John Woo may have made some recent big-screen stinkers (Windtalkers and Paycheck anyone?), but Stranglehold looks like a spectacular return to form- even roping in Chow Yun Fat to reprise his role as Inspector Tequila from cult movie Hard Boiled. There’s little to the game other than blasting enemies in the most inventive ways you can think of, and it just so happens that you get to look amazingly cool while doing so. We can live with that.
A typical shootout goes something like this- about 40 gun-toting enemies enter a room in smaller groups. We kick up a table to make a shield, shoot one guy in the balls who goes down clutching his nuts, run up a banister and jump sideways off it in slow-motion while firing two guns at once. Then we jump onto a chandelier and swing across the room to the opposite walkway while firing with our free hand, slide down a banister and dive on to a trolley that flies across the room. Leaping off the trolley we spring onto a wall. Jumping off that we twist in mid-air to get a good look around the room. Searching for cover, we grab hold of a table, take cover behind it to reload, then unleash a Tequila Bomb special move that has us spinning through 360 degrees while firing to kill every enemy. Job done. At least until a rocket launcher-toting boss arrives who starts obliterating entire sections of wall with every shot.