Review by jimfish
"McClane's old age sets in and develops rigor mortis."
Die Hard. Bruce Willis. They go together like ham and eggs, don't they? Well, sadly, that's not the case here with Vendetta - it's more like lamb and tuna fish, feeling as though the game was developed by a team of twelve monkeys.
Originally planned to be a GameCube exclusive, Die Hard: Vendetta soon found itself being ported in to the XBox scene with very little alteration and fine tuning (read: none). "But wait! Isn't that a good thing?!" you might be asking yourself. Well, sadly, no. Bringing an exclusive title out on another platform is nice and all (I didn't fancy picking up a PlayStation 2 just for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas), but when they do absolutely nothing to it, it's saddening, especially since it was a pretty poor game to begin with.
Everybody knows old John McClane; the lovable rugged cop who foiled more European terrorists plans for destruction than he's had hot dinners. And there's only one thing can beats his terror-busting rap-sheet, and that's the amount of arguments that he's had with his wife...whoops. Sidetracked. But still, if you've ever seen the movie ( *cracks knuckles* You better have.) you'll know the story - McClane goes up into a sky-rise tower, some terrorists come to bust up his ****, but they're all a bunch of sissies and end up eating his dust. Repeat formula a few times, substituting skyscraper for airport, and then from airport to the entire of New York City. ...Where does he have left to battle terrorists?! ...Everywhere.
Anyway, this game takes place a few years after the events of Die Hard: With a Vengeance, where John's little innocent daughter Lucy McClane has since grown up to become a Boy in Blue; defender of the law, police officer of courage. She doesn't need daddy anymore to protect her - she's all grown up. Except...well...for some reason she gets kidnapped. Kidnapped by, no less, than the son of infamous terrorist Hans Gruber, who McClane happened to throw out of a window at the end of the original movie. So, as you can imagine, he's pretty steamed. What happens next? McClane picks up his guns, puts on a grubby vest and goes hunting for terrorist blood.
On the graphics side of the game, Vendetta stands out. Not because it's awesome, boundary pushing visuals, but because it's so dated. We're in the 2000s here, not stuck in the 90s playing Half Life. Rooms are made up of jagged, rough squares of textures. Come on, guys, at least make the architecture interesting instead of this bland, dull corridor. There's one balance in a game that I always love and hate; the enemies. They're either super smart, but look like they're cloned from the same ugly terrorist, or are beautiful and unique, but are as thick as pig poop. In Vendetta, the enemies take something from each side of the scale, and ten points if you guess what they are. ¬_¬ Endless waves of dumb, hideous bad guys that look identical to mow down. Yippi-Kay-Yay. I'm leaping for joy with excitement (read: snoring).
"So what? Who cares about the enemies? They'll just be corpses in a moment" you might be saying, which I'd agree with...to some extent. But when you've got lifeless environments, you'd better pray that you've got one hell of a gripping game to make you forget everything else. ...You can imagine what I'm going to say next. It's not immerse. It's not griping. Hell, it's barely fun. Barely. It's nothing more than a simple exercise of running-and-gunning throughout this game. Granted, there's that odd moment of puzzles and the chance to solve them, but you wouldn't really notice to be fair. The developers wanted to catch up with the current market and make a game which isn't just mindless shooting, but had some type of interaction between player and characters. Sadly, by interaction, they mean hitting the action button by the players, shifting and wading through the inane and piss-poor dialogue before they land you with the clue or item you need. It's far too tedious to do that every time you want to know or do something. McClane? He's happy to just sit there, nodding his head to whatever they say. Has he gone soft? In the first movie, did he patiently stand about waiting for an elevator? No! He had some balls and jumped off the roof by a fire-hose tied around his waist! What's caused this hard-hitting cop to just give up and nod like he's doing now?
Heh. Thinking it's because it's down to old age? You might be right. Ever seen the game in action or played it yourself? Notice just how rigid and solid his arms are? He must be so old that they plastered him with formaldehyde.
Recently, I discovered something about this game - it's either super-easy and for kids, or it's mega-hard and close to impossible, all thanks to the auto-aim function. When it's on, all you need to do is move forward and tap the shoot button - Bang, bang, bang. You win. Everybody's dead. But if turn it off, and you'll be busy trying to fight the controls more than the terrorists. You have a choice between a challenge of a life-time (plus anger and frustration at not being able to kill a guy right next to you), or a walk in the park picnic.
Last but not least, we've got sound to discuss. As always, we get cheap imitators to cover voices. Whilst Bruce Willis once donated his voice over for the games
Apocalypse and The Fifth Element, he's sadly absent from the voice-over crew. Luckily, one of the greatest, badass men in existent is providing his voice; Reginald Veljohnson aka Al Powell, from Die Hard (plus cameo in Die Harder.) That's really the only highlight. The sound effects are pretty bland and are hardly striking or unique, unlike the booming, echoing sound effects of Black. Is it fair to compare two games separated by a few years release? Of course it is. They're both FPSs, and on clearly defines the genre, and the other is a wanna-be. If you're a die-hard Die Hard fan (*rimshot*), then pick it up. If not, stay away. Pick up a much more gripping FPS like the already mentioned Black.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 10/11/05, Updated 01/02/07
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