Introducing new video game star Jack Slate, "Dead To Rights" takes place in Grant City, USA -- the hardest place on Earth. Slate is a good cop in a bad town, forced to be a fugitive after being framed for murder while investigating the mysterious death of his father.
Guests experienced the seedy underbelly of Grant City nightlife, brought to life in a deserted art deco office building on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles for one night only. Celebrity DJ Shannyn Sossoman ("40 Days and 40 Nights," "A Knight's Tale") rocked the house to a packed dance floor all night long, as a colorful cast of characters inspired by the dark world of "Dead To Rights" lurked in the shadows.
Celebrities in attendance (joining the Grant City smugglers, femme fatales, dirty cops, assassins and corrupt politicians), included: Justin Timberlake, Vin Diesel, Cris Judd, Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley, Alyssa Milano, Paris Hilton, Eric Balfour, Simon Rex, and Danny Masterson, among others.
"The amazing turn out last night from young Hollywood's `A' list is proof positive that adults want video game entertainment that offers more mature content, characters and storylines, as seen in 'Dead To Rights,'" said Stacey Hirata, Marketing Director for Namco Hometek. "Video games aren't just for kids anymore."
According to the Interactive Digital Software Association, about 145 million people in the U.S. play computer and video games, and the average age of a game player is 28 years old. Video games have become one of the most popular forms of entertainment. In fact, market research firm NPD, reported that in 2001, total U.S. sales of games and game related hardware reached $9.4 billion, compared to total domestic box office receipts for Hollywood movies of $8.4 billion.
Namco approached making the game much like producing a movie, first enlisting screenwriter Flint Dille ("G.I. Joe" television show and "Transformers" television show and movie) to develop the plot and deliver the working script. For music, they recruited movie composer Kevin Manthei, whose credits include "Resident Evil" and "Scary Movie 2." For realistic sound effects and design, GDH Digital ("Star Trek," "Babylon 5") and Weddington Productions ("Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Robocop") were brought in. Smashcut ("The Matrix," "Fight Club") was hired for motion capture effects and stunts.
"Dead To Rights" has been in development for over two years, with a production team of more than 50 artists, designers and programmers. This team, constituting Namco's biggest U.S.-developed project to date, is passionate about proving that movie-quality action, a compelling storyline and an appealing hero can be made interactive in a mature video game.
"We wanted to create a video game like no other, infusing elements from our favorite movies and allowing players to make discoveries each time they play," said Andre Emerson, Namco senior producer. "`Dead To Rights' was designed with great depth and detail, and the result is an intense and adult experience that can't really be described within existing game genres."
"Dead To Rights" features more than a dozen game mechanics including diving, rolling, punching, kicking and lethally disarming enemies in a variety of cinematic ways. Jack's canine partner (a Husky named Shadow) lives up to the name "man's best friend," helping Jack investigate crime scenes, sniff out bombs, retrieve weapons and attack enemies. Unique game play scenarios, mini-games and stop-motion special effects add to the action.
"Dead To Rights," rated "M for Mature Audiences," shipped out to stores across the U.S. on Aug. 20 and is now available on Xbox.
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