Anthony's Film Review

Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza
(Video Game, 2002)

This otherwise standard shooter game captures the excitement of the first Die Hard movie...

When it comes to shooter games, there's one great source for ideas: action movies. Any movie with fights, destruction, and the like, particularly involving guns and other explosive weapons, can easily be made into a first-person shooter game. You can see this as part of a trend with Hollywood and the video game industry, because it seems that a lot of mainstream movies have video games based on them released concurrently with the film's release.

This may not be the case with Die Hard; Nakatomi Plaza, a shooter game that was released twelve years after the original Die Hard movie in 1988. It is still, of course, a game adapted from an action movie. Who wouldn't make a game based on a movie about one cop versus a gang of terrorists, all within a high-rise office building? And if you've seen the movie and enjoyed it, wouldn't you love to play the part of John McClane?

Before I talk story, let me briefly discuss gameplay. It's your standard FPS involving picking up weapons, using them against enemies, and finding items to restore health and get past obstacles. It does have a few notable characteristics that add to the game's realism. The main thing is how vulnerable you are. Because you are barefoot with no body armor, you take gunfire damage very easily, even with the game difficulty level set to normal. Also, weapons are hard to come by, so might have to try conserving your ammunition. There were a few times when I was so close to death with every low health and very few bullets remaining. That's what you can expect.

The story in the game follows that of the movie but with a few additions. You, as McClane, arrive at the Nakatomi Corporation to see your ex-wife at her office Christmas party. Meanwhile, a German terrorist named Hans Gruber arrive with his gang. They ransack the party and take hostages. You run off and begin taking down the terrorists one by one while you communicate with Sergeant Al Powell via radio. Along the way, you handle situations not in the movie, including protecting your limo driver Argyle from terrorists, assisting a hostage, and meeting a Nakatomi executive in hiding. To top it off, there are over a hundred terrorists through the game, much more than the small group in the movie.

The voice actors for the characters are good, though they vary in quality. Strangely, the voice of McClane sounds a little too young for the character. On the other hand, the voice of Hans Gruber is so well done that it's as if Alan Rickman himself is reprising his role. Speaking of which, one actor from the movie does appear in the game to replay his original role: Reginald VelJohnson as Sgt. Powell. It's a real pleasure to see him return.

When you put it all together, the result is a game that's pretty fun. It doesn't have anything that's a breakthrough for the genre of shooter games, but at least it meets the standard. If you are a fan of the Die Hard movie and you like video games, you might enjoy Die Hard; Nakatomi Plaza. It can certainly put you in place of John McClane, enough for you to say "Yippie Ki Yay" followed by a certain colorful word that completes the character's trademark quote.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza, visit the Internet Movie Database and Moby Games.

In addition, check out my review of the original film Die Hard.


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