The amount of quality games available on the GameCube system meant that many other good, but not great games were pretty much buried. Die Hard: Vendetta was one of those games…
A 1st-person shooter with an original Die Hard story that would have been considered canon had the release of the 4th Die Hard movie not contradicted so much of it.
It’s been 5 years since the events of Die Hard With A Vengeance & John McClane’s daughter is now a serving officer of the L.A.P.D. John is called back into service when she is kidnapped by a mercenary group led by Piet Gruber, the son of Hans Gruber the main villain from the first Die Hard movie. It’s up to John to stop the terrorists & rescue his daughter even if it means killing a 3rd member of the Gruber family.
There are 11 levels of varying length & each with their own unique challenge. Starting with an art museum (kill the bad-guys & rescue the hostages) before taking you on a whirlwind journey that includes a prison break, a tuna factory before ending at the place it all started, Nakatomi plaza.
There were a number of elements that made Die Hard: Vendetta stand out from its FPS competitors such as the (at times) tough puzzles, hostage situations that had many outcomes & NPC interactions. Rather than just being plot filler the NPC’s of Vendetta offer advice & hints for how the player might tackle an area in front of them.
A ground-breaking game-play element was the ability to take enemies hostage & depending upon their importance make enemies react differently. It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t seem that clever now (especially if you’ve played something like I Am Alive) but at the time it blew me away.
It didn’t come without flaws though & one of the more annoying parts of hostage taking involved not turning your back to a single enemy otherwise they would just open up on you.
Die Hard: Vendetta was not an easy game to just ‘run & gun’ your way through so having multiple routes & stealth options made it a lot more enjoyable. It could at times be extremely frustrating as the check-pointing system was extremely harsh & would see you replaying big sections if you died.
Another negative has to be the not-so-comfortable controls, for an FPS they should really be tighter.
Unsurprisingly getting Bruce Willis to do the voice of John McClane would probably have been a costly experience so instead we get a passable attempt by an unknown. It is worth noting though that the actor who played Al Powell in the first 2 movies provided his voice for his character throughout the game which was…nice.
How Die Hard Vendetta looks does the GameCube justice mostly…although there are far too many instances of being walled-in unnecessarily & a few too many sharp edges where there shouldn’t be.
When getting headshots on enemies the camera slows down & zooms in (similar to Max Payne) to show the moment of impact up close, this is excellent & never gets old!
A decent 1st person shooter that made good use of the Die Hard licence & came up with some clever ideas. Let down by a punishing check-point system, iffy controls & an average voice cast.
Die Hard - Vendetta