Shooter (3 Games)

Die Hard Vandetta

Developer: Bits Studios
Publisher: Fox Interactive / Sierra Entertainment
Websites:
Walkthrough: Walkthrough
Game Rating: M (Mature) [Blood, Strong Language, Violence]
Release Date: November 19, 2002
$49.99 / $4.99 Game Stop
Players: 1
480p, Widescreen

In Die Hard: Vendetta, tactics and stealth are just as important as having a big gun and being a quick shot. The story picks up five years after the movie Die Hard With a Vengeance, and you play as LA cop John McClane. Your daughter, now a full-grown woman on the police force, finds herself in danger, and it's up to you to save her. In your investigation, you'll meet old friends, uncover helpful clues, and solve objectives--all while using stealth or an arsenal of weaponry to move past enemies.

Voice: John McClane: Michael Blanchard
Al Powell: Reginald VelJohnson

You'd think that a movie such as Die Hard would have all the makings for a fantastic video game. Actually, it does. It's got one hero up against a seemingly never-ending stream of generic bad guys, but with a few more-meaningful enemy characters thrown in along the way for good measure. Its setting is a huge, complex building that the main character, John McClane, has to ascend, level by level. It's got a big payoff ending in the form of McClane's rescuing a building full of hostages, including his estranged wife. Yes, the movie Die Hard truly has it all. Yet with the possible exception of Die Hard Trilogy and the Final Fight clone, Die Hard Arcade, every other game with the Die Hard name on it has been disappointing. That being the case, the new Die Hard: Vendetta, a first-person shooter for the GameCube, is pretty much par for the course, though it does a few neat things.

Die Hard: Vendetta takes place long after the Die Hard trilogy. Vendetta takes place in the future. John McClane is an aging, gray-haired man, and his daughter, Lucy, is on the Century City police force. Lucy is on duty at the unveiling of a new painting recovered by Peit Gruber, the son of Die Hard's villain, Hans Gruber. As you might guess, young Gruber is up to something, and before long, all hell breaks loose. So, you'll make your way through 11 different levels in an attempt to stop Gruber's revenge plot, and the game will take you through city streets, film studio back lots, and everyone's favorite Die Hard setting, the Nakatomi Plaza building. The levels are fairly big, though some of them make you wander around too much, and they feel as if they drag on a little too long. The game's storyline is told through conversations with characters you meet in the levels and through prerendered cutscenes. The cutscenes look as though they were rendered using the game engine, yet for some reason they've been compressed into grainy video.

The gameplay is what you'd expect from a second- or third-tier first-person shooter. The game moves pretty slowly, the control and aim are jerky, and the game has an auto-aim feature enabled by default, which is so forgiving that it reduces firefights to a simple matter of pointing in the general direction of your enemies and pulling the trigger. Hostage situations lose all their tension due to this fact (you automatically draw a bead on the bad guy), and it also makes the sniper rifle completely useless. Why use the manual aim of the sniper rifle when your assault rifle auto-aims and never misses stationary foes? Disabling the auto-aim doesn't help things, as the control is so jerky that drawing a bead on an enemy becomes way too difficult.

The one thing that Die Hard: Vendetta does that separates it from your average first-person shooter is give you the ability to grab enemies from behind and use them as a human shield, much like you can in third-person games like Dead to Rights and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. You can put your gun to the head of your new hostage, usually forcing nearby enemies to drop their weapons and go prone. The game also borrows a few effects from Max Payne. You'll know when you've cleared out a batch of foes because the game does that Max Payne-like slow, spinning camera effect to show the final enemy taking fire. You can also activate "hero time," which is identical to Max Payne's bullet time. You'll slow the action down around you, but you'll still be moving at full speed, so you'll have all the time you need to take out anyone in your way. Given the game's general ease when playing with auto-aim on, hero time feels almost totally unnecessary. The game has no multiplayer options, which limits its replayability to going through three different difficulty levels.

Graphically, Die Hard: Vendetta doesn't get the job done. The frame rate is all over the place, varying in direct relation to how much action there is onscreen. The levels aren't particularly inspired--the Nakatomi Plaza level, for example, is a mess of a maze of strangely placed walls and office doors that don't open. The character models look decent, and the weapon models are also OK, but overall, Die Hard: Vendetta looks flat.

The game is loaded with a surprising number of four-letter words.
There is a lot of voice work used in the game--you can talk to most of the game's nonenemy characters, and some of them will have five or six lines of dialogue. Most of the voice-over is bland, and occasionally it's miscast as well. The actor used for John McClane sounds more like a gruff Will Ferrell than an older Bruce Willis. Additionally, a lot of speech just sounds odd, as if it's coming from directly next to you, even if the person speaking is behind you or rather far away. A lot of the gun sound effects are pretty bland as well. There really isn't much punch to any of the audio, though the script is at least interesting: That's because Die Hard: Vendetta is the most curse-filled game ever released on home consoles, rivaling even the recent Deathrow for the Xbox. McClane and the terrorists alike seem to swear constantly from start to finish. It's hilarious at times, but it also seems pretty out of place. Die Hard definitely wasn't a kid's movie or anything, but the game really seems as if it's going out of its way to insert curse words into its script, just because it can. Fans of the film will be happy to know that McClane's catchphrase that starts with "Yippie-kai-yay" is uttered in its original state on multiple occasions and by multiple characters.

Die Hard: Vendetta definitely had the potential to be a great first-person shooter, and to be sure, there are some decent ideas to be found in the game. But the execution is sloppy, and in the end, the game simply feels unfinished. Considering how crowded the first-person shooter market has gotten lately with the release of games like James Bond 007: NightFire and TimeSplitters 2, there really shouldn't be much room in your collection for Die Hard: Vendetta.

By Ryan Mac Donald, GameSpotPosted Oct 28, 2002 3:26 pm PT

John McClane and the rest of the Die Hard posse hit the GameCube. Fans of the Die Hard films have had the good fortune of receiving a number of computer, console, and arcade games inspired by the series in the past. Just this spring, for example, Sierra released a PC first-person shooter called Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza, a game based on the events that were featured in the original Bruce Willis film. The latest game in this popular action series will arrive this November in the form of a first-person shooter titled Die Hard: Vendetta. Though, the game isn't actually based on any of the films--it's an entirely new story that features John McClane and several other Die Hard characters.

Looks like trouble is brewing again.
Die Hard: Vendetta's story takes place after the events that transpired in the third Die Hard film. Lucy McClane, John McClane's daughter (who appeared briefly in the first film as a child), is now a police officer who finds herself caught up in a situation that unsurprisingly involves lots of bad guys with guns. John McClane sees the events begin to unfold on television and heads down to the scene, where he meets up with old friends like Sgt. Al Powell and even news reporter Dick Thornburg. From this point, you play the game as John McClane, who must rescue his daughter. Though, the game doesn't end there. In fact, Lucy ends up helping her father throughout a great deal of the game, and he definitely needs all the help he can get, since Hans Gruber's son is in town, and he wants to pick up where his dad, who was the villain in the original Die Hard film, left off.

The gameplay in Die Hard: Vendetta is like that of most first-person shooters, though the game is set up in a way that will accommodate two distinct types of play styles. You can either run through the game with guns blazing or take a stealthier approach. The first approach, as you might imagine, involves you running around the game's environments and shooting every bad guy in sight, which isn't hard, since the game defaults with its aggressive auto-aim feature on, and it basically automatically targets every available enemy in succession, allowing you to shoot with ease. Though, you have to be careful, as many of the levels are set in public areas like art museums, movie theaters, and restaurants, where there are a lot of innocent people. If you accidentally shoot one of the bystanders, the mission will end.

Yep, this is trouble all right.
When there are hostages or innocent people around, the stealthy approach is often the better way to go. For instance, if you sneak into an area undetected, you'll find that the bad guys often lose focus and start to converse. If you take your time, you'll often get an opportunity to turn the tables. For example, when a criminal with a gun turns his back, you can sneak up on him, put him in a headlock with your gun pointed at his head, and order the others to lay down their weapons. Once they do, you can run over and pick up their guns. If you don't, they'll quickly try to pick up their weapons and fire on you. You'll also find alternate methods and routes if you look around before running into the front door of a building with your guns blazing. Of course, there are situations that simply call for firepower and lots of it. Luckily for McClane, the designers have put quite an arsenal of weapons into the game, including revolvers, automatic pistols, sniper rifles, submachine guns, and even crossbows. All the weapons can be fired with both hands, so if you pick up two revolvers, you can choose to have one in each hand for double the pleasure. Trying to aim these weapons manually is a bit rough, but we're hoping the developers can smooth the control for aiming out a bit more before the game ships.

In its current state, the game looks like it's coming together well. The visuals are very sharp, but the character models are a bit stingy with the polygons, resulting in characters who look a bit blockier than GameCube owners are accustomed to. The textures aren't of the highest quality either, but the game does offer a lot of different environmental details and moves at a fairly nice and steady pace. The sound, which features Dolby Pro Logic II support, is rich and varied. The game includes a great deal of voice acting, including a lot of Die Hard-style phrases that are more than a bit colorful.

At the very least, fans of the Die Hard films should be interested in the game's story line, which is completely original. Die Hard: Vendetta's presentation and gameplay seem to be coming along pretty well, but while the game certainly looks promising, we'll have to wait until it's released on November 18 to pass final judgment.

Die Hard: Vendetta boasts some of the finest gameplay, visuals and atmosphere in any First Person Shooter available on the planet! FEATURING:

  • Completely original storyline set five years after Die Hard With A Vengeance!
  • Interactive Characterisation with full lip synching system. Speak to any character in the game and get clues to help you solve your objectives!
  • Two different modes of play through either STEALTH or ACTION. Take enemies hostage, use them as cover or force them to disarm.
  • Amazing cinematic effects include Slow Motion Deaths and Bullet Cam.
  • Incredible Graphical effects. Witness light refracting through glass, the amazingly realistic water, advanced smoke and particle effects, unbelievably detailed textures and more...
  • Enhanced enemy AI behaviour. They duck and dive for cover, learn around corners, alert pals close by of your presence and work in groups to take you out! Watch them react to sight, sound and even heat.
  • Control McClane with the dual analog setup, designed specifically for the console. Jump, auto jump, crouch, climb, swing on ropes, pull objects, lean around corners use double-handed weapons and more!
  • Mature Rated with adult language used.
Metroid Prime

Developer: Retro Studios
Publisher: Nintendo
Websites: Metroid Prime UK (flash)
Game Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: November 19, 2002
$49.99 / $7.99 EB Games
Players: 1
More Info


Samus returns in a new mission to unravel the mystery behind the ruined walls scattered across Tallon IV. In Metroid Prime, you'll play the role of this bounty hunter and view the world through her visor, which displays information ranging from current energy levels to ammunition. Equipped with a Power Beam and Gravity Suit, you must shoot locked switches, solve puzzles, and eliminate enemies. It's up to you to explore the world and recover more power-ups and weapons, which gradually open more gameplay areas.

  • Intense competition: Engage in online multiplayer action on more than a dozen maps with up to 24 players.
  • Engaging story: An all-new single-player mode drops you deep into a war obscured by deception and propaganda.
  • Unique gameplay: Become anyone in your army with the new Hot-Swapping feature—take total control of each soldier’s unique skills.
  • Varied arsenal: Own the battlefield with more than 30 land, sea, and air vehicles, and more than 50 state-of-the-art weapons.
Metroid Prime 2

Developer: Retro Studios
Publisher: Nintendo
Websites: Metroid Prime 2
Game Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: November 19, 2002
$49.99 / $15.00: GameStop #715: Vacaville: December 27, 2008
Players: 1
More Info | Wiki |

Samus returns in a new mission to unravel the mystery behind the ruined walls scattered across Tallon IV. In Metroid Prime, you'll play the role of this bounty hunter and view the world through her visor, which displays information ranging from current energy levels to ammunition. Equipped with a Power Beam and Gravity Suit, you must shoot locked switches, solve puzzles, and eliminate enemies. It's up to you to explore the world and recover more power-ups and weapons, which gradually open more gameplay areas.

  • Intense competition: Engage in online multiplayer action on more than a dozen maps with up to 24 players.
  • Engaging story: An all-new single-player mode drops you deep into a war obscured by deception and propaganda.
  • Unique gameplay: Become anyone in your army with the new Hot-Swapping feature—take total control of each soldier’s unique skills.
  • Varied arsenal: Own the battlefield with more than 30 land, sea, and air vehicles, and more than 50 state-of-the-art weapons.

Game Cube Game List