Die Hard Trilogy
By Al Giovetti, 03/16/97
Die Hard Trilogy
"Yippee-ki-yay!" will always be associated with Die Hard and Bruce Willis. Fox is not only leveraging their assets by bringing these three titles to the cyber screen but also bringing out some pretty decent games.
A console version of the game was released earlier and the PC version seems to be a clean conversion. Gamepad play would make the game work more like the console version. (I am convinced that I reviewed this one several months ago. After looking I found the original from January 25, 1997 newly revised in this version. So here we go reprising the review, once more, Deja - Die Hard - Vous. - Ed.)
With sales of over one-half million units in three months, the Die Hard Trilogy, which features three games in one, is hard to ignore. Fox Interactive is an operating unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, and while being a film company has often meant that the resulting game products stink, this title seems to have struck a cord with game players. Usually a title of this type is only sold to leverage an existing property, such as the products which carry the property name, including hats, dolls, and other collectibles, but this time the game actually has substance, not merely banking on the name or the success of the movie to make sales.
In just three months, DIE HARD TRILOGY for PlayStation has shipped more than 500,000 units worldwide and is being touted by gamers and critics as one of the greatest movie-inspired video games of all time - topping charts everywhere. Now DIE HARD TRILOGY pushes Sega Saturn and Windows 95 to the outer limits of gaming excitement.
"The breakthrough success of DIE HARD TRILOGY for PlayStation has set the stage for Sega Saturn and Windows 95 fans, who can now experience all of its action and intensity," said Jon Richmond, president, Fox Interactive. "With three games in one, DIE HARD TRILOGY combines the best of the shooter, search and destroy and driving genres that are so popular with hardcore gamers."
In DIE HARD TRILOGY, fans experience three totally different, thrill- packed games playing John McClane (a cop with a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time) as he takes on a highly trained team of international terrorists. Each adventure delivers amazing depth, palm-sweating realism and detail packed into 48 levels.
First, put your search and destroy skills to work as you fight and shoot your way through a high-rise wired to explode in DIE HARD, a three dimensional, third person perspective, isometric shooter not unlike Crusader. The battle begins down in the parking garage as you make your way up, floor-by-floor, searching hallways, office suites, even a grand ballroom to save hostages, discover hidden bombs and build your arsenal of weapons.
Then, use your best marksmanship to gun down bad guys who've taken over Dulles Airport in DIE HARDER. There's no time to check in your bags as danger comes at you from every angle inside the highly detailed terminal, out on the airport runway and even in the Virginia countryside, where armed terrorists wait in ambush.
In DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, drive above, below and through crowded New York City streets filled with hidden bombs. Get in, sit down, buckle up and hang on as you slam on the accelerator in a race against the clock that challenges your most "offensive" driving skills with 10 different vehicles.
The perspective is from third person behind and above the character. The screen has points in the top center. The badge at top left shows the life remaining in our hero Detective John McClain.
Unique programming dissolves obstacles such as walls, posts and corners in real time to ensure continuous action and an unobstructed view of your character, John McClane. Die Hard has a totally destroyable environment that many find fun in games. You can blow up walls, plants, cars, and motorcycle.
You drive in Die Hard with a Vengeance: At your driving disposal are more than 15 vehicles including a Yellow Cab, Police Car, Dump Truck, School Bus, Fork Lift and a few special Italian and German driving machines for the ultimate high-speed adventure. Each vehicle offers different handling, speed, acceleration, braking, weight and skid capabilities. Unfortunately the timer gives this clock linked game a downer since many game players do not like to race against the clock and this clock is not optional.
Interface: The view is third person from above and behind the main character. Your score is shown at the top of the screen in large blue letters. Enemy characters are identified and targeted with blue circles. The lower left hand corner has an overhead automapping system showing the layout of the local area. In the upper left hand corner a badge depicts damage with bullet holes.
Killing hostages will cost you points and the levels offer interesting diversions from doging snipers and helicopters. As you get further along the games get harder until the racing against the clock where the game becomes almost impossible.
Weapons include semi-automatic handgun, UZI, M-60 Machine Gun, Steyr Assault rifle, M-16, and Rocket Launcher.
Levels: In the three games there are 45 different levels to explore in the entire game.
You play Detective John McClain, the role made famous in all three films by Bruce Willis. The plot is the same as the ones from the three movies: Die Hard, Die Harder, and Die Hard with a Vengeance. Die hard is all played out in a parking garage in L.A.'s Nakatomi Plaza where you fight the baddies Doom style throught 20 levels while collecting power ups.
In Die hard, you play erstwhile hero, John McClain, who just happens to get trapped in a high rise with terrorists. This time instead of starting on the top floor in a bathroom, you fight your way up from the basement to the top floor. Die Harder is set at Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia just west of our nation's capital. John spends his time fighting through the airport terminal, runways and surrounding country. Die hard with a Vengeance is a romp through New York City, looking for bombs while a clock ticks away and a driving simulator to boot.
Many items, such as the timer in Die Hard III, FormatDocumenttrees and grass are highly pixelated in texture, having been constructed from polygons. The other items seem to be well crafted from the polygons. Graphics are sacrificed for game play which is exceedingly smooth paced.
AnimationAll characters' actions are created using motion-capture technology, providing highly realistic movement. The characters dip and weave while approaching you making it harder to hit them. Items esplode into polygons with red, yellow, and white rimmed explosions which mushroom up from the detonation. There is no full motion video to slow the game action down. Using the correct three dimensional video card on a high end system is far more superior than the console version of the same game.
Voice ActorsMcClane constantly is giving us his short sound byte comments on exactly what is happening. These audio clips help keep the action moving and informs you of important game events.
Sound EffectsSound effects appear to be Foley or the same ones used in the movies and they are quite convincing.
UtilitiesTwo Saturn peripherals, the Stunner and Arcade Racer, can be played on a single title.
Multi-player FeaturesThere are no multi-player options available for this game.
Cheats, Hints, WalkthroughFor only 80 cents per minute you can call 900 CALL4FOX. Please be careful not to call this line too often or too much.
ReferencesDon St. John, PC Games, volume 4, number 4, April, 1997, pg. 68, 85%.
Jason D'Aprile, Computer and Net Player, volume 3, number 12, May, 1997, pg. 68, 90%.
Fox Interactive Die Hard Trilogy Home Page
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