4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Better than expected!,
This review is from: Die Hard Vendetta (Video Game)
Ok- so the bad stuff our of the way first. The framerate can be really ropey and the engine is a bit suspect (try running right up to a person with a gun and laughing as their head swells in proportion to your hands). The textures are really dull, so much so that it could be a PS2 port, and the people are of a pretty low polygon count. The developers have also introduced a bit of an FPS faux-pas (hitherto unseen since Turok on the N64) where you have to use the jump key. Although you jump across large gaps, it still proves to be an annoyance when you are stuck in holes and are struggling to get out of them whilst being shot. The counter to this, which is ducking and crawling seems to work pretty well but I question the whether having to jump enhances the gameplay.
However, give Vendetta a chance, and under this ugly duckling lies something that could pass as a swan. Lots of neat touches make this more than a run-of-the-mill first person shooter and even elevate it above Timesplitters 2 when it comes to single player mode (which is all there is in Vendetta, although the TS2 engine puts Vendetta wholly to shame). The missions themselves are pretty hard and provide you with a decent challenge.
One great touch is the ability to sneak up on criminals and grab them from behind. Grab the leader, and he'll persuade the others to drop their guns- then you simply walk of the guns and they will fall to the floor as if they have been handcuffed. You can then interrogate them at points to fulfill key mission objectives. A great touch, and one that means that not all situations are solved by running in guns blazing- although you can take that approach if you want.
Another plus is the story and characterisation. Although the actual models and cut scenes are terribly drawn, you do feel a sense of plot progression and most of the way through you can lurk out of sight listening to conversations between criminals. One of the game's key points is the fruity language which is strictly for over 18's. This aspect does add to the atmosphere and isn't gratuitous- just adds to the movie atmosphere.
The weapons are also excellent. The ability to use most weapons with two hands adds a real sense of satisfaction and they are well rendered and fun to use. The incorporation of 'Hero Time' which is basically a rip-off of Max Paynes 'Bullet Time' is a neat addition. You build up Hero Time by rescuing civilians and killing criminals. One criticism is that it maybe isn't integral enough to the gameplay although I liked the choice whether I wanted to use it or not, whereas you have to use it in Max Payne to win.
If you can excuse graphical disappointments, I would say that as a single player game, Vendetta is far better than Timesplitters 2. On the middle difficulty setting it will provide a challenge to even the most seasoned FPS player and its few neat touches such as stealth mode make it a good addition to the FPS pack. All in all, better than I expected.