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Steel Frog avatar 8:31 AM on 08.10.2007  (server time)
So I played the Stranglehold demo...

I get home after work last night and remembered I had left my Xbox download the new Stranglehold demo overnight. Awesome.

So what's it like? Let me sum it up by saying that it feels like Max Payne re-visited, without the moody, edgy feeling. In resume, pretty bland. Granted, this was just from a demo and it's probably not indicative of what the final version of the game will be like but it was a letdown.

Here's basic rundown of what it's like.

You start off the demo with a fairly long cutscene; some cop's been murdered and they want to send in an army but of course, the valiant hero steps in and runs off on his own. You find yourself in an ally with nowhere to go but forward. Running up a flight of stairs, you encounter your first enemies and are taught about bullet time, jumping, etc. The basics. You take them down in slow-motion and continue along.

Now that's all fine and dandy, but that's all the game is. Sure, you've got variations like the snipe shot where time slows down a crawl and the camera follows your bullet into the enemy's spleen, but I'm not sure it will be enough.

One nice feature was the standoff. Basically, you're surrounded by bad guys and you have to take them down one by one. The game slows down and you can only face one enemy at a time. You have to aim, shoot and dodge the bullets at the same time. It's really satisfying to see your character take down six guys at a time.

Once I finished the demo, I let the introduction video run and what I've seen looks promising. The level chosen for the demo wasn't the best choice since it's bland and repetitive. Oh look! Another chain link fence! I haven't seen those since that last turn! And hey! Is that debris on the ground? I think it is!

Oh, speaking of debris. I have to hand if off to the devs though. Everything in this game is either destructible or damageable. That does include walls and pillars which is pretty damn cool. If you do end up downloading the demo, watch the intro sequence where I think shotgun rounds are being pumped into a cement pillar and it slowly eats away at it. It looks damn awesome.

I'm starting to ramble on about nothing so I'll cut to the chase. Will I be buying Stranglehold? I don't know yet. I'll have to replay through the demo again to get the feel right, but it looks like a game that would keep me interested for a while. I'll post some more later.

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