Die Hard Vendetta


Review by Christopher Coleman



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

There's been a long and almost proud tradition of Die Hard games for various consoles and home computers. From C64 Die Hard (a sort of arcade adventure) to NES Die Hard (a Metal Gear variant) to PC Engine Die Hard (a top view scrolling shooter) to PlayStation Die Hard Trilogy 1 and 2 (combinations of third person shooter/driving/light gun segments) to PC Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza to this game, Die Hard Vendetta.

The son of your old nemesis Hans Gruber is in town, and he's got your daughter, a rookie in the police force, held hostage. What's going on? Go to the Museum and find out. As John McClane, you're out to get the girl, kill the baddies, and save the entire planet - or at least Los Angeles. Stages include such locations as the museum, the LA subway, a theatre, and the mean streets of LA itself.

What makes this game stand out from half a bazillion first person shooters? For one thing, on Gamecube there aren't a half a bazillion first person shooters. Fortunately for Die Hard Vendetta, this isn't the only selling point. The game has well implemented controls, not a million miles away from the likes of GoldenEye, and very rarely does it ever feel like you're being penalized by the game engine rather than the bad guys themselves. Also, there's dual wield weapons, grabbing adversaries, and "Hero Time" - slowing down time so you can blaze away at multiple enemies. All of these are elements that aren't exactly in short supply for first person shooters nowadays, but would definitely be notable if absent.

Another selling point, although somewhat underused, is the stealth ability. Instead of running in shooting constantly, there are some points where it's necessary to sneak up on enemies and grab them. This actually proved to be a point of frustration in an early stage, until strategy changed from 'kill kill kill constantly-run-forward-without-thinking' to working within the constraints of the game. We're not talking Splinter Cell here, but it breaks the game up a bit and keeps things somewhat dynamic. Do I shoot that gang leader or grab and interrogate him?

While it doesn't use the voices of any of the original actors except Reginald VelJohnson, the acting is competent enough, and the lead almost sounds like Bruce Willis at times. There's also some rough and occasional swearing in places - this game isn't for sensitive ears. Sound is otherwise just fine - pleasant but non-distracting incidental music, guns blazing, explosions; the whole package you'd expect from a first person shooter.

One point against the game - it's single player only.

This may not be a Metroid Prime beater, but it's definitely underrated. You could do far worse than to rescue this from the bottom of a bargain bin or the higher reaches of a Buy It Now list on eBay sorted by "Price: Lowest First".


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Last updated: Monday, July 04, 2005 07:27 AM