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Guilty pleasures: Stranglehold

Guilty pleasures: Stranglehold


Format: PS3
Released: 2007
Reviewed: 159
Score: 65%

The plot was rubbish, hokey nonsense that we’ve seen a thousand times before in any number of straight-to-DVD action thrillers, and the acting was on a par. As a result, Stranglehold didn’t really live up to its claim of being a Hollywood (or the Hong Kong version, at least) movie of a game. It was more like a game-game with some daft cutscenes that took themselves way too seriously thrown in for good measure.

But the thing is, Stranglehold was a game version of a John Woo movie. Not just in a lazy comparison way, either, as Woo was actually involved in the game’s creation. John Woo films had always seemed perfect fodder for translation to the gaming world and Stranglehold proved this theory admirably. Just like a John Woo move, you don’t go in expecting it to change your world – you go in expecting a laugh and some ridiculous action sequences. You expect to slide down a banister while shooting 20 triads, to dive off at the end and land on a handily-placed trolley which then wheels off into another crowd of triads. Oh, and you’re still shooting them all the time. Sometimes in slow motion.

It’s shallow and it’s not for those determined to prove games can be “art”. It’s for those of us who like our games to be just that – games. It’s stupid, repetitive fun that doesn’t outstay its welcome. And in exactly how many games can you take control of such a well-rendered Chow Yun Fat (while diving backwards through a melon stand in a seedy Hong Kong alleyway and shooting more triads)? For the price Stranglehold is now available for and for the amount of mindless fun you’ll get out of it, this comes highly recommended in the guilty pleasures pile.

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