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Although you wouldn't say that Fox Interactive could have sold all three games separately at full price, the original Die Hard Trilogy proved excellent value for money back in '96. Remember this was the time when a Playstation console sold at four times toady's cost and a single game was mighty expensive. Selling over 2 million units DHT offered 24 levels of third person shootout action, a light-gun shooting gallery to rival Virtua Cop and a fast paced driving game. No wonder most Playstation owners rushed out to buy a copy.
Well Fox look to have done it again with DHT2: Viva Las Vegas. Prepare to take on the role of John McClane, who now finds the chips stacked against him as he faces a new legion of hi-tech terrorists. The bright lights and vast landscape of Las Vegas provide the backdrop for an all-new story line that incorporates the three game styles of the original best-selling Die Hard Trilogy. Third person action/adventure, sharp-shooting and extreme driving put you right in the heat of the battle. Or play a story-driven adventure with cinematic sequences where you move seamlessly from one style to another as the story unfolds.
I suppose it wouldn't be a real Die Hard review if I didn't say "Yippie-ki-yay!" at least once.
Sound and Vision:
While it certainly proved value for money in terms of gameplay it must be said that the graphics for the original version now look extremely dated. So with the development team who sculptured Duke Nukem's most recent adventures now at the helm, our expectations were high.
It would be very easy to criticize the graphical content within this game, especially when compared to more recent action titles such as Syphon Filter 2, Driver and Resident Evil Survivor. Now these are three quality games that would provide a first round knockout against each genre within Die Hard 2... but for one important fact. They don't all appear on a single disc. What we have here is undoubtedly another budget title. Should you prefer to purchase all three mentioned above then it would cost three times the amount, but combined they would offer ten times the quality.
The light-gun game is definitely the best in terms of visuals and is one cool looking piece of merchandise. All of the scenery is smoothly textured and most of it may be destroyed by a well timed shot revealing hidden power ups. The polygon enemies have possibly been motion captured as they move smoothly around the set at a remarkable speed, while a direct hit sees their bodies produce a spurt of blood before falling to the floor clutching their wound. Explosions are well represented with each direct hit producing a colorful mini blast from the target zone. The action is viewed from a first person perspective, which again moves with pace and fluidity although occasional slowdown is evident when too much is going on at once. There are no options to alter the viewing angle but seeming as the action is non stop from start to finish I doubt if you would find the time to make any adjustments.
The action/adventure mode is far tidier than the last time out, but much that was criticized then remains within the game now. It's amazing when you think that any other game with walls that can clearly be seen through showing this amount of clipping would be hammered into submission. But Die Hard 2 gets away with it because rather than look like a fault in the game it appears to have been programmed in to aid the player. Very clever! Once again the scenery folds out behind you to prevent obscuring your view but up ahead is possibly the shortest viewing distance witnessed in a game for some time. The enemies seem similar to the light-gun game so no real problems there. However, viewed from the third person perspective John McClane's movements are a little wooden and he often becomes snagged on the scenery.
Finally there's the car chase game. Oh dear! What was the best out of the last trilogy has been relegated to the bottom of the pile this time out. Poor re-draw distance, lame scenery, weak animations, ugly explosions... and these are the good points. Just wait until we get around to the gameplay.
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