Even Bruce Willis won't make these movies.
Twelve years ago, John McClane was trapped in the Nakatomi building with a bunch of bloodthirsty terrorists. With a combination of skill, guts, humor and true grit, he saved the day in what is destined to become an action movie classic (mark my words). Then some sequels came out. They sucked. Don't send me any hate mail, you're wrong.
A few years ago, Fox Interactive made a Playstation game called Die Hard Trilogy. It was chock-full of fast action, brutal violence, and action-hero soundbites: "Oooh, that's gotta hurt!" But better than that, it had three totally distinct types of games on one CD, and they were all fun - lots of fun.
Finally, we have arrived at the new millennium, the year 2000. Fox releases a new game with the unlikely title of Die Hard Trilogy 2 - Viva Las Vegas. Exactly what is a Trilogy 2? We may never know. But from my perspective, it looks like a Trilogy 2 is a pretty crummy game.
At least I don't think they will try to make it into a movie. Why? Check out this plot: An old policeman friend of John McClane's has just been made the warden of a State of Nevada maximum-security prison. To celebrate, he throws a casino-style party for lots of rich, political fatcats inside the prison, which is catered by the inmates. John is invited. As a three-time offender, I swear to you that this kind of thing is always happening inside American prisons. Really.
But in a strange twist of fate, the prisoners riot and seize the suddenly convenient rich hostages and take over the prison under the direction of some violent terrorist types. Quickly they escape into the surrounding desert. Yep, you guessed it: now only John McClane can stop them.
The first Die Hard Trilogy was unique among PSX games for having three totally different types of games in one. There was a third-person action game, a gun shooter, and a driving game, each based on one of the Die Hard movies. Trilogy 2 follows in this same mold, with exactly the same three types of games...only slower and less fun.
But lets just look at this new Die Hard by the numbers, shall we? John McClane never took any B.S. and neither will I.
Graphics often come first, and in this case the graphics have indeed gotten better since the last game. There are far more polygons and better textures then before. However, this may be the first time that I ever considered this to be a bad thing. Sure, the first game took a few graphical shortcuts here and there, but that kept the game fast and furious, and most importantly, fun. While the graphics in DHT2 might be technically better, they really slow down the game. Trust me, it's a bad trade.
Sound is another important factor, and I can honestly say that in this case it's terrible. Oh, the guns and the shouts of the wounded sound okay, but the music is awful. It even features the rapping "talent" of Lil' Zane. I don't know where Fox found this guy, but I bet you they publish his albums. With some of the worst rhymes since DK64, Zane won't be topping the hip hop charts anytime soon.
Now we've got three different types of game to cover. The first is the third-person action game, which is pretty bad. Our hero John walks around inside different buildings, slowly shooting the bad guys. He can't jump, climb, or step over anything taller than a shoe box. Fortunately, he can be shot several dozen times before he dies. On the other hand, the enemies are only slightly less tough, leading to some mind-numbingly boring gun battles where John and the enemy just stand there, shooting each other slowly until someone falls down. Exciting!
Even the camera is awkward. Because it can see through any obstructing objects, it never gets in the way of your vision. However, it also means you see right through walls, crates and people in a disconcerting fashion.
The second game is the gun shooter. While this was the best part of the first game, it's terrible in the second. The high-polygon count has slowed the game down so much that there is a very noticeable delay between pulling the trigger... ... ... ... ... ... ...and the shot actually hitting. Plus, the enemies are just as bulletproof as before.
Even the bonus weapons suck. If you accidentally get the shotgun, you'll quickly notice that it is much worse than your standard gun. Now you must navigate the confusing menu system to get rid of the 'bonus' and use your old gun again. Gone is the mayhem, chaos and fun of the first gun game.
Finally, we come to the driving game. The first DHT featured easy to learn, forgiving controls that helped you speed through all the New York City traffic. In many ways, it was a worthy predecessor to the excellent game Driver. On the other hand, the driving segment of Die Hard Trilogy 2 is unbelievably bad. Basically, you drive through the Arizona desert, running over cartoon cows in a car with the turning radius of the Exxon Valdez. Whoever designed this part of the game should be sent to prison...and not one of those cushy casino-prisons either.
And that's just about it for Die Hard Trilogy 2, a game that should never have been resurrected. I'd like to thank our special guest, Bruce Willis, for being here tonight, not to mention my good friend Lil' Zane and the band. Take us outta here, Lil Zane, wouldya?...
"Now c'mon you're where the villians and the killings be
Live hard, die hard, it's the trilogy
Get weak, load up, get energy
Play the game, I'm gonna play till they finish me."