November 29, 2001
Overall score:  85 Die Hard Trilogy (PSX)
by Fox Interactive   Reviewed by: Mark Skorupa

Just about everyone on the face of the planet has seen at least one of the Die Hard movies. Now, with Die Hard Trilogy, Fox interactive lets you star in each of the three flicks. You play as Detective John McClaine, Bruce Willis's character in each of the films. Climb your way to the top of Nakatomi Plaza, releasing hostages along the way in the original Die Hard movie. Then, move on to Washington/Dulles where the airport has overrun by terrorists. Blast McClaine through the airport in attempt to save your wife in Die Hard 2: Die Harder. Finally, jump behind the wheel of a numerous vehicles and fly through the streets attempting to defuse the bombs, planted by our favorite terrorists, before they explode. This makes the third of the trio -- Die Hard with a Vengeance.

Die Hard Trilogy is a compilation of three games loosely based on each of the movies. All three games are completely different but have the same goal in mind -- save the hostages and the people from the terrorists. Die Hard Trilogy packs three excellent games into one $50 package, and game players everywhere are the real winners.

Die Hard Trilogy's three games are different enough to have been packaged and sold separately. Since these games are so varied between one another, I will break down each game separately so you will get a good feeling for each of the games.

Die Hard:
The first game is based on the movie that started it all. Die Hard takes our hero, John McClaine, to the Nakatomi tower on Christmas Eve. You have just arrived at the building and find something terribly wrong. Even the parking lot is crawling with those nasty terrorists who seem to be holding innocent people hostage. Being the hero type, you decided to take on the terrorists singlehandedly.

When you enter the building, you are armed with only a police-issue 15-shot automatic pistol. You are given an infinite supply of ammunition for this weapon. Since there are terrorists hanging around, they have scattered weapons and ammunition throughout the building. You can pick up these items and use them against the bad guys. These items include a shotgun, assault riffle, M60 machine gun and an MP5 sub-machine gun. There are also a number of grenades that can be obtained. Scattered throughout are various health power-ups and even shields that make McClaine temporarily untouchable.

The object of Die Hard is simple. Just kill all of the terrorists on each floor and save the hostages. The game starts in the parking garage and spans up 19 more levels, each more difficult than the last. You control McClaine from a third person perspective. The 3D environment is a bit difficult to get accustomed to but after a little practice, it becomes a bit easier. For example, when you turn McClaine, the whole room rotates so you keep facing forward. Even after playing for a while, I still find it difficult to make precise movements.

Just when you think you have finished the level by killing the last terrorist, a bomb activates. You must located the bomb in less than 30 seconds and defuse it. If you don't make it in time, Nakatomi Tower is no more.

Die Hard 2: Die Harder
This is my favorite game of the three. This time around, McClaine goes to the Washington/Dulles airport to pick up his wife and the place is crawling with those damn terrorists again. You just can't catch a break. Anyway, it is up to you, once again, to save the innocent bystanders and get the terrorists out of the airport in a body bag.

Die Harder uses a light gun to blast through the action. You can use your controller, but it is much cooler with the gun. Basically, this is a VirtuaCop type game. Enemies pop up with targets around them. Shoot them but be careful not to nail an innocent hostage. The game takes you from outside the airport to the concourse, to the New Annex, out on the runway and even in a helicopter. Just keep shooting and the game guides you along a set path.

As you work your way through the levels, you can shoot various power-up and weapons. Once again, McClaine enters the level with only his police issue weapon, but has the opportunity to receive power-ups to help through the level. You will find various types of weapons including machine guns, a blast shot gun, grenades and even rockets. There are also heath and shield power-ups located throughout the levels. I was always waiting with an itchy finger at what was going to jump up next.

Die Hard with a Vengeance
This is probably my least favorite of the three. It is still an exciting game, but it is plagued by difficult controls. On a positive note, this game does house the best part of all of the games. I'll get into that a little later.

Die Hard with a Vengeance is a driving game. The terrorists have planted bombs around the city and it is our job to find them and defuse them. You start out behind the wheel of a taxicab. After disarming a few bombs, you find that the taxicab is just too slow. You have cars located at parking lots throughout the city that range from a police cruiser to a sports car that are available for you to drive.

Now, above I mentioned that this game has the best part of all three. Let's just say that your car is very difficult to control. And let's also say that you are driving the streets of New York City. The crowded streets. The crowded streets with lots of pedestrians. Do you see where this is going yet? For those of you that don't, let me make it a little more clear. You can run over pedestrians! Yes, that's right. That's not even the best part. The best part is when you are diving from the first person view and you hit someone, you windshield wipers turn on to remove the, hmmm, leftovers of pedestrian from your view. Come on, it's only a game!

Besides the ability to outlive any driver that frequents busy city streets, this game definitely is more difficult than the rest. A direction arrow shows the direction of the planted bomb and it is your job to steer your vehicle (a difficult job) to the bomb and defuse it. Along the way, you will encounter power-ups in the form of extended time, turbos and extra points. This could have been the best game of the three, if they would have just made the damn vehicles easier to drive.

The graphic in all three games are set in a 3D environment. The designers have definitely spent a great deal of time on each of the games. The characters all look believable and the enemies are menacing enough. The backgrounds are very detailed and everything fits together nicely. All of the intro scenes follow the unwritten rule of the Playstation having killer cinematics before a game.

Throughout the game, we are treated to McClaine's commentary. From his gruff "get the Hell outta here" to his witty sayings as he is blowing away the terrorists, the games always keep you laughing. The music is also a good mix that always seems to fit the situation.

Bottom Line:
Each of these games is good enough to package and sell on its own. This was a great idea by the minds a Fox to give gamers an excellent value for their money. At least one of the three games will appeal to everyone and you will have a good time arguing which game is the best of the trio. All three of the games are long, involved and good. I would have expected at least one dud out of the three, but that's not the case. I think you will be happy with this purchase.

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