Ride to Hell: Retribution
|Ride to Hell: Retribution|
|Distribution||Optical disc, download|
Ride to Hell: Retribution is an action-adventure game developed by Eutechnyx and published by Deep Silver. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. As of September 21, 2014, the game is no longer available on the Steam platform.
The game was highly panned by critics upon release, and is considered to be one of the worst video games ever made.
Ride to Hell: Retribution takes place in 1969, telling the story of Jake Conway, a Vietnam veteran and member of a family of bikers. Having come home to a changed country, Jake attempts to live a peaceful life with his uncle and brother. After the gang-related murder of his brother by the Devil's Hand, Jake swears vengeance.
The player controls Jake Conway from a third-person perspective. The game's levels generally begin with a motorcycle driving segment in which only forward movement is allowed and obstacles must be avoided by using ramps and powerslides. Impacts and collisions lead to either a checkpoint reset (the screen fades and the player is sent backwards to the last clear stretch of road) or death. Combat can also occur in these segments, consisting of quick-time event melee attacks, shooting from a sidecar while an AI companion drives, or getting close enough to allow an AI companion to shoot.
Main levels generally consist of a mixture of third-person, cover-based shooter and beat-'em-up gameplay. These levels are linear, usually guarded by several lower level enemies with a high ranking Devil's Hand member serving as the boss enemy at the end. The player can use a variety of guns and melee weapons, as well as throwing knives and dynamite. Unarmed combat actions include guard breaking, countering enemy attacks, context kills with environmental objects, and a quick-time event based instant takedowns. Weapons and ammunition can be scavenged from defeated enemies.
Between levels, the player can roam a small section of Dead End to sell drugs and buy weapons, moves, and motorcycle customization. Notably, despite a large amount of the city being modeled and detailed, any attempts to exit the small playable section results in a fade-reset similar to that of the driving segments. Also notable is that civilian NPCs are animated, but cannot be spoken to or killed, despite the game's warning against harming such NPCs.
It was originally conceived as an open-world game, allowing the driving of a large range of motorbikes and cars and various forms of combat (hand-to-hand and with guns, both on foot and on bike) through the deserts and towns of late-sixties California. Concept art was provided for the lead characters by Massive Black. A story was written, dialogue recorded and cut scenes completely motion-captured for this first incarnation of the game, and much of the vehicles, world and locations were created (at least to an early stage) over the several years this first incarnation was in development.
Ride to Hell: Retribution was originally announced in 2008 and due for release in 2009 according to an early trailer. However, various gaming websites such as IGN reported Ride to Hell as cancelled. The game was removed from Deep Silver's website. Development continued at Eutechnyx without the involvement of Deep Silver Vienna (which was closed down in early 2010) and the design was heavily revised, losing the open-world elements of the game and splitting it into several titles.
In February 2013 the game was classified R18+ by the Australian Classification Board signalling that the game may be headed for release. In March 2013, the name of the game was thought to have been changed to "Cook's Mad Recipe", as indicated by another ACB classification with the same file number and numerous other details as the previous classification  but it later emerged that this name was to be applied to downloadable content planned to be available for the game on or after launch.
On 4 April 2013 Ride to Hell resurfaced as three games sharing the same theme and branding: Ride to Hell: Retribution on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, a beat-em-up with a biker theme, handled by Eutechnyx and released on 25 June 2013; Ride to Hell: Route 666 on PSN (PlayStation 3) and XBLA (Xbox 360), focusing on road combat, and handled by Black Forest Games; and Ride To Hell: Beatdown, aimed at mobile platforms.
Following the disastrous reception of Ride to Hell: Retribution, none of the other titles were released, (although Ride to Hell: Route 666 was originally to be launched in June 2013).
Ride to Hell: Retribution was universally panned by critics following its release. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic list 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.
Eurogamer rated the game at a 1/10. Reviewer Cara Ellison criticized the game's portrayal of women; "...women are completely, totally, transparently, a resource in this game,". The treatment of women was also raised in Phil Iwaniuk's review for Official PlayStation Magazine (UK). 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 at a 0.5, with no positive remarks about the gameplay.
Ben Croshaw of The Escapist called it "explosively, apocalyptically bad" in his Zero Punctuation review of the game, but drew a comparison to Plan 9 from Outer Space, explaining that the game's issues were entertaining enough to warrant a purchase. He later refused to place it in his listing of 2013's worst games because he considered it "congealed failure" rather than a game, instead awarding it his "Lifetime Achievement Award for Total Abhorrence," further explaining that "releasing every box with no disc inside would have been less of a mistake."
- Harmon, Josh (27 June 2013). "EGM Review: Ride to Hell: Retribution". Electronic Gaming Monthly. EGM DIGITAL MEDIA, LLC. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- AustralianClassification (7 February 2013). "". Classification.gov.au. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- AustralianClassification (14 March 2013). "View Title | Australian Classification". Classification.gov.au. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- Emily Gera (28 May 2013). "Ride to Hell 'definitely not' something everybody will like, says Deep Silver". Polygon. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Ride To Hell: Retribution for Xbox 360". GameRankings. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Ride To Hell: Retribution for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Ride To Hell: Retribution for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Ride To Hell: Retribution for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Ride To Hell: Retribution for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Ride To Hell: Retribution for PlayStation 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Ellison, Cara (10 July 2013). "Ride to Hell: Retribution review • Reviews • PC •". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Ryckert, Dan (28 June 2013). "A New Contender For Worst Game Of The Generation - Ride to Hell: Retribution - Xbox 360". Game Informer. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Starkey, Daniel (11 July 2013). "Ride to Hell: Retribution Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Iwaniuk, Phil (10 July 2013). "Ride to Hell: Retribution PS3 review - Biker botch-job was born to be reviled". Official PlayStation Magazine. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- Hannley, Steve (26 June 2013). "Review: Ride to Hell: Retribution". Hardcore Gamer. Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
- "Giant Bomb's 2013 Game of the Year Awards: Day Five". Giant Bomb. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Ride to Hell: Retribution". Escapist Magazine. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
- "Zero Punctuation: Top 5 Games of 2013". Escapist Magazine. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.