Ride to Hell: Retribution
|Ride to Hell: Retribution|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
Originally announced in 2008, the game was cancelled later the same year. The game was later re-announced in 2013 after classification was shown in the Australian Classification Board.
Ride to Hell was critically panned to the point where it is considered one of the worst video games ever, with very low review scores by Metacritic and GameRankings. Upon its release, the game was criticized for its broken gameplay, poor controls, voice acting, writing, offensive portrayal of women, and dropping the originally planned open-world concept in favour of a linear layout.
In 1969, Vietnam veteran Jake Conway returns home to his family of plains bikers, which include his uncle Mack and brother Mikey. Mikey has grown distant from his brother and shows disdain to his uncle, but is infatuated with his college friend and tutor, Ellie. Mikey leaves angered when Mack refuses to allow him to go to a concert with Ellie. Mack sends Jake after him, and after consoling, they go to a diner. Outside, Mikey is confronted by The Devil's Hand bike gang. Jake intervenes as Devil's Hand member Colt notices Mikey's jacket, causing a chase. The Devil's Hand hold the brothers at gunpoint, demanding to know where they got the jacket, until Meathook threatens Mikey with a knife. Mikey says the original wearer of the jacket, was his and Jake's father, William Conway (who Meathook recognizes as "Toledo" Conway). Meathook slits Mikey's throat, and as Jake mourns his brother he is shot and left for dead by Colt.
Jake survives the bullet wound and is patched up by Mack. Jake swears vengeance on the Devil's Hand, and goes hunting the bikers one by one. Mack helps Jake get to Anvil, who is revealed to be in San Alfonso, where he escapes after being discovered. Jake than goes to Army Officer Tyrell who gives him weapons after proving himself. Anvil ambushes Mack and Jake but escapes after they deal with his henchman. Jake hunts down Anvil and kills him. Ellie contacts Jake and tells him about Dr. Blotter, who does dealings with Colt. Blotter sends him to Fogwood to meet with Colt's lover, Naomi. In Fogwood, Jake saves Naomi from Bar Loggers, the two have sex (with their clothes on) and she later gives him Colt's location - Seven Wells Ranch.
Killing bikers, thugs and policeman, Jake enters the Ranch but is subdued when he shoots fuel canisters, leading Colt to escape to Airplane Cemetery. Jake makes it to the Cemetery, kills Colt before telling him to remember Mikey's name. Jake then heads to Greasy Steve and Meathook at a boxing ring. Jake fights the four competitors: Bullsye, Ace, Selvan the Destroyer and Meathook himself. Jake wins all fights and interrogates Meathook, but is stopped when Greasy Steve kills Meathook, leaving to speak to Triple 6. Jake hunts down Greasy Steve, leading him to a death race where the two battle. Jake wins and interrogates him, getting information on their leader - Pretty Boy. Jake leaves Steve to explode with his C4. Triple 6 confronts Jake to kill him, but Mack ambushes the Devil's Hands as Jake deals with the bikers, and Triple 6 escapes the scene.
Ellie reveals that Triple 6 (Damien Silver)'s location is in Fogwood Silverfalls Sawmill with his family. Jake later kills Triple 6 as he helps a lumberjack and prostitutes to find Pretty Boy, leading him to King Dick. Going to King Dick's Church, Jake kills his henchman and interrogates him for Pretty Boy's location. King Dick tells him to find Brandy, he also tells of their leader, Caesar who wanted to hunt him down due to his father. Jake drowns King Dick in a baptismal fountain and leaves to find Brandy. Brandy ask Jake to win a race and get Orson's bike down in Bergenstock mines for him to get paid. Jake gets the bike and goes to Tyrell for explosives. Brandy takes the bike to Pretty Boy as Jake and Mack intercept them, leading to Pretty Boy being captured by them. During his interrogation, Pretty Boy tells that his father is dead and that there's been an kill order on him and his family.
At Mikey's grave, Mack tells Jake the truth: William was friends with Mack, and Caesar who were part of The Retribution Gang. William and Caesar raced for a girl. William won and had children with her. Despite his love for Jake and Mikey's mother, William gambled her and drunk heavily, leading Caesar to become ruthless and start his own group with drugs - The Devil's Hand. William ran away with his wife and gave his sons to Mack, telling him not to tell them of their circumstances. Caesar and William did one last bet for her, but William lost and double-crossed Caesar, leading him to kill them by throwing them off a cliff.
After Mack has a near-death at the cemetery, The Black Hand steal one of Tyrell's shipments and assault Mack and Ellie's location. Jake finds Mack hanged and Ellie captured by Caesar. Getting to Caesar's compound, Jake saves Ellie as Caesar reveals that Ellie is his daughter who ran away after he abuse her alongside his wife. Caesar tells Jake of his father's last bet with him and killing them, leading Jake to fight Caesar. Caesar escapes as Jake and Ellie give chase. During the chase, Jake gets the drop on Caesar, knocking him off his bike onto a cliff, where the bike explodes, killing him. Jake recovers Ellie, and the two walk away from the scene.
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-1960s 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, as Ride to Hell 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, another ACB classification was filed with the name "Cook's Mad Recipe", also sharing the same file number and numerous other details as the previous classification but 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.
Ride to Hell: Retribution was universally panned by critics following its release, and is often regarded as one of the worst video games of all time. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic respectively list the scores for the Xbox 360 version as 15.00% and 19/100, the PC version 12.00% and 16/100 and the PlayStation 3 version 10.00% and 13/100. It has been panned by critics for its very broken gameplay, poor controls, poor voice acting, awkward sex scenes with the characters fully clothed, negative portrayal of women, and using a linear structure instead of the originally announced open world element.
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." The site scored it at a 0.5, with no positive remarks about the gameplay.
Daniel Starkey of GameSpot gave the game a 1/10, calling it a "Hideous, slapped-together action game saturated with poor, nonsensical design choices." It became the second game after Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing to get GameSpot's lowest possible score.
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".
Yahtzee 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."
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- "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.
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- 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.
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- "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.
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