Die Hard Trilogy 2 only seems like an incredibly strange name for a game until you stop to think about how obvious it is for a developer to want to make a sequel to one of the best titles to have appeared on the PlayStation. In it, you're once again placed in the shoes of Bruce Willis' same-named film character John McClane as he takes on another group of "terrorists from another country." How can the same thing happen to the same guy four times? Bad luck or sequelitis, you decide.
As the original was, DHT2 is three games in one: a third-person shooter, a gun game, and an "extreme driving game." This time, however, you can play through each of these sections separately or through a story mode, which strings them along in an order somewhat resembling a plot. In other words, you can play a gun level and then go to a driving level before coming back to another gun level.
The third-person levels follow McClane as he blasts his way through criminal hordes using machine guns, shotguns, and stun guns, saving the occasional hostage along the way. These stages are very similar to the third-person levels from the first Die Hard Trilogy, even if they aren't nearly as long or difficult. They even look much like those stages, albeit strained through n-Space's Duke Nukem: Time to Kill engine, and you view them from a perspective slightly closer to the ground.
The gun-game stage runs along the same lines as before. You're transported through various environments on rails like those of an amusement-park ride, and you must shoot terrorists who pop out at you while at the same time avoid firing on innocents who happen to get in the way. Instances where enemies appear on opposite ends of the screen at once are much more rare in this version, and you seem to have more time to shoot before being shot. Graphically, it's a more cluttered redux of the similar section from the last game. Since the original came out more than three years ago, it looks somewhat dated, although not enough to overly impinge on the gameplay. This stage supports the Konami light gun well, while the GunCon peripheral doesn't seem quite as accurate as it does in Namco's own titles.
The least appealing section of Die Hard Trilogy 2 is the driving stage, in which you race around town smashing into enemy cars and running over bombs. Though the stage isn't awful, the car doesn't handle as tightly as it should, and the entire experience is simply not that much fun to play. If you're working through the story mode, you'll look forward to finishing the driving levels so you can get back to the other stages, which can be fairly entertaining at times.
The level of difficulty is toned down a notch from the first DHT in all three sections, yet the game is still fairly challenging. Sure, it's got some knocks against it. The graphics aren't exactly first rate, the soundtrack is made up of that metallic sort of canned techno that turns people off to electronic music, and the voice-acting calls to mind amateur impersonation night at the local improv. But it somehow retains a certain degree of playable charm.
While it doesn't stack up well when compared with the original game, Die Hard Trilogy 2 does manage to outclass recent like-minded titles like EA's Tomorrow Never Dies, and it provides a nice fix for those who own PlayStation light guns. It may be a better rental than a purchase, but those not expecting a lot out of the game may find themselves pleasantly surprised.