Comic book properties generally have a pretty tough time making the transition into any other media, especially into video games. For every Marvel vs. Capcom, there are three Spawns. For every Captain America & The Avengers, there are three new dismal digital takes on Batman. Sadly, THQ's Danger Girl falls more into the latter category than the former. While not nearly as bad as, say, Titus' Superman for the N64, Danger Girl is not nearly as good as Activision's Spider-Man on the PlayStation, which still leaves quite a big area in which things can go wrong.
For those not familiar with the Cliffhanger comic series, Danger Girl revolves around a group of female covert operatives who try to foil the plans of Major Maxim and his fascist Hammer Empire. In the game, you take on the role of three of the agents: the team leader, Abbey Chase; the Australian whip lass, Sydney Savage; and the inventing whiz, JC. From there, the game bears heavy similarities to previous titles that the developer has created using the same game engine: Duke Nukem: Time to Kill, Die Hard Trilogy 2, and the forthcoming Duke Nukem: Planet of the Babes. As in all of these titles, you roam around a 3D world via a third-person perspective, shooting bad guys and performing the occasional bit of puzzle solving. Though n-Space's Duke games have had more of a platform-jumping bent to them, Danger Girl is more similar to the shooter section of Die Hard Trilogy 2 with its timed puzzles and item collecting.
However, several factors join to keep Danger Girl from being as enjoyable as even Die Hard Trilogy 2, a game generally not held in very high regard. While the characters in Danger Girl move and turn as slowly as in Die Hard Trilogy 2, it's much more of a problem in this game, because it favors large environments over the series of small rooms found in Die Hard Trilogy 2. Because of this, you might wander into a new area and have half your health bar shot away before you can turn to locate from which direction the shots are being fired. The slow-turning radius makes the game unnecessarily hard, and its long levels all but ensure that you'll get killed and have to complete the same basic tasks several times before you make it through. The developers seem to have tried to make up for the problematic turning radius by including a radar display, but its readout is so vague that it's generally useless. One possible way around this obstacle is to peek out from around every corner and try to shoot enemies from a distance before they spot you, but this strategy quickly becomes tiresome. That's a good way of summing up the problems of Danger Girl's gameplay: Those who don't find it frustrating will find it dull.
Danger Girl also falls flat in the areas of graphics, sound, and replay value. At best, the game's visuals are average for the final generation of the PlayStation adventure games, though the awkward character animations keep it from achieving even that level of success. The soundtrack is of similar quality: It is filled with uninspiring tracks that suggest inaction over action, and the voice-over comments sound as if they're coming from another room. And unlike Die Hard Trilogy 2, there's only one type of gameplay available in Danger Girl, and once you finish its levels, you'll never want to play them again.
To add insult to injury to the comic's fans, the main asset to the license - a degree of smart sexiness akin to old '70s James Bond movie posters - has become crass and obvious in its translation to 3D. PlayStation owners looking for a good third-person shooter are well advised to pick up the original Syphon Filter, a similar game that outclasses Danger Girl in every regard.