Stranglehold Q&A: Lighting the Fuse on the Tequila Bomb

We chat with Stranglehold director Brian Eddy about this John Woo-inspired action adventure game.

John Woo's acrobatic take on guns and firefights will be heading to a gaming console near you with Stranglehold.

Here's a list of three things that are cool: video games, John Woo, and Chow Yun-Fat. Now, what if you took all three of those scientifically proven cool items and combined them into one? Assuming the universe survived the massive awesomeness explosion, you'd have Stranglehold, the upcoming action adventure game for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. The game is a collaboration between Woo, the famed Hong Kong action director; Chow, the star of some of Woo's most revered bullet-ridden films; and game developer Midway. We recently had a chance to speak with Stranglehold game director Brian Eddy about how development is going on the title, the input of Woo and Chow on the game's direction, and some of the special butt-kicking moves that will be featured in the game.

GameSpot: Can you give us an update on how development is going?

Brian Eddy: Development is going well. All the major features are up and running in the game, and we are focused now mostly on creating content and polishing up the gameplay. We still have a lot to get done, but at this point the game is really fun to play and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

GS: How's it shaping up on both platforms?

BE: All platforms are looking very good, and the game looks great on the next-gen hardware. We don't anticipate the visual or gameplay experience being very different on either platform, so we think we will be able to satisfy PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 owners with Stranglehold.

GS: Has PS3 development gone better now that the console is out and the hardware is final?

BE: Yes, it is always easier to develop on final hardware, as you can begin locking down code that the game relies on without having to worry that things like the rendering pipeline will change out from under you. The PS3 version is looking great!

GS: Has the game changed since it was first announced? Is it still in line with what you all originally envisioned or has it evolved into something else?

BE: Stranglehold is 100 percent still in line with our original vision of the game. It's an action shooter that truly encapsulates the authentic cinematic John Woo experience, allowing players to engage in intense gun battles, while flowing seamlessly through environments and taking down enemies in a creative and stylistic way.

GS: Since the game has been known for a while, how much did fan reaction affect development?

BE: Well, since we have a lot of big John Woo fans on the team, I would say a lot! But how fan reaction off the team affected development, I would say the outflow of interest and excitement has helped to spur the team on to make the best, most authentic John Woo game possible. And all the teams' hard work is paying off, as we believe that Stranglehold is going to be the best action game on PC and next-gen hardware.

GS: Can you walk us through the new smart-bomb moves we're seeing and explain how they fit into gameplay? How vital was it to include Mexican standoff?

BE: We are going to be showing off three of our key Tequila-bomb moves:

Chow Yun-Fat will reprise his 'Hard Boiled' role as Inspector Tequila in the game.

Precision Aim - This allows players to go into first person where they can directly target critical hit points on an enemy to take them out with one-shot kills, or even focus on an element in the environment with precise aim, such as a propane tank causing a massive explosion in one area. It's also great for those guys hiding behind cover that may be hard to hit otherwise. We consider this to be a good long-range attack.

Barrage - This move unleashes a flurry of bullets at high speed that takes out any enemies (and their cover) that are in your path. This is a great focused frontal attack. If a bunch of enemies are running directly toward you, barrage is the perfect attack to take them out quickly. It's also a lot of fun to blow up the environment around the enemies to take them out with falling debris.

Spin Attack - This is a medium range 360 degree attack in the vein of the "smart bombs" in old arcade games that clear all the enemies in the immediate area surrounding you.

Each of these Tequila bombs has a specific tactical function. Precision aim for long-range enemies, barrage for straight-on frontal attacks, and spin for when enemies surround you.

Mexican standoff is a key stylistic feature of John Woo, so we knew we had to include it in some form. We've made it into a quick minigame of fast-action choices just like you would see in John Woo's movies.

GS: Have Chow Yun-Fat and John Woo played the game lately? What do they think?

BE: Chow Yun-Fat and John Woo are not big gamers, so they don't play games themselves very often, but they do review Stranglehold regularly and give very good comments on how to take the cinematics to the next level and help make the overall look and feel of the game true to the movies it is styled on.

GS: Can you tell us about the museum level you're showing off? What aspects of the game does it show off?

BE: The museum level is set in Chicago and features several exhibits that allowed us to have a variety of different and interesting objects to interact with and show off Stranglehold's Massive D. For instance, there is a room full of dinosaur fossils, like a brachiosaurus (looks a bit like a brontosaurus), that you can run up from tail to head and get to the second story of the room. But, of course, because everything in Stranglehold is destructible, if you linger too long on the brachiosaurus, enemy fire will bring it down with you on it. However, you can turn the tables on the enemies, as well, taking out even a large group of them if you open up on the brachiosaurus and make it collapse on them.

This kind of thing would have made 'Night at the Museum' so much better.

GS: What can you tell us about achievements or online in the Xbox game? Can we expect to see a Marketplace demo before it ships?

BE: All that we are saying right now is that we will have numerous achievements in the game and that we will support online. In terms of a demo before we ship, that is a possibility, but we cannot yet confirm it.

GS: Is there any unique content in the PS3 version?

BE: Stranglehold will feature virtually the same content across all three platforms (PC, Xbox 360, and PS3), but there may be some minor things we change or add for specific versions. For instance, we are hoping to take advantage of the PS3 Sixaxis controller.

GS: When is the game hitting stores?

BE: Stranglehold is currently slated to ship Summer 2007.

GS: Thanks for your time.

Written By

Want the latest news about Stranglehold?

Stranglehold

Stranglehold

Follow

Discussion

165 comments
darthbobo
darthbobo

Anyone know if they will have Achivments for the PC through Xbox Live?

zouhou
zouhou

Hey it makes sense to make a john woo movie he had the longest uncut gun battles in movie history so tthe game should take advantge of it

jtanga
jtanga

This is looks kinda the same as max payne..

DesmondPills
DesmondPills

darin025 "Great looking game, BUT, how is this going to play the same on both 360 and PS3?!?! Both totally diff systems... my god they arent using the PS3's power, I call this lazy on the developers part! The PS3 version should be rockin' our socks off with all the power it has!! I swear the PS3 and 360 version BETTER NOT be equal, it better be like wow nice 360 version... and then WOW DANG PS3 version!! Or ill be pissed!!!!!!!" you see what the problem is is that it wont be out of this world better than the 360. i wont even be so ignorant as to say it wont be slightly better than the 360. however your comparing apples to apples. PS3 has alot of bells and whistles that are merely that bells and whistles. i promise you look at all the ported games that come out for 2-3 of the systems and you'll see the differences are nothing to run out and buy a PS3 or 360 to get a better version. stop being fanboys.

waynekautz
waynekautz

How in the world are they going to use the sixaxis in this game? I'm getting real tired of that thing. Hello millions of completely bothersome and unnecessary uses! I'm the sixaxis! Nice to meet you!

lrsp
lrsp

Sounds awesome.

darin025
darin025

Great looking game, BUT, how is this going to play the same on both 360 and PS3?!?! Both totally diff systems... my god they arent using the PS3's power, I call this lazy on the developers part! The PS3 version should be rockin' our socks off with all the power it has!! I swear the PS3 and 360 version BETTER NOT be equal, it better be like wow nice 360 version... and then WOW DANG PS3 version!! Or ill be pissed!!!!!!!

osxgp
osxgp

Looking foward to it regardless of what system it's on!

FallenAngel
FallenAngel

Death to Sony?? Dude this place is to discuss Stranglehold, not express your fanboydom. I'm one of the biggest critics of Sony and the PS3, but here, I'd discuss Stranglehold, not how much the PS3 sucks. Please be a sensible fanboy, atleast.

fartmutant
fartmutant

they gotta go foward w/ the ps3 collector's edition

ultrazone
ultrazone

wwooohoo. the PS3 version will be the best. PS3 RULEZ!!!

Daveiops
Daveiops

a must-wait-4 game 4 my ps3( wen i gt it lol)

danamal_sam
danamal_sam

Can't wait till it comes out....or at least a demo.

toyungu
toyungu

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Spectre-123
Spectre-123

Looks awesome! Hope they release a demo on XBL Marketplace though.

TheSpidren
TheSpidren

darin025, they said that it looks and plays the same on all three platforms.

darin025
darin025

Yay, looks flippin' sweet. I wonder how the PS3's Cell Processor will come into play with this game? More things to blow up? More objects? More people? They shoulda asked about that... jeez!!

ghsacidman
ghsacidman

Well, I'm getting for PC... WHAT!!! Eyebrowless... How do you know the games graphics and AI is going to suck??? You've never played it r-tard!

daveg1
daveg1

good stuff but i'l get it for the 360.

Shundhit
Shundhit

I am gonna buy it for the PS3!!

Boukhari
Boukhari

Even though it's only added a few features to the Max Payne 2 (pc), i am quite excited bout this... it'll possibley redefine the genre. all features should make for a good game.

eyebrowless
eyebrowless

im sure it will have many problems such as: uneven level design, bad enemy AI, graphical glitches, etc. but it looks like a game that will still be awesome because it is fun to mess around in the fun environment. Like Spiderman 2

vampiredust99
vampiredust99

could be good, let's hope it lives up to the hype

2ksuperior
2ksuperior

Sounds like great game.I cant wait to get my hands on this baby.

stuckboy
stuckboy

Should be great fun doing all kinds of stunts with guns.

makemeweak
makemeweak

The previews I have seen for this game look absolutely amazing. I'm really looking forward to it.

dennisdim
dennisdim

Seems like a great game! Unfortunately I will have to save up some money for a new graphics card...!

devilnevercry9
devilnevercry9

hope it will be good to excellent range. if it was on some backgrounds movie-usually it isn't good

The_Weekend
The_Weekend

hahahha, this is madness ... i love it ... can't wait. Chow Yun Fatt is one of my fave HK actors of all time!

Icekxg
Icekxg

Max Payne on crack! Can't wait!

ZorakZoran
ZorakZoran

Seems like Max Payne under steroids ! Nice !

mryupcarlseen
mryupcarlseen

They better not screw this one up! Can Midway be trusted with this holy grail? The gameplay better be solid and rock! None of this Gears of War hype-bullcrap/Dead Rising same-old "this game is already boring after 4 hours" hoopalaa.

jaggy_12
jaggy_12

This game looks amazing and seems awesome!!

NND1
NND1

This game IZ gonna Rock with Rumble!!

NND1
NND1

lOOKS gOOD!

gacmyver
gacmyver

Hope the devs reads this and it will feature auto-duck/hide behind counters, barrels, cars and stuff that you can hide behind! I read on the first preview (e3) that it got this auto-use/avoid/jump-obstacles so the auto-hide would be uber, right?

Gadeos
Gadeos

This games looks just AMAZING. Can't wait to play it!

kaziechameleon
kaziechameleon

i have wanted another max payne for so long and this game looks suprisingly good, can't waite.

_TheMuse_
_TheMuse_

Can't wait :3 This reminds me of Max Payne so much when it was first coming out. And considering Max Payne was amazing, revolutionary game, it says good things for this.

Tonkpilsnut
Tonkpilsnut

Yeah, they should include the Criterion Collection ver. of the film with the game for an added price. That thing is out of print and would help non-Woo fans understand who the character Tequila is and how EVERY game that uses bullet-time (Max Payne, F.E.A.R., etc.) pretty much have John Woo to thank for making it mainstream. I mean, have you seen The Killer? Educate yourselves, people, start giving credit where it is due.