John Woo Presents: Stranglehold
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the game glorifies violence in a graphic and, some would say, irresponsible manner; and the game's central message is that one badass cop can take down entire crime families with firepower. Not a real-world lesson, but one you can find on the silver screen. The game lets you jump in various directions and shoot bad guys in slow motion.
What's it about?
JOHN WOO PRESENTS: STRANGLEHOLD could call itself Hard Boiled 2 because it functions as a spiritual sequel to the original groundbreaking film by John Woo, the Hong Kong action director. The game features the likeness, voice, and attitude of that film's hero, international action star Chow Yun Fat. Since it's based on director Woo's cinematic oeuvre, fans know what to expect. Guns, more guns, doves for symbolism, and slow-motion ballet-type carnage that attempts to make mass-killing seem picturesque. Needless to say the game is rated M-Mature by the ESRB.
Is it any good?
Given that there's not much to the cinematics, dialogue, exposition, or presentation of Stranglehold, Mr. Woo might want to reconsider lending the game his name. But the action is satisfying, even though what you're playing is essentially a one- or two-trick pony.
Stranglehold features a major gimmick in search of a game. And that gimmick is: "Tequila Time" (no, Jose Cuervo isn't involved -- the character's name is Tequila), a way to slow everything down and let you place bullets exactly where you need them to go. You gain this miraculous trick by doing other cool stunts ripped from preposterous action movies. The level design, pacing, and use of Tequila Time make for a fun and intense gaming experience.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how this game compares to a John Woo movie. Are the characters the same? Is the plot? Are the mood and tone? What makes interactive games and movies different? In real life, is vengeance ever acceptable?