Ride to Hell: Retribution Preview
In case you’d forgotten, we actually heard about Ride to Hell back in 2008, when Deep Silver had announced it as an open-world game focusing on motorcycle gangs. We’re not entirely sure what happened to the project, but we know it has resurfaced as Ride to Hell: Retribution, which is slated to hit the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on June 28. It’s gritty and pulls no punches, and it it’s being pegged as a B-movie action extravaganza complete with bad-ass bikes, biker chicks, biker bars, and…well, anything related to the biking culture.
It doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing that Sons of Anarchy game, so this is probably the best bet for all you 1%ers out there. For the record, if you didn’t know, “1%” is a common biker term, which – I believe – was originally coined by the Hell’s Angels. It was actually created to combat the popular theory of the 40s and 50s, that anyone who rode a motorcycle was a criminal. With the 1% brand, they were saying that in fact, 99% of those who rode bikes were law-abiding citizens. Of course, that’s not what you get with Ride to Hell, as players assume the role of Jake Conway, who believes in only one kind of justice. The most entertaining kind of justice!
This is a “world of bare-knuckle violence, seedy strip clubs, and rip-roaring motorcycles” and as you might expect, there’s a wee bit of violence involved. Conway is out for vengeance; he has a beef with The Devil’s Hand gang, and he’s gonna get what he wants. Conway is described as an outlaw biker “with either a gun in his hand or a girl on his lap (and on more than one occasion, both!)” The gameplay features brutal melee combat, engaging firefights and of course, a fair amount of rough riding. Players will be able to customize their hog, too, which makes perfect sense. The man is only as good as his bike, as many hardcore bikers often say.
The combination of hand-to-hand combat, third-person shooting, and driving mechanics ought to be quite immersive. It seems Retribution may be embracing a more linear structure (as compared to the previous Ride to Hell unveiling), but some freedom should be involved. It’ll be interesting to see how Eutechnyx blends the different action styles, and what percentage of the play time will be broken up between riding, fighting, and shooting. I don’t expect the story to be all that special but then again, it doesn’t need to be. The final hurdle will be control; it’s difficult to perfect three distinctly different mechanics for any game.
Remember, the ride only begins with Retribution. Deep Silver will also produce Ride to Hell: Route 66, a downloadable effort for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Steam. Also slated for June, this title will be more strategic, as players will recruit and lead a gang of bikers from Chicago to Los Angeles, “fighting for every mile of the road using both brain and brawn.” Lastly, there’s the mobile Ride to Hell: Beatdown, a “rock ‘n roll brawler” that’s set for Android and iOS systems. So basically, this is a trio of rebellious goodness, although it seems clear that Retribution is the flagship title. Cross your fingers for a great guilty pleasure!
4/30/2013 Ben Dutka