Rocking with Woos hyperkinetic actioner.

There was a worry in the office that Stranglehold, with its acrobatic action and big name endorsements, might turn out to be a tarted-up Max Payne. That was before we played it. As the screens in front of you testify, not only does it look incredible - all striking poses silhouetted against bursting gunfire - but, more importantly, it plays like a dream from what we've been able to see of the game so far.

Dispensing with the pesky practicalities of physics, the fluid movement is more interested in finding ways to make you feel like an impossibly cool, semi-invincible bullet-spewing hero than in getting from A to B. Tequila - Chow Yun-Fat's scowling cop - glides through the game's environments, all of which are inspired by Woo's back catalogue (a seedy restaurant, a packed marketplace, the inevitable docks). Run sidelong into a table while quick-firing rounds at the hordes of henchman in your way, for instance, and Tequila will automatically slide across the table-top in an iconic Chow Yun-Fat manoeuvre. The same simple, streamlined process is applied to stairs and other obstacles, all designed to capture the freedom and ease with which Woo's heroes have always gone about their business.


Having had a taste we're keen for more. Sure it's brainless, but the brain of your PS3 is getting an almighty workout keeping everything flying around superbly. We'll let you know how this sharp-looking title progresses. It's damn hot.

The verdict

A visually breathtaking action shooter with the gameplay to back it up. With Woo calling the shots, this could be an absolute belter.

PlayStation 3