Die Hard: Vendetta
Game Info
Platform(s)
GC, PS2
Publisher
Vivendi Universal
Developer
Bits Studio
Genre
FPS
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Blood, Strong Language, Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Stealth elements
• Good script

The Bad

• Ugly graphics
• Gameplay is unoriginal
• Checkpoints too far apart

 
Grade
C-

In Die Hard: Vendetta, you play as John McClane, who has seen better days. Some years after the movie trilogy, McClane is an older officer who's called into action when his daughter, Officer Lucy McClane, is taken hostage by terrorists at an art show. From that point, McClane finds himself and the police under siege as the plot takes its prerequisite twists and turns.

Die Hard: Vendetta takes the standard FPS formula and tries to add a number of elements borrowed from other games. Players can use stealth to sneak up on enemies and take them by the throat (like Metal Gear Solid 2 or Dead to Rights), but often you'll find this mechanic is more tedious in execution compared to just gunning it out from room to room. Every once in a while, you'll be able to use "Hero Time", which is basically Max Payne's Bullet Time played to the Ode to Joy - using this will slow down time for a few moments, allowing players to dodge bullets and shoot down a room full of enemies. And, from time to time, you'll be treated to a Max Payne-like slo-mo cinematic of killing the last enemy in certain locations.

Set up in stages, you'll be given a series of objectives to complete, even though this tends to change during play. Being story-driven, you'll find yourself talking to a lot of NPCs multiple times just to gain new objectives, keys or even clues as to what's going on in the story. Since the game is saved at checkpoints (which seem to be set way too far apart), if you fail even the simplest objective, like keeping civilians or hostages from harm, you'll have to restart at the last checkpoint and work back through all the conversations and events to get back to where you were. The trial and error aspect this creates will wear on the patience of some gamers.

Visually, Die Hard: Vendetta is an eyesore. Except for sporting some decent textures, the game is built in a plain and boring world, filled with some truly plain and ugly character models. On top of this, the models and animation in the cutscenes are insultingly bad. Lighting and visual effects are at a bare minimum, which only makes the levels feel even more unappealing. This game looks like it could have been built on the Playstation or N64 and ported just to clean up the edges. This is definitely not a game to show off in front of friends.

The audio portion of Die Hard is probably one of the best parts of the game. The music is strong and feels like you're taking part of a movie rather than a game. Voiceacting is better than most, even though a number of the more famous characters, like McClane, don't sound much like the actors that made them famous. With the large size of the NPC script, you'll be pleased that the voice acting is decent.

Let's be honest - not a lot of the gameplay elements seem all that essential or just don't feel well done in implementation. The stealth portion never seems to work at times (mostly because you can't tell what your enemy's line-of-sight is) when you could use it and you'll often find it easier to just shoot your way through most any problem. While you have the ability to jump and there are a good bit of platforming elements, this just proves to be a huge annoyance that burdens the player between one batch of gunplay and the next. And, a lot of the borrowed gameplay elements scream that they were "lifted" from other games, so much so that I find myself tempted to turn of this game and put one of those on.

Die Hard: Vendetta is one of those games you're only going to want to play if you watch the movies on a daily basis. There are vastly superior FPS out there and a lot of the elements in this game that were taken from other titles just don't mesh well or just aren't implemented well enough to be of any help. If you play this at all, consider it a rental and thank your lucky stars to not have blown full price on it.

- - Vane

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