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John Woo's Stranglehold dives onto GOG, in slow motion, surrounded by doves

Like a sudden smattering of doves, John Woo Presents: Stranglehold has been given fresh life on GOG today. John Woo’s kinda-sorta 2007 sequel to 1992’s Hard Boiled, Stranglehold is a videogame action flick that gunned to be one of Woo’s best. It’s got Chow Yun-fat diving through the air in slow motion (sorry, “Tequila Time”), pistols akimbo. It’s got dozens of faceless goons to murder, levels packed with pillars bursting like dust-filled balloons. There are doves! Hundreds and thousands of doves! That’s all you need, right?

Someone confirm that for me. Please. I’ve never seen a Woo film.

Developers Midway made a good stab at pulling that off 12 years ago, at least. Stranglehold was a stylish mix of third-person running and gunning and kung-fu brawling in wonderfully breakable action setpieces. It was also, admittedly, a lot of what Max Payne was doing half a decade earlier.

Our former John (RPS in peace) was rather taken by the game’s stylish start, but noted in a Have You Played back in ’15 that Stranglehold kinda nosedives after ditching the streets of Hong Kong for Chicago car parks.

Ah well. They can’t all be bangers. But like a lot of “fascinating, yet average” games, Stranglehold has its defenders. Beyond making a legit copy of Stranglehold easier to find, today’s rerelease also makes the 12-year-old game more compatible with modern systems, adding support for widescreen resolutions.

John Woo Presents: Stranglehold is out now on GOG for £8.09/€9.49/$10.48.

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Natalie Clayton

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