"John Woo Presents: Stranglehold"
Even if it's a shorter, less-weapon-filled version of "Max
Payne", "John Woo Presents: Stranglehold" is still a
balls-to-the-wall action game, backed by the Woo signature style of
slow-motion killing matched with the coolest action hero in history,
Chow Yun-Fat, here reprising the movie role he played in "Hard
Boiled", maybe Woo's best movie ever.
The game gets quite repetitive even after just a couple of
levels, of which there are only seven in this game. As
Inspector Tequila, you control the Yun-Fat character as you run from
place to place, killing everyone (there aren't even side characters
that you can chat with; everyone needs to die) and utilizing Tequila
Bombs, side bonuses that enhance your already-ridiculous abilities
to take precision shots from a mile away, heal yourself or unleash
hell with your current weapon for about ten seconds without running
out of ammo. Of course, in a game where you don't even have to
reload, ammo isn't your problem...the sheer number of bad guys
looking to kill you IS the problem, as the game gets very hard very
fast after you've gotten through about one-and-a-half of the levels.
Controls are tight, but so is the camera; you won't like your
view a lot of the time, and this is a problem as this is a
third-person action game that relies heavily on your ability to put
your crosshairs over bad guys that come at you from all angles.
There are many ridiculous signature moments where you can slide down
banisters or hang from chandeliers while shooting bad guys, all in
slow motion; you can also basically destroy entire rooms with
gunfire, which never gets old even as you start dying in bunches.
As mentioned earlier, "Stranglehold" could benefit from a better
variety of weapons; there seem to be only about six, which is about
15 too few for a game where all you do is shoot all game long.
That's the main place where "Stranglehold" and "Max Payne" don't
align; in "Payne", you had not only a large array of handguns and
machine guns, you had like three different kinds of shotguns,
assault rifles, three different kinds of grenades, a couple of
sniper rifles, and more.
But, that was then, and "Stranglehold" is now; it's a fun game
for a few hours, and as a rental, you could knock out the whole game
in a weekend. Wait for the price to come down then knock this
Feedback? Comments? Salma Hayek's digits?
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": Buy
this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why
that's a good move. A game experience that will almost
guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high
resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end.
after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly,
or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new
games. Usually, that's about $40. You'll feel good
getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite
run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box
for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.
game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from
either half.com or eBay. You also might let a friend buy this
game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make
them feel better. Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy
"Rental": Like my
cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about
first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something
worthwhile. For games in this category, this is the maximum
amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either
gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.
Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you
are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.
Games like this should have never been released. If you play
this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the
experience. Further, if you can get this game for free, don't
do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience