There is a story in the game somewhere...but it's irrelevant and not actually connected to "Hard Boiled" so I'll not dwell on it. The important thing here is game-play...and there is lots of it. You play as Inspetor Yuen or as he is also known "Tequila", and yes that is Yun-Fat Chow (AKA Chow Yun-Fat) reprising the role via lending not only his voice but also his likeness. You can pretty much do anything you have seen in a John Woo action picture and more besides. The game is a straight up shooter viewed from a 3rd person point. But it's the action and the moves you have that make the game standout over other games of this genre. Want to run down or up a banister while blasting away with dual sub-machine guns? Well you can. Want to shoot a fuel tank and destroy a building and all it's occupants? Well you can. Want to dive over, under, between scenery in slow motion and take out the bad guys, well you can. Even better you can string moves together to look super cool. From swinging on light fittings to diving on roll carts, you can play the same level over and over and yet play it differently every time. You have the freedom to take the action in any direction you really want to. Anything you have seen in a John Woo film in terms of gun-play can be pulled off in this game. Which ultimately leads to some of the greatest action sequences I have ever seen on film or in a game. Occasianly the action will take a short break just in time for a Mexican standoff, in which you have to take out everyone around you in slow-motion while dodging bullets at the same time.
Then there is the destructible scenery, I don't think there is a game that comes close to a rival in these terms. You can do the standard shooting out windows, etc. But you can also take destruction to a whole new level. See a bad guy standing under an awning? Just shoot the supports and watch it crash down on him. You can also bring down neon signs varying from small to huge billboard style and take out large groups of thugs. Stone pillars and statues are no match for the John Woo action either. Basically, if you can see something, you can pretty much destroy it, and it's not always pointless destruction either. You may find a few hidden secrets and alternate routes by being destructive.
There are also the "Tequila Bombs" which are worth a mention. These are essentially special attacks that range from the ability to heal yourself (and you'll need that on the harder settings) to Presision Aim, which let's you fire a single bullet and snipe and enemy (or scenery) from a great distance. There is also the "Barrage" in which Tequila just loads up whatever gun he is holding and you get to unleash some fast and frantic gunfire without stopping. To finally the "Spin Attack" which is a John Woo trademark, take out all the bad guys around you with 1 swift and yet visually stunning move.
The graphics are simply beautiful. From run down slums to up market casinos. The visuals in this game amaze.
This game IS action at it's best...and it's tough too. There are several difficulty settings in which to enjoy this game. From "Casual" (easy) to "Hard Boiled" (insane), there is a setting that I'm sure you can find that will suit. Also, keep an eye out for the Woo trademarks like the white doves and even Mr. Woo himself.
While this is a "sequel" to "Hard Boiled" it's also stand alone in the sense that you need not have seen the film to follow this game. But I do urge you to see the film if you have yet to, it really is the pinnacle of Hong Kong action cinema. It's a great action game that let's you be "Tequila". If you are a long term John Woo/"Hard Boiled" fan or a new comer this game will keep you entertained for a while. If you like you action fast and frantic, then this game WILL "Woo" you.
I just hope John Woo lends his name and style to more games in the future...A Better Tomorrow?