E3 06: Dirty Harry Impressions

Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do you? Then check out our impressions of the just-announced Dirty Harry game starring Clint Eastwood himself.


LOS ANGELES--Harry Callahan doesn't play by the rules. The veteran cop portrayed by Clint Eastwood in the classic Dirty Harry film series has very little respect for authority and roughly zero patience for the punks roaming around his fictional version of San Francisco. Over the five films in the series, Eastwood's Inspector Callahan became known for his no-nonsense, punch-first-ask-questions-later approach to fighting crime. That same spirit will likely be all over the new Dirty Harry game, which was announced today by Warner Brothers Interactive.

While none of what was shown in the demo movie for the game was actual gameplay, the game's producer was quick to point out that all of the assets and lighting effects featured in the demo movie came directly from the game itself. More so, the producer said the aim is to match or beat the quality of visuals shown in the demo movie, which featured a 40ish-looking virtual Clint looking to be at the height of his Dirty Harry fame.

Here's what was shown in the movie: A few setup shots focused on the foggy city of San Francisco (Callahan's crime-infested beat) and set the general tone of the trailer, while a lone male voice loudly decried the San Francisco Police Department and its wrongs against the good folks of the city. Cut to a scene of Harry, sitting at the counter of a local diner. Fed up with the man's complaining on the TV, Harry shuts off the set, to the consternation of one of the other patrons in the restaurant. The virtual model of Callahan seemed to perfectly capture Eastwood's steely gaze and weathered face, and he was even dressed in his familiar gray jacket and crimson red tie and sweater. The aforementioned angry customer confronts Harry, demanding to know why he shut off the television. Harry's reply--a quick sock to the face, laying the punk out with one blow. From there, the movie cut to a montage of classic Dirty Harry quotes done up with the game's visuals--the famous "Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do you?" line eliciting a smile from the crowd. Another visual gag stuck out as well--Harry squeezing a criminals head in a vice to get some information out of him. Well, we assume that's what he was doing, but with Callahan, you never know. There is a reason he's known as "Dirty Harry" after all.

Once the presentation was over, the crowd on hand was treated to a short question-and-answer session with Eastwood, who said he had not yet contributed dialogue to the game but would be doing so at some point in the future. Eastwood mentioned he liked the head-in-the-vice gag particularly, noting, "I never thought of that one." And though Harry Callahan treads the line between good cop and bad cop on a regular basis, the actor, who served as mayor of the coastal California town of Carmel, said, "In politics today, I like being politically correct. I think I'll stay that way."

As the producer told us, the fine line between vigilante and public protector will be a big focus on the game, though, since the game is still early in development, few concrete details were given. What we do know is that the story of the first Dirty Harry game will be a side story to the film series and, chronologically, will fit between the original Dirty Harry and the second movie in the series, Magnum Force. Furthermore the decisions you make in the game will affect how the city and its citizens react to you. Again, not much in the way of concrete details, but it's probably safe to assume that Dirty Harry won't be doing too much in the way of negotiating when it comes down to it.

Obviously, details are scarce so far with Dirty Harry, so we don't know exactly how the game will play out. Furthermore, we're unsure how the developer will make sure that the game is relevant to a game-buying public that may be too young to remember the Dirty Harry series. Still, as Rockstar's The Warriors proved last year, games based on older movies are certainly viable entities, as long as they're handled with innovation and respect. We'll keep you up to date with Inspector Callahan's further developments in the coming months.

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