Die Hard Trilogy is much more than a game. It is an experience that many of us gamers smile about even in to 2020. I’m making specific reference to the Nakatomi Plaza campaign or rather the Die Hard campaign which sees John McClain jostle upwards through nineteen levels of terrorist action. Die Hard 2: Die Harder and Die Hard with a Vengence both add some fun play time but nothing quite compares to the forty of Die Hard.
We start out in the basement of the Nakatomi Plaza. The goal is clear, kill the terrorists and reduce the hostages which sounds simple but it’s not. Using the mini map is crucial to survival as it reveals both hostages and terrorists. It is possible to complete a level without rescuing all of the hostages (as I accidentally killed many) but you must wipe out every terrorist At this point a thirty second timer ticks over the screen and we must quickly scramble to the designated lift exit. Some of the larger levels make for an adrenaline fuelled, intense scramble to the lift. The relief you feel when you jump in to the lift and make your way to the next floor is explosive.
There’s a decent array of weapons to find on every level ranging from a pistol to an Uzi to a hand grenade and more. Be careful though as letting go of a hand grenade in a tight space will cause you serious damage if not death! Sadly I did this too many times on my Die Hard live streams. When you can land some shots on the enemies they go down fairly easily.
At certain points in the game you’ll be whisked off to the rooftops of the plaza in order to reduce more hostages and kill more bad guys. I know right Yippee Ki Yay”. The rooftop was a great level in order to replenish, ammo, guns, armour and health. Once of the of hostages had been tagged and escaped to the helicopter the level ended in the same way. It wasn’t without flaws though as the rooftops had a lot of narrow passageways and stairwells which showed just how clunky the games control system was. More often than not I found myself jumping around the rooftops like Sonic the Hedgehog darting through Greenhill Zone. It felt like there was minimal benefit to the rooftop levels and I couldn’t help but feel disappointed when the elevator took me there each time.
There was a definite knack to slaying the enemies in Die Hard. Given that the controls felt incredibly janky and sometimes too sensitive on rotation; killing enemies sometimes felt like a chore. I found that slightly positioning yourself around corner and allowing the bad guys to come to you was effective in taking them down. Once I had mastered this Die hard became way more fun to play through. Interestingly Die Hard’s difficulty never varied throughout the levels. The first felt just as tough as the last and the bosses were easily slain with a grenade.
So what is the appeal of Die Hard in to 2020? It’s a classic! The soundtrack is an eclectic mixture of popping dance tunes that is based on one of the most iconic action films ever made. The top down view provided a welcome vibe to the action with the ability to be able to see enemies before they attack you; a welcome feature to a rather difficult game. If you want a good gaming challenge this year then I’d say to setup your PS1 consoles and get your game on! John McLain awaits you!
Retro Game Reviews. Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast and more
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