Video Game / Ride to Hell: Retribution

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"It's hard to think of even one thing Ride to Hell doesn't fuck up!"

Ride to Hell: Retribution is a Beat 'em Up / Third-Person Shooter released in June 2013.

After returning from his tour of duty in Vietnam, Jake Conway reunites with his uncle Mack and younger brother Mike. After the latter is murdered by members of the biker gang Devil's Hand, Jake vows revenge against them.

It was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and its PC version was distributed through Steam. The Steam version quickly dropped the price to five dollars, before being pulled from the store outright in October of 2014.


This game features examples of the following tropes:

  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels:
    • The Devil's Hand. If they aren't trying to murder Jake or harassing other people, they are busy running the largest drug cartel in the region.
    • Seen in-game. A group of miners automatically assume Jake is Devil's Hand because he's a biker, and start a fistfight with him over the damage the Devil's Hand has done to their community. Jake proves his innocence by murdering them all.
    • At the same time, the "1%" on the game's full title is a reference to the estimate that only one percent of biker groups are "outlaw" gangs.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Every single woman encountered in the game save one will immediately suggest sex after being rescued from sexual assault or after their husband has been beat up. This is while said baddies are still dying in the same room.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: The prologue sets the stage for it, with it jumping from biking to turret sequence, to brawler sequence, to a cutscene of your guy on a motorbike jumping over a Blackhawk helicopter. The game takes this further, with cutting out of the action to a cutscene or different style of play, or even a different area.
  • Anti-Hero: Jake, to Nominal Hero levels — he's out to get retribution on the gang that killed his brother, but isn't afraid of murdering completely unrelated civilians and police officers in order to execute needlessly elaborate plans.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Unless you actually shoot them, civilians casually saunter around the area, oblivious to the mayhem going on around them.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Caesar is revealed to be Ellie's father.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Groups of mooks frequently form straight lines for Jake to cut down in orderly fashion and only have a rough understanding of the concept of cover. And that's assuming they're not struggling to go past open doors or running after the dynamite you throw.
  • Artistic License – History: Marijuana is consistently referred to as "weed", just as it commonly was when the game was made and released. In the time the game is set, the slang term would have more likely been "pot".
  • Acoustic License: Averted; when trundling along on their bikes, Jake and Mikey can hardly be heard over the roar of their engines, making it almost impossible to determine what they're saying. Inverted in most cutscenes, however; there's a distinct lack of any sound other than the voice acting, making the cutscenes eerily quiet.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Ride to Hell switches from shooting to melee combat frequently. Unlike some other games, though, it doesn't do anything to make you do the same, so there's nothing stopping you from simply shooting enemies that try to engage you up close.
    • In-universe, this is the "dirty fighting technique", an ability that lets you instantly defeat an enemy with something in the environment, usually by smashing their head into it.
    • The kick attack is meant to be used to break enemy blocks; however, it's easily the best melee attack as it cannot be blocked and the enemy is essentially incapable of ever fighting back if the player doesn't relent, with the downside of being less powerful. This leads to the hilarious image of Jake kicking a goon for minutes on end with absolutely nothing else happening.
  • Complexity Addiction:
    • The "electric fence" scenario. Jake kills a bunch of truckers, steals their fuel truck, kills a bunch of cops trying to stop him, drives to a power plant, killing the workers and then blows up the truck to destroy the plant, so the fence has no juice and he can climb over it.
    • In one scene near the end of the game, Jake goes after Pretty Boy, The Dragon of the Devil's Hand, and knows where he stays. But rather than just go after him, he instead wins a couple of races for Brandy, goes to a mine and kills all of the workers there (to be fair, they shot at him first, but he is a biker, after all), goes to a miner's house to steal his bike, evades the police (killing many more of them), gets the bike fitted with C4, and gives it back to Brandy, who takes it to Pretty Boy's loft. And what happens next? Jake shoots the bike to blow it up (not detonating the explosives or anything, and no, the explosion is no different than the millions of explosions that came before it) in order to get Pretty Boy's attention. This leads to another fight with the Devil's Hand and yet another bike chase. Jake might as well have just shot an ordinary bike or car, since it seemed to serve the same purpose. At the very least, the electric fence part had a purpose, even if Jake mishandled it.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Enemies who are standing behind cover will know the exact nanosecond your crosshair goes over them and will instantly duck. They'll pop back up soon enough, but you have to keep your gun trained on the spot where they will be (while their buddies pop up to take potshots at you) or they'll duck again.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The Devil's Hand just happens to come across Mikey for the first time the same day as Jake's return.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: At the end of the first chase against Greasy Steve, Steve blows up a stick of dynamite and topples a tree over the roadway. Jake crashes into said tree, despite it looking exactly the same as the many trees he often ducks under in driving sequences, even the ones in this sequence.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Cook in the DLC runs around while firing a machine gun, has a lot of health (he's got about two and a half times as much health as a Giant Mook), and is defeated simply by shooting him a lot.
  • Dead All Along: After catching and interrogating Pretty Boy, Jake learns that his father, William "Toledo" Conway, is dead. There was never any indication he was alive in the first place anyway.
  • Dead Man Walking: If Jake receives a headshot. He will die, but not immediately. You lose all control, but maintain momentum for a good minute before the Game Over screen appears.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Start a gunfight in a Casino and the police dispatches a few dozen officers armed only with pistols and batons. Steal a bike and an attack helicopter tries to gun you down.
  • Double Standard: One of the women you can 'rescue" from a bunch of thugs rejects their advances by saying that she saves herself for her man. Once Jake beats up the thugs she suddenly decides that it's okay to have sex with him. Note that Jake asked for a beer as a reward.
  • Dragon Their Feet:
    • Exaggerated, with not only The Dragon dragging his feet, but the Dragon's Dragon and the Big Bad, since they don't even come into play for most of the game. Almost to the point where the amount of buildup and exposure a Devil's Hand member receives is inversely proportional to their power and command.
    • This can also happen with Cook, if you play the DLC after beating the game. If you do so, at this point you've already killed the rest of the Devils Hand lieutenants and Ceaser himself, but Cook has his own agenda and carries on anyway.
    • It can also happen again if you kill Colt before going after Meathook.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Most of the regular civilians in this game. Timed missions where you have to get somewhere on your bike will normally have you finding your path blocked by spontaneous road accidents. Most of which explode.
  • Dull Surprise: Most of the characters talk in a dull monotone constantly. Jake of course needs to show more diversity, being the Protagonist and all. He...doesn't always succeed.
  • Evil Is Petty: Caesar's entire reason for putting out a kill order on the entire Conway family was because he fairly lost a bet that he made, over his girlfriend with Toledo Conway, Jake's dad. Afterwards, they made another bet, which Caesar won. Toledo, however, decided to run away with his wife, and Caesar tracked them down and killed them both, which means that he was only going after the surviving children for the heck of it.
  • Excuse Plot: The whole Roaring Rampage of Revenge is just an excuse for one Badass Biker to take on waves of a rival biker gang.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Brandy completely fails to notice Jake is wearing the biker jacket of someone the entire Devil's Hand has been instructed to kill on sight when he approaches her to infiltrate the gang. This being the same jacket that got Mikey recognized and killed on sight by members of FAR lower rank at the start of the game.
  • Fat Bastard: Some enemy types, such as the guy threatening a woman in the parking lot.
  • Fingore: King Dick chops the fingers off of those who disobey him.
    King Dick: And this little piggy made me roast beef. Shit gave me food poisoning!
  • Fisticuffs Boss: The boss fight against Triple 6 (who has a chainsaw) is the only time in the game where your firearms are disabled, forcing you to fight in melee.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Giant Mook: Enemies wearing hockey masks are immune to headshots and can take 6 to 7 times as much damage as the regular enemies. On the other hand, they walk slowly, don't use cover, and sometimes will wander off aimlessly while you shoot them in the back.
  • Helicopter Blender: If you don't get enough speed to clear the helicopter (as shown in the introduction), this happens.
  • Honorary Uncle: Implied with Oswald Markham, a.k.a. Mack. He's obviously not a Conway, and his matter-of-fact description of Jake's father betting his girlfriend, Jake's mother, in a race suggests he was a close friend of William, and not a maternal uncle.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • At one point Jake chases Colt to a warehouse, and blows up a propane tank with the hope of smoking him out. However, as Colt instantly points out, Jake didn't have any plans for his own escape and nearly dies in the fire he started himself while Colt escapes. Special mention to the mook Jake finds on fire outside, who doesn't even attempt rolling or smothering the flames and just limply reaches for a bucket of water.
    • During the driving sections, most lorries crash for no reason; either plowing straight into an obstacle or driving lengthways across the road, blocking all traffic, all so that Jake has more obstacles to slide under. Often, there is no given reason for them doing this.
    • At one point, Tyrell wants to check on a private he thinks might be up to no good; instead of sending any of his men to check on him, or even go himself, he decides to send Jake. This Jake being the person wanted dead by an influential gang. Naturally, the Devil's Hand attack Jake and the private is killed in the crossfire.
    • The Devil's Hand could have simply murdered Jake, Mikey, and Mack as soon as they finished off William; instead they waited for about twenty years. Caesar said he thought they disappeared but Mack opened a shop at the same place and did not bother hiding the kids since he thought they were out of the kill order.
    • Jake's plan to find Pretty Boy is to try and infiltrate the Devil's Hand. This being a little over 3/4 of the way through the game at the point when the ENTIRE Devil's Hand recognizes and tries to kill him on sight, and while still wearing the Retribution jacket that got Mikey immediately recognized and killed at the start of the game. Adding insult to injury, Jake gives Brandy his real name. Even giving the game the benefit of the doubt that the Devil's Hand has no physical description of Jake, it's damn near impossible that the name doesn't make anybody suspicious at the very least.
  • Incredibly Durable Enemies: It takes roughly an entire clip from a rifle to kill a single enemy, or simply headshot him once. This ensures that the Elite Mooks immune to headshots take about half the ammo in the known universe to fell.
  • Insurmountable Waist High Fence:
    • They line the sides of the roads you drive on. They may be made of thin wood and only three feet tall, but they apparently have enough mass to make you bounce right off, even when going full speed on your motorbike. And you can't just ramp over them either, as there's an Invisible Wall reaching up from the top.
    • In-Universe: when Anvil drives into a building, Jake goes on a convoluted mission to get the keys instead of just breaking in.
  • Invisible Wall: In some sections where there's no Insurmountable Waist High Fence, they just trap you in with one of these. Unlike the fence, upon touching these walls, the screen fades to black and it turns Jake around, facing the way you're supposed to be going to finish the mission.
  • Ironic Nickname: Considering that his left arm and half of his face is covered in burn scars, half of his jaw is made out of metal, and his solid-steel Eyepatch of Power, Pretty Boy is anything but pretty.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Jake's favorite way of getting information from Devil's Hand members.
  • Jerkass: At one point, Jake encounters a heavily inebriated woman complaining about her boyfriend, Orson. Instead of having sex with her like with every other girl with bad ex-boyfriends, he dares her and encourages her to down an entire bottle of alcohol, causing the woman to pass out.
  • Karmic Death: Jake does this to some of the gang members.
    • Greasy Steve frequently fights and attacks using dynamite. Jake blows him up with his own dynamite.
    • Triple 6 owns a logging facility so hideously unsafe it kills some of his men while you're there. Jake feeds him through the logging equipment.
    • King Dick cuts off the fingers of people that cross him and is very proud of using a church as his main base. Jake breaks several of his fingers and drowns him in the Church's holy water.
    • Pretty Boy has horrific burns leaving all of the skin missing from one side of his face. The last we see of him Jake is taking an electric sander to the good half of his face.
    • Casesar brags that Jake's parents died by being pushed off a cliff. Caesar meets his end by Jake forcing him off a cliff.
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: The blonde woman featured prominently on the loading screen doesn't seem to appear in the game at all. In fact, the only 2 female characters who play any real role in the main plot are Brandy (Pretty Boy's black-haired lieutenant) and Ellie (Mikey's brown-haired girlfriend).
  • Large Ham: Although most of the characters give various degrees of Dull Surprise, Colt is definitely the most vocal of the Devil's Hand, Chewing the Scenery with his Deep South, Corrupt Hick accent.
  • Let's Play: Courtesy of Matt and Pat of Two Best Friends Play.
  • Made of Explodium:
    • Every time the player knocks an enemy off his bike, the bike will run straight into an obstacle and explode. Even if those obstacles are the very thin wooden fences on your right.
    • Jake occasionally switches his bike for a truck. If any vehicle touches the truck it instantly explodes.
    • Taken to hilarious extremes in one mission, where Jake lands on top of a police car with his motorcycle...and the car explodes instantly.
  • Molotov Truck: A full tanker truck exploding at a power plant.
  • Motive Rant: Caesar does this via a stadium loudspeaker before the last level.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: The presumably Southwestern setting somehow has a desert existing next to mountains and waterfalls.
  • Mouth Flaps: The game sort of tries to hide it, just barely matching the open-shut mouth movements to the characters talking.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: A bizarre in-game example. During the opening montage, Jake does a few things such as fire a turret at the Devil's Hand in what appears to be a forest, fights a biker on the side of the road, and jumps over a helicopter with his motorcycle. That last part is in the game. The turret and fight scenes aren't.
  • No Flow in CGI: For some strange reason, averted. Jake's anglerfish hair flows, as does his jacket. Even the jewel attached to the high grade assault rifles bounces back and forth during combat.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Dynamite thrown by enemies will disappear if you kill them before it goes off. See for yourself.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Many examples. The brewery has large, uncovered holes to fall down in. The power plant has electricity running across the ground. The mill is full of logs that swing back and forth. The mine in general is just an unstable hole. The docks were seemingly designed by the same architect who created much of Raccoon City's infrastructure. The roads are full of pipes, containers, cranes, overturned trucks, and roads too narrow for cars to get through. At the very least, they certainly do fit in with the incoherent nature of the rest of the game's levels.
  • Obvious Beta: The game is just infested with bugs. Lots of them. The AI and combat are broken as well.
  • Off Model: The character models look cheap and dated, with stiff, plastic-looking hair. Jake himself looks a little like Eddie Riggs from Brütal Legend, but Ride to Hell lacks that game's intentionally cartoony graphical charm.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Most of the game's villains are standard corrupt biker thugs. Then you have Cook in the DLC, a maniac with an atomic bomb who wants "America to burn the way I burned!".
  • Only Six Faces: The game re-uses character models a lot. This is particularly noticeable as it's even done for supporting roles with a decent amount of screen time. The women (with the exception of Brandy, Ellie, and the strippers) are particularly hilarious — even though they have a variety of different hairstyles and possibly faces, and one of them even has an ascot that none of the others have, from the neck down their bodies and clothes are all perfect Palette Swaps of each other right down to having the exact same black studded wristband.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Whether from gunshot wounds or being smacked with fists, long combos make characters practically explode in a fountain of blood.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Jake, depite having some offensive moments, actually shows genuine concern for women and is disgusted by people who attack prostitutes. Despite the (justifiable) infamy of the sex scenes taking place after sexual assualts he doesn't actually seem to expect to sleep with them after rescuing them - in one case, he asks for a beer after rescuing a woman - that's more the fault of the writers.
    • After defeating a bunch of miners who confused him for a member of the Devil's Hand and attacked him, Jake returns to the first miner he met and spares his life after interrogating him for the location of the next boss, saying he understands why they don't trust bikers. Whether this works or not depends on whether the player beat the miners with melee in an ambiguously non-fatal way like the game intended, or if the player gunned them all down because it's easier. Jake also spares another interrogation victim, a Devil's Hand member described as 'Young' by the dialog subtitles, though Jake had been shooting and blowing up that same character model throughout the game.
  • Radio Voice: The game's audio sometimes loads very slowly or improperly, making dialogue that would normally be legible suddenly garbled and lossy, or vice versa.
  • Ragdoll Physics: Which can sometimes glitch, causing an enemy to fly miles away sideways after being shot in the head.
  • Rasputinian Death: Caesar suffers this at the end. First, Jake jumps onto his bike and gouges his eyes out, then Caesar drives off a cliff while blinded, but survives the fall only to be crushed by his bike, which starts leaking petrol. Finally, Jake throws his lighter away, igniting the petrol and causing the bike and Caesar to explode.
  • Rescue Sex: Crossing over with Fetish Retardant, this happens a lot, and in the most inappropriate situations possible. For example, the scene in which a girl decides to have sex with the player character immediately after you kill the man who was trying to rape her, in the same room as his bloody corpse.
  • Right Through His Pants: The sex scenes are done with nobody taking any clothes off. In some cases, it's flat out impossible for them to be having sex dressed as they are (like one girl wearing overalls).
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Jake goes on one to avenge his brother.
  • Silent Credits: Probably not a deliberate stylistic choice.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran:
    • One gets the feeling from many of the decisions he takes over the course of the game, particularly the ones involving needlessly complicated Zany Schemes involving the deaths of a ridiculous number of Innocent Bystanders, that fighting in The Vietnam War was not good for Jake's mental health.
    • Not long after returning from the war and joining the Devil's Hand, Cook steals a nuclear bomb and plans to set it off so America will "bleed the way [he] bled" in Vietnam.
  • Shrouded in Myth: The mysterious leader of the Devil's Hand, Caesar, is this to the rest of the gang. Pretty Boy talks him up like he's a combination of Professor Moriarty and Terminator. When you finally face him face-to-face, he's just another hysterical crazy-villainous biker dude. He doesn't even put up as much of a fight as some of the gang bosses you've already killed. Potentially Fridge Brilliance; Caesar is a pretty big guy and articulate enough that he might be impressive to someone who's never finished high school, which is likely to describe a large portion of his Devil's Hand army.
  • Skyward Scream: Jake, after Mike is killed.
  • Slashed Throat: How Mike dies.
  • The Starscream: In the DLC mission, Cook indicates he doesn't care about the Devil's Hand, and just needed some goons to help him steal the A-Bomb. It's likely the rest of the Devil's Hand leadership wouldn't have been too keen on him blowing up the state.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Mack.
  • Token Minority: The only non-white characters in the game are Colt's girlfriend and Tyrell. Possibly Justified, seeing as it takes place in 1965 and the Devil's Hand don't exactly have a good track record in compassion.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Even after Jake has killed hundreds of bikers people try to antagonize him, even without numbers on their side. One notable example is a lumberjack who sets you up to be killed by the Devil's Hand after you do missions for him and he starts bragging about having you killed to his friends while Jake pulls up behind him in a motorcycle and listens to his entire confession.
  • Vendor Trash: The drugs that enemies drop.
  • Villain Has a Point: Jake's dad bet his girlfriend on a race he lost fairly and killed most of Caesar's people and scarred his face. Sure he couldn't hand over his girlfriend but Caesar's vendetta is to be expected when you walk off your criminal ways like that.
  • Under the Truck: This can be done during the bike sequences.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: During the introduction cutscene at the start of the game, you're dropped into firing from a turret (without any context), then you're thrown into a Quick Time Event fight (again, without any context), and then you get to the main story with bike riding/Beat 'em Up gameplay (revealing the opening was a Flash Forward montage, and giving a bare minimum of context).
  • Unexplained Recovery: Jake is shot several times at the beginning of the game by Colt; after the game cuts to black, he's suddenly getting back on his bike and swearing revenge.
  • We Have Reserves: The Devil's Hand has a large number of soldiers packed into a relatively small area, enough to make up a small army. And they come at you in waves.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Brandy never even gets mentioned again after Jake detonates the aforementioned explosive-laden bike at Pretty Boy's house.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Despite the otherwise indiscriminate and diverse violence he wrecks upon the populace, both biker and civilian, Jake never harms any women. Granted, the only woman in the game he would have been even vaguely justified in murdering was Brandy, Pretty Boy's girlfriend, seemingly the only Devil Hand's biker moll that's actually loyal to her man.

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