Posts Tagged ‘Stranglehold’

Total Recall: A Chat With Stephan Martiniere

By Duncan Harris on February 5th, 2014.


This is the latest in the series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.

With the galaxy’s biggest sci-fi movies using ever more effects houses and artists, it can be hard to pinpoint today’s Ralph McQuarries and Ron Cobbs. They’re out there, though, often known more by work than name. At the top of the pile is Stephan Martiniere, one of those illustrators and art directors whose work is so envied by just about any sci-fi project going that’s he levelled up to ‘Visionary’. Put simply, people want the stuff in his head on their books, in their movies, at their theme parks, and, as luck would have it, in their games.

Examples? In movies, Martiniere’s applied his signature style (eye-popping ‘Golden Age’ snapshots of civilisations in overdrive) to the worlds of I, Robot, Tron: Legacy, Star Wars Episodes II and III, Star Trek, The Fifth Element, the Total Recall remake, 300: Rise Of An Empire, Guardians Of The Galaxy and The Avengers: Age Of Ultron. *and breathe…* Read the rest of this entry »

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Stranglehold – PC Gamer Review

By John Walker on September 26th, 2007.

The fine folks at PCG have added my recent review of Stranglehold to their online cauldron. Using your eyes, you can read it after clicking on the text below.

Here’s cool: slow motion diving through the air, pistol in each hand, taking out all 15 baddies in the room. There’s no denying this. Now do it sliding down a bannister, riding belly-first on a trolley, or gliding along the back of a museum dinosaur.

No one can call into question the inherent coolness of John Woo’s gun-toting action style – although perhaps they might want to ponder on the overall quality of his later films (cough-Broken Arrow-cough). Stranglehold is a sequel of sorts to his 1992 Hong Kong film, Hard Boiled, with Woo there to direct the cutscenes to match his familiar policy of action before story, and to ensure the game has a suitable body count.

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Hot Shooty: Stranglehold Demo

By Jim Rossignol on September 15th, 2007.

The Stranglehold PC demo has finally struggled its way onto the internet. It’s a big old beast, weighing in at a portly 2gb. You can get it from here.

Right, so Stranglehold is the game of John Woo’s style of movie making. It’s a kind of gaming sequel to Woo’s Hard-Boiled, delivered in a third-person action sort of way. It’s not exactly Max Payne, but you can see the connections – especially since Max Payne was pretty much an open homage to Woo’s slow-mo-diving-through-stuff manner of filming shooty sequences. Woo even has a cameo in the game, just as he does in a bunch of his films. The show off.

Bullet time comes on pretty much every time you dive or leap over something – and you leap over things automatically, often in unintentionally comedic fashion. For some reason this is called ‘Tequila Time’ and it’s a rather different Tequila time to the one you might be familiar with.

Is it any good? Well, it’s pretty – Unreal Engine 3 pretty – and there’s plenty of destructible objects in the environment. Diving around shooting people in the face as you plunge fearlessly through a shower of debris is pretty satisfying – it never goes goes like this when I try it at home. Yeah, there’s nothing realistic or measured about Stranglehold, it’s a barrage of unadulterated gun-wankery, with non-stop cinematic frippery to dress up the repetition. Death, death, wads of gore, and great clods of ultraviolence – and hardly sophisticated with it. I’ve seen a few people moaning that the full game isn’t long enough, but judging by this I don’t suppose there’s much reason to care: it’s a concentrated dose, and you won’t need much to get your fix. John reports that the game gets a bit arse once you hit the Chicago levels, so maybe the demo will be all you need…

An absurdly high body count, ludicrous bullet-dodging nonsense, and a moderate amount of fun.

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