By Sam Coles:
These days’ games always aspire to tell good stories with a deep meaning but sometimes I just want some good old fashion hardcore violence that has a simple context, which you then gun down everything in your way. Well John Woo has your back with his game that got a lukewarm reception back in 2007 with his game Stranglehold. I don’t know why it got a negative reception because in my opinion if you take it for what it is a fun high octane action game with bullet time and fantastic guncarter then you can easily enjoy it.
John Woo’s Stranglehold is a sequel to his 1992 film Hard Boiled which had the no nonsense cop named Inspector Tequila who is a bad ass who likes to get his hands dirty and work outside of the guidelines of the law to get things done more efficiently. You’re on the hunt for a police officer, who has gone missing well he thinks he has gone missing, but he is dead and no that is not a spoiler it happens at the very beginning of the game. The story is very clichéd but it sets up the context for the carnage you’re about to embark on.
The gameplay with this game is fun and over the top with guncarter and throwing Tequila around the level which by the end of level you would think his rib cage would be destroyed with the amount of times you make him dive from the top of a staircase 50 times in one sitting. The game keeps score of your over the top antics with a star rating and how many enemies you have gun down in a row which makes you want to get the best combo you can with this score system, which is very addictive. You have the slow motion gun play like the John Woo movies so you’ll be diving through the air with duel pistols with other acrobatics such as sliding down banisters, riding on trolleys through a busy market place with duel SMG’s or flying down a zip line. The possibilities are varied and it keeps the game flowing as it encourages you to keep moving and not stay in one spot.
Graphics wise it’s not bad for a game that was released in 2007 and the game is very advanced for the time with its destructibility with the physics because you can tear an environment apart, and it is especially fun when you have a shotgun and you destroy a restaurant.
Overall John Woo’s Stranglehold is a great action game and if you take it for what it is a generic action game you’ll have a blast with it and plus it is super cheap these days, you can pick it up for about £2.