 2013.
Similarly, ProJared listed this game as the 1st in his Top 10 Worst Games of 2013 list. In his review in 2016, he gave the game "fully clothed Barbie and Ken dolls dry humping" out of 10, stating that while there are games out there that have more bugs, and are less polished and less playable, this game has something that those games lack: being offensive. He concluded the review by saying that the game "is so bad, even the cops in it want out".
TheRetroReplay gave the game his "Liquid Shit" rating (or 2/10) criticizing the lame story, terrible voice acting, broken gameplay, unnecessary length, and said the game was "so misogynistic that it would make Duke Nukem blush", with the only thing keeping it from getting the "Bubsy 3D" rating is the fact that the game is playable in spite of all of its failings. However he also claimed to have fun laughing at how incompetent the game is.
Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Escapist Magazine's Zero Punctuation gave it the "Zero Punctuation Lifetime Achievement Award for Total Abhorrence" expressing that it was so poor in quality that he hardly considered it a game, although in his earlier review of the game he still recommended viewers to buy it, calling it the kind of "So Bad It's Good" that has to be experienced to be believed.
Angry Joe gave it a 1 out of 10, being the 3rd game to receive this rating after Sonic Free Riders and MindJack, stating that the game's sole function is to hurt your soul. He also listed this game as the #1 Worst Game of 2013.
DX featured it on his "Worst Games of the Decade" calling it "the most unfinished game ever shipped", then stating that the game is "a kid's idea of what a tough guy behaves like where they kill all the bad guys and get all the girls. Which is ironic because all the characters look like deformed action figures" and stated that "the voice acting is the worst voice acting I've ever heard". He even discovered that by going through the game's indie files that he was able to drastically change how the game looks just by adjusting a couple things like removing oversaturated colors, obnoxious bloom, re-adjusting the FOV, and changed how the bike handling works, stating that "it looks a whole hell of a lot better and actually looks like it might've come out in 2013 instead of 2008". Because of these findings he says, "it's difficult to have sympathy for the game even considering the hellish circumstances it was made under. Ride to Hell was never going to be good. But the omission of several basic features and the game's revolting presentation, paints a picture of total incompetence even beyond the lack of resources the game had".
- The "1%" on the game's title refers to the 1% patch worn by some outlaw motorcycle clubs, which itself is a reference to a comment made by the American Motorcyclist Association saying that 99% of all motorcyclists were law-abiding citizens.
- On September 14, 2014, Ride to Hell was delisted from Steam for good.
Review and Gameplay