I hate preordering games. It's such a scam. I don't see the reason for it to exist, except to install fear in the consumer that somehow a game will "sell out" and a willing gamer won't be able to buy. But all that said, at some point many months ago, I preordered the Collectors Edition of Stranglehold, the long delayed John Woo/Chow Yun Fat/Hard-Boiled Sequel game for the PS3. For the first time ever, a "Collectors Edition" appealed to me, because a full, high-def version of the original movie, Hard Boiled was included in the disk. I thought that was pretty nifty. So this week I got an automated call from Gamestop to tell me that the game was in stock and I should go finish buying it. So I took a night off from Orange Box, picked up the game, and gave it a whirl. It rules.
See, I'm at a point in my life where the length of a game is not as important to me. In fact, If I can actually finish a game that I buy, I feel like I've gotten much more of my money's worth than if I get some 30 hour impossible epic that I'll never see the end of. I like a good story, but I'm easily distracted. So the biggest knock on Stranglehold that it's a pretty short game (around 6-8 hours of gameplay) did not concern me. I appreciate the focus. Regardless, the game is a ton of fun. The gameplay is enjoyable and the entire package just feels really cool. Jumping around in slow-motion, double pistols, locations getting blown to pieces, the whole bit. The game is really easy to pick up and play, the graphics...especially the detail on the characters...are very good and while the story is kinda retarded, it's presented well with cheesy voice actors and good looking cut scenes. It's just super-immersive. And despite what else you might have read, it doesn't feel too repetitive. The easiest and most obvious is the guns blasting/diving everywhere way, which is fun but could get old. It's more fun to use cover where you can, swing out from behind a column as pieces of plaster are flying through the air and take a couple slo-mo shots at the baddies before ducking back. These are the best moments. That, and diving face first on a rolling cart taking out a bunch of dudes as you slide by in...yea, slow motion. That's pretty cool too.
I just cleared the second of seven levels and throughly enjoyed it. Hope to finish it soon.