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Old 07-16-2007, 09:08 PM
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Default Stranglehold Impressions

Stranglehold is every bit what I had hoped it would be, actually it was a little too much of what I had hoped it would be. Everything in the game seemed to be over-the-top action scenes from a John Woo movie. It was hard not to slide down a banister on your ass while shooting, or dive across a dock and shoot someone in the head or slow down time and punch a hole through someone's cheek with a bullet... and it got me to thinking, is this going to be fun for hours on end?

In the long run, I think the game won't be too waring, and it is fun to constantly kick-ass.

On the surface Stranglehold is a slick-looking, movie-themed shooter. The graphics are just this side shy of spectacular and there are a lot of things, besides those over-the-top special moves, that sell this game.

I like, for instance, have very destructible the environment is. Destruction is the new next-gen no-brainer, seemingly every shooter coming out nowadays has some form of it, but Stranglehold's use of the environment is a bit unusual. Not only can you chew away a person's cover or straight-out kill a person who decided to hide behind the wrong thing (like a mattress), but there are lots of levels that require you to shoot through or blow stuff up to progress.

One level I played, for instance, took place on some sort of tin-walled shanty town. Once I made my way to the roof of the buildings, I was able to shoot light poles down to walk across large open spaces without having to get back into the maze of the town itself.

I was bothered a bit by Inspector Tequila's natural agility which meant you didn't really have to jump or balance when running around on these fallen poles or sliding down fallen objects. Instead he just sort of snapped to them. It made it a bit too easy for my tastes. To interact with these fallen objects you just have to walk up to them and when they get a white halo effect you press a button.

The game has no jump button, instead there's a dive button, which can at times be off-putting. I don't want to always spectacularly dive into a room, sometimes I just want to hop across the threshold. It was, over time, like a Saturday Night Live skit. I could almost hear the bad guys muttering "Oh here comes Tequila again, annnnnnnd he dove through the door, what a surprise."

The best part of the game, by far, were the built-in cinematic special moves. There were three of them, all activated with the D-Pad: a bullet time, a barrage attack and an automated 360 degree shooting attack.

The frenzy attack essentially ups the damage of Tequila's weapons, allowing him to deliver a lot more damage with one attack. The 360 degree attack looked quite spectacular.It's meant to be used to clear rooms. You just walk into a crowded room, or dive, and then hit the button and Tequila spins around blasting away with the gun. The whole scene is shown like a cut-scene but it actually shows the damage you inflict, so if you hit someone you get a quick close up of the bullet throwing the guy back into the air. For some reason every time I did this there were pigeons in the room... and the always died. When the move ended I'd find myself in a room filled with floating feathers, nice touch.

The best move of the lot is most certainly that bullet-time attack which slows time down for everyone so you can carefully select your target and fire off a round, or two if you time it right. The camera shows the bullet flying through the air and then slapping into someone and the person reacting, quite viscerally to the sudden lack of jawbone, kneecap or, sometimes, brain. It was amazing to look at, and never seemed to get old.

I don't think the same will be true when the game hits multiplayer. While they didn't show any multiplayer off at E3, the developers told me that all of those special moves will be in the multiplayer game. When you hit bullet time everyone slows down and just you get to drill someone with a bullet. That's great if you're the shooter, but I'd guess it could get very annoying if you're the target.

Despite my whining, I still think Stranglehold will go over quite well, there's just something irresistible about playing a game as Inspector Tequila and putting a bullet into someone's crotch in slow-mo
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:03 PM
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I still want to know if the ps3 collector's version has Hardboiled in HD on the disc...
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Old 07-17-2007, 03:37 PM
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this game from the trailers ive seen looks Next Gen, minus the Gen part....i dunno about this one at all.
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by illegalprelude View Post
this game from the trailers ive seen looks Next Gen, minus the Gen part....i dunno about this one at all.
I agree, this games graphics don't look too hot to me, but could be a fun game. I was hoping that this was going to be a must have game but I will probably rent it first.
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:08 PM
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The demo for it comes out soon.
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