No Woo for Wii
Product: John Woo Presents: Stranglehold
Company: Midway
Date: 05/12/2006
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For years, John Woo's name has been synonymous with extreme action. His unique directing and choreography styles have made his films a piece of art. His movies are so popular that they have influenced the gaming industry time and time again. Think about it, how many times have you heard someone talk about a game where the main character can use two guns and they use the phrase "John Woo style".

Well now Midway is preparing to release a game that is more than just like his style, but actually comes from the mind of John Woo himself. John Woo and Tiger Hill Entertainment's goals were to create a game that gives the user the options to easily perform any of the signature stunts and styles found in Woo's movies. According to Woo, the goal of the game is "to give the players the opportunity to make a John Woo film." And who best to play the main character then Chow Yun-Fat. The action star was charged as not only providing the vocal talents of the next-gen game, but his likeness was used as well.

The live demonstration that Midway put on had Fat's character running and gunning his way through a restaurant. Everything in the environment reacted to the bullets and as tiles fly off of columns and paintings slide off the wall, the player can dodge for cover, slide on carts and run up banisters. With such a uniquely destructive environment, Tiger Hill says that every time you play a level, the damage will look completely different and no two playthroughs will be the same.

As you use the environment to your advantage, you build up Style Points, and when you have enough, you can unleash a beautiful and devastating attack. What does the attack look like? That all depends on not only how many enemies there are, but where they are and what else is in the room with you.

The demo concluded with a boss fight involving a rocket launcher. Fat's character had to jump and dodge his way around the room as the ball of fire barely missed him. The action in the demonstration definitely conveyed the cinematic style the developers were going for.

Stranglehold is slated to be released for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows. There are currently no official plans to market the game for Nintendo's next-gen console, the Wii. The Woo game uses both Unreal 3 and Havok engines to pull off its amazing visual style.

J.R. Nip aka Chris Meyer

GameVortex PSIllustrated TeamPS2