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Overview

Tequila Yuen, ready for over-the-top action.
Tequila Yuen, ready for over-the-top action.

John Woo Presents Stranglehold (also known simply as "Stranglehold") is a third person shooter developed by Midway Chicago and published by Midway for the Xbox 360 (on September 7, 2007), PC (on September 18, 2007), and PlayStation 3 (on October 29, 2007).

The sequel to Chinese filmmaker John Woo's 1992 film Hard Boiled, Stranglehold emulates the over-the-top gun battles of numerous John Woo films like The Killer and A Better Tomorrow II. Both Woo (who also played a helpful bartender in the original film) and Chow Yun-Fat (who played the main protagonist, Inspector "Tequila" Yuen, in the original film) reprise their roles in the game by contributing their likenesses and voice acting.

The game's story starts in modern-day Hong Kong, where Inspector "Tequila" Yuen investigates the disappearance of a fellow police officer only to find himself in the middle of a triad territorial war between the Dragon Claw, Golden Kane, and Imperial 9s. When he learns that a Chicago-based Russian mob group (the Zakarovs) are now involved with hostages in close relation to Tequila, the stakes become more personal.

Stranglehold has been compared a lot to the famous Max Payne series, especially the concept of bullet time (known in the game as "Tequila Time"). Along with the main story, the game also features online multiplayer.

Gameplay

Tequila Time

Tequila Time will slow down time to let Tequila take down each of his aggressors, one at a time.
Tequila Time will slow down time to let Tequila take down each of his aggressors, one at a time.

Stranglehold includes something called "Tequila Time". During play, Tequila can jump in any direction and interact with any object while aiming at an opponent to trigger Tequila Time or press a button to activate it manually. Tequila Time is managed through a meter which drains while in use and regenerates over time.

Style Points

The player gains style points based on how they kill enemies. Two stars may be awarded just for shooting an enemy, but three or four may be given if the player kills them during a dive or by using the environment. At the end of a level the amount of style points gained are added up and can be used to make purchases at the Unlock Shop.

Special Abilities

Throughout the game Tequila will earn a number of special abilities called Tequila Bomb. The first ability, available from the start of the game, gives players a health boost. The amount of health given depends on the amount of Tequila Bomb energy the player already has built up. The second ability, Precision Aim, slows down time and zooms into first person where the player gets to accurately aim Tequila's gunshot; which usually ends in an instant death for regular enemies. Another ability, Barrage, gives Tequila unlimited ammunition for his weapons and near-invincible health for a short amount of time. The Spin Attack kills most enemies in an area without using any of the player's ammo.

Paper Cranes

Paper cranes are hidden throughout each level and when found, each crane fills one section of the Tequila Bomb meter at the bottom left of the screen. An achievement is rewarded for finding 250 cranes.

Weapons

There are seven weapons in John Woo Presents Stranglehold. They are as follows:

Interaction with the Environment

Throughout levels in the game there are many highlighted objects. These include roll carts that Tequila can ride on and rails that he can slide down or run up. Much of the environments in the game can also be destroyed. At the end of each level the game shows players how much "Damage to the World" they have done.

Unlockables

Stranglehold features an unlockables shop. In the shop, players can spend their hard-earned style-points on little extras such as additional character skins (including one of John Woo himself) and bonus making-of movies. There are achievements for unlocking all additional character skins.

Collector's Edition

A Collector's Edition of Stranglehold was also released along side of the Regular Edition. The Xbox 360 Collector's Edition includes numerous "making-of" features, extended cinematic cutscenes and a concept art gallery. The PS3 Collector's Edition includes the same additional extras but also featured a high-definition version of the movie Hard Boiled, which the game was inspired from, all in one Blu-ray disc.

Xbox 360 Game Installation

John Woo Presents Stranglehold requires 6.7GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD.

System Requirements

Minimum system requirements to play the game:

  • Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista
  • Intel Pentium 4 1.5GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500
  • 256 MB RAM
  • DirectX 9.0b compatible graphics card with 64 MB VRAM (see below for complete list)
  • DirectX 9.0b compatible sound card
  • DirectX 9.0c (included)
  • Broadband Internet connection required for online play

Recommended system requirements to play the game:

  • Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista
  • Dual Core Processor
  • 2.0 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7800 or higher, ATI X1300 or higher
  • DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
  • DirectX 9.0c (included)
  • Broadband Internet connection required for online play

In addition, the installer requires 50 GB of free hard drive memory in order to run.

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