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ups: Sticks to the gritty feel of Die Hard movies:
downs: Dated graphics; lackluster aural experience.

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Die Hard Vendetta Review (GC)
game: Die Hard Vendetta
four star
posted by: Matt James
publisher: publisher
date posted: 09:10 AM Sun Feb 9th, 2003
last revision: 02:59 PM Fri Sep 23rd, 2005

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Everybody\'s favorite down on his luck cop, John McClane, is back. Too bad for him things just don\'t seem to ever get better. Here it is years after his last adventure in Die Hard: With a Vengeance and he is still getting mixed up in crazy terrorist plots. This time his daughter, who followed in daddy\'s footsteps and is now a cop, is involved in a hostage situation at the local Museum. What else could John do but go down there and be sure that things get taken care of the right way. By that I mean he is gonna kill them all, yeah baby! Who needs hostage negotiators? Just when we think he has saved the day, we realize it is only the beginning.

I for one genuinely like John McClane. He is one of my all time favorite action heroes. I was a little sad to see him alone in his little apartment in the first cut scene of the game. Why can\'t the poor SOB get a break? Then again, what isn\'t so good for John is nice for gamers. If he didn\'t have terrorist plots to foil then we wouldn\'t have this often frustrating, yet interesting and ultimately fun game.

When I first started this game I began with the training mode. GROAN! It was awful. I wanted to just shut the game off then and there--and in fact I did. (Would my editors know if I wrote the review after playing for only five minutes? Probably, they\'re pretty smart guys. Better keep playing.) Luckily I picked it back up a couple of minutes later and skipped the training. What I got was a different type of game, the kind of game that you get into despite all the things that you see wrong with it. Die Hard: Vendetta has a character all its own. That is what keeps me playing it.

The first level is fairly standard FPS stuff. But the second level is where things get interesting. That is when the character really starts to come out. True to the movies, Die Hard: Vendetta is a mature game. This becomes apparent very quickly when you run into the first batch of potty mouthed gang members. My favorite part of this game has got to be the dialogue. It had me rolling on the floor laughing. This is a good thing, unlike a lot of games that make me laugh because the dialogue is so bad. At one point in the game you are required to get into an exclusive club. You take a membership card off of a dearly departed gang member and head over. The man at the door calmly asks you for your card. It is obvious that an old John McClane isn\'t the same guy whom you stole the card off of. That is when the door man gets cranky. \"Get out of here you (expletive deleted) cracker, before I kick your (expletive deleted) @$$.\" It was so unexpected that I couldn\'t stop laughing. I kept going back to him so that he would continue to curse at me. All childishness aside, I respect this game for doing this. I don\'t want my ten-year-old brother playing it, but I am glad that it is available for people who are old enough and want it.

Since Die Hard does have a story line that you must follow it is a fairly straightforward game. I understand this restriction and appreciate the steps the developers took to give the player as much freedom as possible. In many situations there is more than one way to accomplish your goals. One neat twist in Die Hard is the added ability to take hostages. That\'s right; the bad guys aren\'t the only ones who can take a hostage. There are a couple places where you have to take hostages but other times it is just a cool alternative to blasting your way through a situation. It is something a little different than what we generally see in this type of game and I definitely want to give the developers a pat on the back for this one.

At another point in the game I was having a hard time killing these two goons in a pit. After I did kill them I was left with little health and no way of crossing the pit. I noticed a backhoe loaded with steel girders and dumped them into the pit, allowing me to cross. I perished quickly on the other side though. The next time I came to the pit, instead of fighting the goons, I went straight to the backhoe and dumped the steel girders on their heads. This is the kind of thing that makes me excited about a game. Sure Die Hard has its goofy jump from ledge to ledge moments but there are enough of these little gems throughout the game that you forgive the rest.

With so many interesting little touches it is too bad that the game is otherwise so mediocre. A couple of years ago this would have been a great game but today there are just too many stellar FPSs that it can\'t compare too. Someday a developer is going to learn from all the achievements and all the mistakes of past FPSs and make the game to end all games. Though it is frustrating to see games make innovations only to ignore the innovations of the game before it, for now we will just have to deal with it. Case in point: Die Hard doesn\'t have a multiplayer mode. Why not? Isn\'t this pretty much standard for a FPS? Am I just spoiled? There are lots of great, real weapons in the game. I would have liked to shoot my friends with all of them. Well, you know what I mean. Imagine the possibilities with a team multiplayer mode and the hostage taking ability.

The graphics and audio are lackluster, reminding me more of something we would have seen on the PC a couple of years ago. Die Hard: Vendetta is one of the few games I have played on the Cube in recent history that doesn\'t support Dolby Pro Logic II--yet it does have widescreen, progressive scan support. Basically you aren\'t gonna be dazzled, but you won\'t shriek in pain either.

The die hard Die Hard fans are gonna get a kick out of this game. So will a lot of FPS fans, not to mention any fans of swearing and hostage taking. But those of you too spoiled by the great FPSs of late will want to rent it first. Even then, you will probably get your fill of Die Hard: Vendetta in your five day rental period. I would like to see the developers of this game get serious and take another stab at a Die Hard game. There is a lot of potential here that just misses the mark. Maybe a tie with the next Die Hard movie is planned for 2004.