885th played so far

Genre: Action/Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: PC/Playstation 3/Xbox 360
Year of Release: 2007
Developer: Midway Chicago/Tiger Hill Entertainment
Publisher: Midway Games

I’ve managed to do some different preparation for this one – knowing I had a game with John Woo’s name on it, we watched his most known film, The Killer, a while ago. The heavy violence feels like it suits a video game and the Hong Kong setting feels distinct and interesting enough to make use of… I do still need to play Sleeping Dogs after visiting the city back in November. I’m as ready for this shooter as I’ll ever be.

Our Thoughts

One of the first things in my notes is that this feels like John Woo’s Cool Move Generator. It’s not the best shooter – without using the precision aim power, it feels really hard to aim and make it through. However, you get to constantly do cool moves – jumping over tables, shooting while sliding down wires and creating explosions everywhere. It really makes you feel good when you can get to it, but boring, if not frustrating, in between those moments.

The world is fairly linear – there are some goodies in short dead ends, but they didn’t feel that necessary. It’s all about fighting until you get exhausted, without as much plot other than explaining why there’s a boss you need to get rid of.

Finish a level and you get a score of the amount of damage you’ve caused to the world, in dollars, as well as a few other things (but who cares about how fast you are, right?). It unlocks some bonus materials. It’s not doing too much to force you to hit the goals, but works more as a nice pat on the back as you get through.

Final Thoughts

When you can get some cool moves in, John Woo Presents Stranglehold feels really good. Unfortunately, there are plenty of places where you don’t get those choices, especially in later levels when you leave the city. At that point the amount of enemies feels exhausting, without actually feeling interesting. You just keep going through until the end and I don’t think the end results are always worth it.