Stranglehold Preview
Stranglehold box art
System: X360, PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Tiger Hill Entertainment 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Midway 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sep. 5, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
It's taken awhile, but finally someone has made the phrase "Tequila time!" into a game mechanic. That's our Friday at 5:00 pm battlecry

by Vaughn Smith

March 2, 2006 - John Woo has been an innovator in the action movie genre for years now and it's about time he crossed over into the digital zone of gaming. True fact: so many games pay homage to his movie making genius that his upcoming Stranglehold game, a video game based sequel to Hard Boiled might be seen by some as a knock off of the imitators. Go figure.

Stranglehold screenshot

Games like Max Payne and Dead To Rights borrowed liberally from Woo with their slow motion leaping, dual gun wielding antics that it's unfortunate that Stranglehold will inevitably be compared to what has come before. We're hoping the hard boiled action will take center stage and allow Woo to realize his vision for this upcoming 2006 next gen/PC release.

As you might guess, Chow Yun-Fat will reprise his role (digitally) as Inspector Tequila who is the Hong Kong version of Dirty Harry on steroids.The plot of Stranglehold will center on Tequila's ex-wife's capture and kidnapping at the hands of nefarious Russian mob in Chicago. I guess the Hong Kong crime lords are too busy with all of those illegal movies and games to copy to get involved in Tequila's business this time around.....or will they pop up and surprise you? Maybe you'll see some of them on the streets of Hong Kong during the game, hawking Napoleon Dynamite on DVD for "only 2 dollah! Just for you!"

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If you're skeptical that Midway - a veritable newbie when it comes to this genre - can pull this off, let me put some of your fears to rest. I have discovered that the team behind Psi Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy is at the helm. Trust me when I tell you this is good news. Psi Ops, if you haven't played it, is one of the best action titles to come along in recent years. Get your hands on it. You will have a blast. It won our Best Game of 2004 over all. Yeah, even over Halo 2.

Stranglehold screenshot

Midway and Woo are promising white knuckle action, martial arts acrobats such as running up walls, swinging on chandeliers, dual gun play, destructible environments and an infinitely more fine-tuned "bullet time" mechanic, called "Tequila Time". Tequila Time will allow players to slow down time while they hurtle through the air, while aiming and shooting in real time. As mentioned Woo is the originator of this and is determined to take it to the next level in Stranglehold. From what we can attest, things really do slow down when we go for our Friday night Tequila Times...

Stranglehold screenshot

If you want to step into the virtual shoes of Chow Yun-Fat, you'll have to pony up to the bar for either a kick ass PC, Xbox 360 or the ever secretive PS3; Strangelhold will not be available on the current gen consoles.

By Vaughn Smith
CCC Former Site Director

Features:

  • SIGNATURE CINEMATIC ACTION - Stranglehold allows gamers to play a John Woo directed action blockbuster movie. Dual-wielding, stunt-laden gunplay combined with massive destructible environments ensures that Stranglehold will be a true tour-de-force. The environmental interactivity and two-fisted gunplay all come online, bringing the experience to a whole new level.
  • AMAZING GUNPLAY & STUNTS - Gamers will experience smooth flowing gameplay, such as running up railings, swinging on chandeliers and leaping onto moving objects, all without interrupting intense gun battles.
  • BLOCKBUSTER HOLLYWOOD TALENT - Featuring the cinematic flare of acclaimed action director John Woo, Stranglehold will also benefit from Woo's direction on storyline, camera placement and cutscenes. Starring international action-star Chow Yun-Fat as Inspector Tequila, the game's cast is also comprised of other A-list Hollywood talent.
  • MASSIVE D - The innovative physics engine will provide gamers with an unprecedented level of interactivity. With two huge areas to explore (Chicago and Hong Kong), the interactions will be infinite with each level offering massive amounts of destructibility.
  • INNOVATIVE TEQUILA TIME MECHANIC - Stranglehold's unique Tequila Time slow-motion system goes well beyond the slow-motion gameplay that typifies so many current action games and allows players to simultaneously aim and shoot at targets with a greater degree of focus. In a case of art imitating art, John Woo is the master and originator of this style of gunplay action and it's taken to a new level in Stranglehold.
  • UNREAL 3.0 AND HAVOK - Using a highly modified version of the Unreal 3.0 engine integrated with the Havok physics system, Stranglehold will breath new life into game envinronments and characters with stunning graphics. Incredible "Rock'n Roll" physics make it possible for everything in the world to be destructible and interactive, allowing for an ever changing battle ground depending on how players approach different situations.

  • Screenshots / Images
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