Excerpt: Rhetorical question: Why are all these room service carts just lying around? With John Woo's famous name prominently displayed on the box cover coupled with the game's cool-looking slow-motion, bullet ballet-style gameplay, Stranglehold has a tremendous amount of "curb appeal," as they say in the real estate business. Translation: It makes a terrific first impression. The idea of doing a sequel to Woo's 'Hard Boiled' not as a film but as a videogame is an intriguing one.
Excerpt: Some games go out of their way to try and push the envelope of gaming - either technologically or as a form of art - and some just use the available technology and mould it to fit their goal of providing a package of mindless fun. Stranglehold is firmly standing in the latter camp, where content and fun drives the development and the technical details are secondary to the game.
Summary: A spiritual sequel to Woo's action masterpiece, Hard Boiled, Stranglehold allows gamers to play a John Woo-directed action blockbuster movie. Dual-wielding and stunt-laden gunplay combined with massive destructible environments ensures that Stranglehold will be a true tour-de-force.
Conclusion: Stranglehold isn't the sort of game that's going to set the shooter genre on fire. It's a more than competent take on an existing formula that has enough unique moments and overall challenge to succeed. Sure, it gets repetitive at times, its few forays into more action-adventure style gaming over straight ahead shooting aren't much fun, and the multiplayer is borderline irrelevant; but there's enough solid, exciting action here for any shooter fan to sink their teeth...
Pros: Guns, guns, guns!, Environments blow apart beautifully, Tequila's got a good number of effective moves and abilities, Solid voice acting.
Cons: Gameplay does fall into repetition after a while, Some of the dynamic portions of the environment are more trouble than they're worth, Short single-player mode, Multiplayer is weak, PC version has some crashing issues.
Conclusion: A lot of cool stuff here, so how's Stranglehold shaping up visually? I think only two words are necessary here, quite impressively. Chow Yun-Fat's videogame counterpart has been modeled to virtual perfection, and that alone should make Hard Boiled fans rush to their nearest gaming store once the game releases. But of course, everything else has received similar treatment.