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Companies are always going on about the synergy between movies and video games, but all this really ever seems to mean is lots of dreadful movie tie-ins where all the money has been spent on celebrity voiceovers. Stranglehold is different though, in that its essentially a sequel to 1992s classic movie Hard Boiled, made purely for video games. This time Inspector "Tequila" Yuen is unleashing his unorthodox policing methods on Russian crime bosses in both Hong Kong and Chicago. It stars the likeness of original lead Chow Yun Fat and has been developed with hands-on help from director John Woo who it turns out does seem to know a thing or two about video games.
Of course video games have been ripping off John Woo for years, particularly his trademark slow motion shots of two-handed pistol action. As a result this initially seems dangerously similar to Max Payne et al., but the graphical power of the next generation consoles and PC ensures that this is a far more dynamic and interactive affair. Not only can you make use of a bullet time effect (call "Tequila time" here) to slow down time around you but almost all of the scenery can be used too, from sliding down banisters guns firing to scooting across the room on top of a waiters trolley. The damage done as you go is truly impressive, with tiles shattering off the walls, chandeliers impaling bad guys as they fall and electric wires and water mains unhinging themselves everywhere. Making a mess has never been so much fun.