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Stranglehold
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Reviews & Ratings for
Stranglehold (VG) More at IMDbPro »

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25 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Licensed games are terrible...

8/10
Author: J McClane from United Kingdom
18 September 2007

It's true they are. Lend a famous (or infamous) game it's rights and you'll end up with a horrible game that sells purely off the back of it's name *cough* Matrix. Even worse are games that are made as sequels to great films. Stranglehold is the "sequel" to Jhon Woo's masterpiece of film-making that is "Lat sau san taam"...or "Hard Boiled". "Hard Boiled" was the film that proved just how great Mr. Woo is at directing action, it is also the genesis of films like The Matrix, etc with is revolutionary action sequences and use of ballet like slow-motion. So why make a "sequel" to a great film...but make that "sequel" a game? Well, mainly due to the fact it was a great idea. This game is non-stop action from start to end. You are promised a "John Woo experience" and that is exactly what you get. It's over the top, it's inordinately violent, it's..it's, well it's John Woo.

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?

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14 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Epic

10/10
Author: paintbait-imdb from United States
11 August 2007

If you haven't played the demo yet, play it! This game is my new replacement for "Max Payne" on my game shelf --at least when it comes out. The action is, to sum up in one word, 'Epic'. You can play the demo twenty times and still find a new way to defeat the swathes of baddies, utilizing 'Tequila Bombs' To Heal yourself, make crack shots, fire really fast for a short burst of time without worrying about conserving ammo --not that you need to in the first place-- or instantly (in a epic mini-scene) kill everyone in the area.

The game looks gorgeous, the controls are easy and the game delivers on it's boasted 'Cinematic Gun Battles', they are immensely fun and Cinematic doesn't begin to describe the experience.

This has to be one of the more anticipated Console releases for this fall.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

More tequila, more bullets and more jazz

10/10
Author: RainDogJr from Mexico City
20 January 2008

The story follows Inspector "Tequila" (Chow Yun-Fat) from the 1992 film "Hard Boiled" directed also by John Woo. In this story "Tequila" must deal with Wong who is the father of his ex-wife and with the Russian mob, first in Hong Kong and later in Chicago. The game is not a sequel of the film because the story is not the continuation and is more like another chapter in the life of "Tequila". The story is simple but good, and the game play is amazing just as the graphics. I love all the different places for every chapter, specially the first one in Hong Kong and is just amazing all the objects that "Tequila" can use and how he can make the environment as an allied. The action is amazing, and to play as "Tequila" is more exiting than watching the film so for me "Tequila" is back and is better. And well the unique bad aspect of the game is that there are no repetition, imagine if they put something like in Halo 3. A total John Woo cinematic experience. Also i found the story a little short but anyway i love this game and i love more and more the character of Chow Yun-Fat.

Xbox live: i have the game for Xbox 360 and to play in multi player is just fun. Is great that you can choose between more than 15 characters including John Woo (who also appears in the bar where you buy the bonus material) and also that you can play in teams. The environments are the same of the story and the game play is good, a little difficult to can kill the enemies because sometimes there are some strange movements.

Conclusion: this game is amazing, the best work of John Woo in the West and one of my favourite games of 2007, along with Halo 3, Bioshock and some others. Full of beautiful action sequences and well "Tequila" is older but better. 10 out of 10

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