Of course, while the prospect of Woo directing a PS3 sequel to his most famous film is mouth-watering, it’s worth noting that the director’s influence has preceded him into the world of videogames. Plenty of Woo-inspired titles have done the whole bullet-time thing already. Max Payne, The Matrix, F.E.A.R. - taking their cue from the Hong Kong veteran, they’ve each pre-emptively stolen a piece of Stranglehold’s thunder.
What potentially sets Stranglehold apart from the bullet-time crowd, though, is its ambition to go beyond stylish slo-mo effects. With PS3’s power opening up a whole new level of possibilities, Stranglehold aims to deliver a degree of physicality and interaction never achieved before. For instance everything - everything - onscreen is destructible. Pillars dissolve into dust under fire, tables and chairs are chipped away to nothing and roofs, statues and signs can be dislodged and used to take out enemy stooges. Better yet, the destruction - a beautifully rendered pixel by pixel orchestration - is always different. Play through the same section 50 times and you’ll not see the same box splinter and crack the same way twice.
Even more crucial to capturing the essence of Woo’s films is Tequila’s ability to fluidly interact with his environment and the objects around him. Once again, there’s very little on-screen furniture that can’t be used in this way - Tequila can kick over tables and use them for cover, slide down banisters and rails, swing from chandeliers and even kick-jump off walls. To make Tequila’s acrobatics feel as effortless as they look on film, these interactions are automatically triggered when you come into contact with obstacles.