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John Woo Presents: Stranglehold

Author: Franky Moops
Sunday, 9 December 2007
Xbox360Midway 
7/10
 
Inspector Tequila, portrayed by Chow Yun Fat, has returned to ourscreens in Stranglehold – the videogame sequel to John Woo’s 1992 action film classic Hard Boiled. In true John Woo style, the game is full of doves scatteringin slow motion and the major shooting-up of stuff. All of the staples you’dexpect in a John Woo movie can be found here including slow-mo diving, overlydramatic face-offs and dual-pistol action. This gives the game a freshperspective next to its normal-mo one-gun peers.  
The plot leaves a little to be desired, as the entire story consists ofwave after wave of bad guys and little more to do than find innovative ways tokill them – and the more stylish the kill the better. Inspector Tequila as heropoliceman doesn’t really have any civilians around to save or non-shootingrelated objectives to achieve. The game is simply a styled orgy of violencecoupled with endless ammunition and thoroughly destructible environments.  
The graphics in this game are fantastic and the small details in theenvironment around you are top notch. For example, if a bullet hits a wall nearan enemy, the plaster launched at his face might force him to cover his eyes.Even enormous marble statues and dinosaur skeletons can be pounded into a finedust. This also means that any cover you do have doesn’t last long – which inturn also keeps the action moving.  
The controls behind all this gunplay are interesting too. While runningand gunning is simple enough, Tequila also interacts with the environment inways no other action character can. If you run towards a table, he’ll slideacross it like a greased-up hot dog with nothing to lose. Everything you canuse to move about lights up when you’re in range, from banisters to rollingcarts to chandeliers, and doing so automatically kicks in slow motion TequilaTime, which lets you blow away scumbags before they get close and racks upstyle points. The more style points you get, the more you build up your TequilaBomb power, which means you can launch long-range slow motion precision shots,temporary god mode, super rampage, or a dove-releasing spin attack that dropseverything in range.  
Stranglehold is a mindless shooter with a forgettable story, but it isstill more fun than the majority of other games out there. Stranglehold isabout massive battles, loads of debris, and ridiculous, implausible, over thetop action. What it lacks in substance it makes up for with pure style – whichmakes it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. If you are a fan of action games oraction movies then there is no reason to miss this.  
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