|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|
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.
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!"
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.
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...
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.
CCC Former Site Director