Die Hard Trilogy
a game by Acclaim Studios London
Die hard trilogy is three games in one, each based around one of the three 'Die Hard' films. It's been out on the PlayStation for a while, where its variety of gameplaying styles, its top-notch graphics and its unalloyed violence made it more popular than the man who remembered the apron at the nudists' deep-fat bacon-frying championship. Now it's coming to the pc.
The first part is a third person-viewed 3D shoot 'em up. You control Brucie, of course, as no-nonsense New York cop. Detective John McClane, whose catchphrase, "Yes, I had a bath this morning", made him so popular on 'Crackerjack'. It more or less follows the plot of the film. Alan Rickman (the Sheriff of Nottingham who died but kept bothering Juliet Stephenson when she was busy trying to truly, madly, deeply shag a bloke whose son has a talking toy dinosaur) has seized control of a very large building. He plans to steal millions of dollars from the building's security vault and use this to go back to Sherwood and fund his plan to kill Kevin Costner by means of a magic bullet conspiracy (surely magic arrow? - Ed.). And who can blame him.
But Bruce doesn't like it, so off you go, shooting terrorists and rescuing hostages until enough are saved on each level to activate a bomb, which you have to de-activate. There are shoot 'em up traditions like bonus levels and power-ups including assault rifles and machine guns, and more than 20 levels in which to wreak havoc.
The second part sees Bruce off to the airport to meet his wife's plane, only to find that another bunch of terrorists have decided to spoil his week. This time they're trying to free a notorious South American drugs baron. There's a different approach this time, presenting you with a first-person viewed, blast the shit out of everything 'em up along the lines of Virtua Cop, except that you can destroy just about everything you see on-screen, from terrorists and passing flight attendants to taxis in the car park and drunken English tourists in Union Jack boxer shorts. Again, there are the traditional shoot 'em up power-ups: play your cards right and you'll be unloading a rocket-launcher into the airport gift shop, or hurling fragmentation grenades into the Hari Krishnas around the ticket desk. There are eight frantic stages to blast your way through, shouting unconvincing apologies to innocent bystanders as you go.
Die Even Harder Still
II think that's Vie Hard: With A Vengeance', actually - Ed.) Finally, the third section has you taking to the streets in a series of automobiles and going slightly bananas. The brother of Alan Rickman from the first film, another terrorist (these things seem to run in families -but is it nature or nurture, that's what 1 want to know), has set a number of bombs around New York, leaving you with the choice of finding them before they blow, or just leaving the city, having a damned good holiday, and coming back when it's all over. Inexplicably, but luckily for the game designers, you choose the former option.
Each level is based on a location from the film itself, and involves you driving like a lunatic through busy traffic, following the on-screen indicators to each bomb's location. As you hurtle about you'll be ramming cars, running over pedestrians and crashing into bombs to set them off (there's something slightly illogical there... I'll spot it eventually). Then doing it all again in a different vehicle and a different location. Pick-ups give you extra time or a turbo boost.
It's fast, frenetic and completely OIT, and looks like being a bit of a humdinger when it's finished - if only because it's not often that you get the chance to run about in a grimy, sweaty vest. We'll give you a full review next issue, but in the meantime watch your armpit hair in those explosions.
The background to the game
The game is based on the plots of a trio of little-known arthouse films dealing with the exploits of a turn-of-the-century Welsh shepherd. The first film, 'Dai Hard', has him attempting to punch his way to the top in the brutal world of bareknuckle fist-fighting. Among the many disturbing scenes is the one in which the literal-minded hero attempts to lay his knuckles bare with a cheese grater and a jar of quicklime.
The second film in the series, 'Dai Herder', sees him abandoning the fight game in favour of making a living as a shepherd. Corruption in the business sours his attitude, however, and he attempts to forge a reputation as a professional sheep worrier. Eschewing the traditional method of hanging about the field in which they live muttering phrases from cookbooks, he launches an elaborate hate-mail campaign in which he questions the validity of all quadrapeds' existence. The scenes in which he teaches the unsuspecting sheep to read in preparation for the psychological torture to come are among the funniest in contemporary cinema.
Very few people have seen the third film, 'Dai Herds With A. Van Janss', in which he moves to the Netherlands, because the scene in Amsterdam's red light district with two Merinos, some electric clippers and a packet of mint-flavoured condoms led to the film being banned in most EC countries.
Aren't you glad you haven't got a PlayStation? If you owned one, and wanted to play this game on it, you'd have to buy a light gun. (You could have used the controller to play the game, of course... if you wanted to die every 1.37 seconds.) So you'd have coughed up for the gun. And you'd have felt very silly standing around in your living room with a big, brightly-coloured pistol in your hand, firing at the telly. Not only that, but the bloody things only work with about two games, so they're a huge waste of money - and they're so brightly coloured you can't even use them to rob your local building society. They'd laugh in your face and beat you senseless with paperweights. The PC version works with a mouse, just like Virtua Cop. So it won't cost you anything extra to play it - and since you'll never be tempted to rob a building society with your mouse, you'll also never have horrible scars on your forehead that spell 'Woolwich' backwards.
2018-10-30 Die Hard Trilogy game added.