NEWS - Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Six Cool Things to Do In The Stranglehold Demo

I won't spoil any plot points for you, but there is a lot to do in this demo. So I thought, to get you started, I'd give you six cool things you need to try. 1. Don't stop after your first playthrough! This demo, like Ninja Gaiden Sigma, rewards players who beat it multiple times. After the first play you'll unlock hard mode and the "barrage" power that allows you to slow down time and fire twice as fast, and the second time Hard Boiled difficulty and the "spin" attack that allows you to, well, spin around and kill everyone in the room. Each new attack lets you try new things in the demo, meaning you'll be getting an hour or two of playtime total. Very nice. 2. Shoot someone in the crotch, the hand, or just go for the face Even in the first playthrough you'll get access to the precision aiming feature. Push up on the d-pad and slow down time, then aim at an enemy. You'll see the bullet leave the gun, travel through the air, and slam into the henchman wherever you aimed, and there are many different places to shoot people (with matching animations). It's graphic, disturbing, and if you aim for the ass, utterly hilarious. 3. Rack up those stars! Depending on how you kill people, you'll earn stars. The more cinematic and cool, the more stars you'll get, and you can link moves together. My best score is 29 for running down a handrail, shooting above the heads of the enemies so neon signs dropped onto their heads, then diving onto a rolling cart, rolling across the rest of the scene on my belly while head-shotting everyone else. It was an epic scene, totally under my control, and better than most cut-scenes in other games. If you can get more stars in one combo, share your secret. 4. Bring the doves It wouldn't be a John Woo production without doves, and when you load up your weapons and unleash the spin attack, you'll see doves fly out from... somewhere, and the music gets slow. It's a neat effect, and even better, the animation is created on the fly depending on where you are and where the enemies are located. You kill everyone in the room, and it looks fresh every time. 5. Barrage with the shotgun Barrage mode, which you unlock in the single play, is great. You load up whatever weapon you're currently holding, time slows down, you shoot twice as fast, and you don't run out of bullets. This is fun with the handguns, but you haven't lived until you've barraged your way through a section of the demo with the shotgun. Everything explodes, everyone dies, and you basically rain liquid annihilation on everything you look at. It's truly an epic sight, and it puts the physics to the test. Luckily, I have yet to see this look anything short of incredible the few times I've done it. 6. It's time for a showdown! At a few points in the demo, time will slow down and you'll be sent into a kind of face-off mode. You use the right analog stick to aim at the enemy and the left analog stick to dodge his slowed-down bullets. This allows you to masterfully kill a bunch of enemies who have the drop on you, and it's another way the developers keep the cinematic Hong Kong feel of John Woo without giving up interactivity. Since you control where to shoot and how to dodge, you can try many different things in each showdown. The game isn't perfect: the camera can be a little slow at times and the framerate gets choppy in places. Overall, though, this demo is incredible, and I have renewed hope in the game. I'll be counting down the days until this is released.
Source: http://arstechnica.com/

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