There's no doubt about it: Fox Interactive's Die Hard Trilogy is an awesome game concept. Based on the trilogy of Bruce Willis films, the game's point-blank, lead-in-the-gut action has graced the circuitry of both PlayStation and Saturn consoles. Now John McClane has his sights aimed at the PC.
As in the console version, Die Hard Trilogy is a three game package, each game corresponding to one of the do-or-die situations McClane encounters in the films. During part one, you follow McClane in an over-the-shoulder shoot-out through the executive suites of the periled Nakatomi building. As villains fire automatic weapons at you and shriek Deutsch-accented taunts ("Don't let him get away!" "Die Yankee!"), you lob grenades at them and watch them blow up into bloody hamburger. And it only gets bloodier.
Game two is a first-person rail-shooter (a la Virtua Cop) that leads you on a thug-crusade through Dulles Airport. Again, hundreds of bad guys are felled by your handgun, rocket-launcher, or whichever other anti-thug device you may pick up. Your aim is to eliminate bad guys, but anything else that enters your line of fire - asbestos ceiling squares, TV monitors, large sheets of window glass - can all be knocked down or demolished. Sickos be alerted: This also means police and civilians alike can "accidentally" take a bullet. If McClane slips up like this, we hear his touching, albeit brief, eulogy: "Sorry, pal."
Game three places you amidst more blood in a super-powered 3-D taxi cab careering through the streets of Manhattan in search of bombs to detonate (that's right - you don't diffuse them, you blow them up). You activate high-octane turbo power-ups and execute sharp, tire-screeching "Rockford" turns, searching for the next target to detonate while the clock ticks away. Of course, what would this section of the game be without your ability to threaten peaceful bystanders? Any car that gets in your way, even a police car coming to your aid, is in danger of being rammed. And if you "mistakenly" take out a row of pedestrians, sending them flying out in front of your car, limping or in the puddles of blood forming below them before finally collapsing, your navigator Zeus reminds you with a sharp chiding: "Are you trying to kill those people?!" (To which I say, "Trying to kill those people? I think I just DID kill those people!")
The games themselves are incredible concepts. But let's get to the real matter at hand: How does the PC port of Die Hard Trilogy stand up to the excellent PlayStation version? Well, there's really only one advantage: the almighty "save" feature. Other than that, it pales in comparison, mostly when you consider the graphical differences. Even when running in the highest resolution, many artistic subtleties are lost. The fluid, smooth edges of your polygonal villains, the mellifluous geysers of blood, the gaseous explosions, are for the most part lost in the translation to PC. Even the Direct3D version doesn't improve things much - though it offers better frame rates at high resolutions.
This is not to say that Die Hard for the PC is not fun. Like the movies, it will provide you with hours of edge-of-your-seat entertainment. One point should be stressed however. If you have a PlayStation already, buy the PlayStation version of Die Hard Trilogy. If you can only see PCs in your future and you want to get your tank top a little grimy with a decent action game, then this PC adaptation is a good value.