Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas Review
I remember when Fox Interactive made the first Die Hard game for the PS about 4 years ago. At the time, Sony's little guy wasn't hitting it hard on the scales, so the game was not too popular but it was known. Then during the mid '99 when the PS struck about 50-55 million owners, Fox decided to announce that they were going to deliver a sequel to Die Hard Trilogy. I wasn't too enthusiastic about the news, for some reason I had a feeling that the game won't deliver the good stuff. Now that the game has been released see if Fox's title can change peoples minds about sequels never surviving.
If this was Die Hard Trilogy four years ago then I would say that "ok, the graphics seem fine". But obviously Fox and N-Space are still trapped in 1996 and can't get out. For those who are a little numb "up stairs", what I'm trying to say is not only do the visuals make my eyes bleed, but they look no different from the first Die Hard Trilogy graphics. And that means that these look like 1st generation visuals, with no inspiration at all. The special effects such as explosions are a joke, they may look bright, but compared to what I have seen from games like Syphon Filter and especially Fear Effect, these explosions are garbage. All of the missions look grainy, and incredibly shallow, from the 3rd person to 1st person to the driving stage. The 1st person shooter has ugly looking textures as well as one bad looking John McClane (Bruce Willis). The character models need some refining, and they need to be smoothed out around the edges. Playing in 3rd person is horrendous, Bruce Willis has been disgraced, his whole body is blocky, thin and grainy. The driving part is so bad, and the only making it look bad are the car models, otherwise it passes the test. The graphics aren't completely bad, I'll give Fox for making the CGs look good, but that's about all the credit I can give. The results aren't a mixed bag, though in some parts of the game, like the driving segment, they are. Instead, the game falls more on the negative side than the positive, grainy visuals, no polish, lacking model designs and so forth really make DHT2 a terrible game to look at.
Not much changed between DHT1's and DHT2's gameplay. The game is still split up into 3 segments: 1st person, 3rd person and driving. The 3rd person reflects Syphon Filter, but it is nowhere near its visual standards and overall playability. The 1st person is like Time Crisis but with enemies that move around a lot more, though the action isn't as sweet because the game has no support for the GunCon or any gun for that matter. And the Driving portion is kind of like Driver, you drive around streets, in Mustangs, Taurus', Humvees and more. Both of the gameplays are way off the dart board, but one barely hits it. The 1st person shooter may not support GunCon, but it still isn't bad, the game actually supports the PSX's mouse. It is probably one of the first to do so in years. The story is way too tedious to even listen too, I think I dozed off after the first ten words were spoken. For one weird reason all of the game's segments nauseated me, the camera moves around way too much, and that really stirs up everything in my head. So for those who can't tolerate 1st person shooters due to their floating cameras and quick movements, should stay away from DHT2, or you will find your cookies on the floor, but mine landed on the game, it deserved it.
Oh man, not only am I nauseous but I think I may have lost my hearing. The in-game tunes of DHT2 are so poor, they are cheap techno beats with no rhythm at all. I enjoy good tracks in games and many of you should know that by now. But these tracks are un-enjoyable, I know that there is no such word but words can't describe how lacking the games tunes are. I am extremely disappointed, actually what ticks me off even more is that the game doesn't use Bruce Willis' real voice, instead some impersonator was hired to do the awful job. So yes there is voice acting although it doesn't make this game a percentage better.
I'll keep the controls fast and easy. As I already mentioned, the game control gets me nauseous, so that is really a draw back. I also stated that all of the segments have that result on me, but what I didn't state is that the game controls feel unresponsive, particularly when shooting the gun. In order for the gun to fire you have to hold X for at least a second until shots start to fire. The navigation is pretty annoying, and during the side-run John can't shoot his weapon. Besides for the fact that Dual Shock is supported (vaguely) and analog as well, this is all I'll say about the controls.
So there you have it, I guess the theory about sequels not getting enough attention is true. But that can be changed in a few days when Syphon Filter 2 is reviewed by me us. Nevertheless, Fox and N-Space need to lock themselves in a room and play DHT2, so they suffer from what we suffered from. Now I have to go to the toilet and....urgghhh!