Stranglehold

A third person shooter starring Chow Yun-Fat as Inspector Tequila (Same guy from the movie Hard Boiled). Blast through hundreds of bad guys in John Woo style gun fights. Watch Tequila fly through the air with guns blazing and bullets zipping past and debris flying all over the place.

Release Date:

September 2007.

Pros:

It’s like playing in a John Woo movie.

It looks just like a John Woo movie.

Very destructible environments. All the gunfights always involve things blowing up or breaking or debris flying all over the place, just like a John Woo movie.

Plenty of John Woo slow-mo action. And it looks very good!

Very good gun fighting action and lots of it!

Cons:

Very very very short single-player campaign story mode. It is okay if you don’t mind playing through the story over and over again.

No weapon reloading except for the special move Tequila Bomb which shows a nice animation of reloading your weapon. There are times when I think that reloading the weapon at that point in time will make the game look even better. They don’t have to reload it realisticly after 8 or 13 shots or whatever a real gun holds, even reloading after 100 rounds would make the game look better.

No LAN playing mode. Got online and no LAN. For this game I think it craves a LAN session.

The Online game setup is terrible. You cannot join an existing game being played. Everyone must wait in the lobby and start a game together and that’s it. No one else can join your game. It really ruins this type of fast paced action shooter.

Not built for modding or map editing. This game craves a map editor at least. Especially since the single-play story is so very short.

No Cantonese recordings for the Hong Kong bits. It just sounds wrong when you hear Cantonese being spoken by the bad guys during the action parts and then they speak English in the cut scenes.

It looks like the online server lobby service has now been taken offline permanently.

Other Points:

Some of the action moves in this game look so good I wish there was an instant replay feature to record the moves and play it back from different camera angles.

It is repetitive, but like a good arcade game, I keep coming back for more John Woo action.

There are no save games. The game automatically saves as you complete checkpoints. The other thing is, there is only one profile, so only one person can play through the game in sequence. The easiest way to get around this problem though, is to use a different user profile on the computer to play the game.

Biases:

Reviewed version 1.1.

I have never played any Max Payne games.

I really liked the movies Hard Boiled and The Killer.

I have completed the game many times but only on normal and easy difficulties.

DRM:

The disc must be in the drive to play the game.

Patches:

1.1[EU] – I did not notice any difference with or without the patch.

1.1[US] – I have not used this patch because my game patched with the EU version.

Minimum Requirements (as stated on box):

  • Operating system: Windows XP Service Pack 2/Vista
  • Processor: Intel Core Duo processor or equivalent
  • Memory: 2Gb system memory
  • Hard Disk Space: 15 Gb of free disc space required
  • DVD-ROM Drive: 16x DVD-Rom Drive
  • SOUND: DirectX 9.0c and higher compliant sound card
  • DIRECTX: DirectX 9.0c and higher will be supplied on the DVD
  • Video: DirectX 9.0c and higher compatible, including the following: Nvidia GeForce 7800 or above/ATI x1300 or above.
  • MultiPlayer: BROADBAND Internet connection required for online play.

Computer Played On:

  • Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz
  • 2Gb RAM
  • ATI Radeon X1600 256Mb RAM
  • Win XP Pro SP2
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

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