Graveyard: Die Hard Trilogy

Out back of the Hardcore Gamer office you’ll find our Graveyard, where countless long-dead classics lie. We come here to pay our respects, to reminisce, and to wonder aloud what a passing mad doctor might be able do with all these corpses and some high-definition lightning.

When it comes to games based on movies, it wouldn’t be too much to say that the majority, for all intents and purposes, suck, often suffering from stifled and boring gameplay that even the novelty of playing as your favorite movie characters can help to save.  Good games, let alone great ones, tend to be scarce and that brings us to the Die Hard Trilogy, a title released in 1996 that served as not only one of the best licensed games ever, but as one of the best games of the PlayStation era. Usually with a game, we’d be able to tell what genre it’s in and be done with it, but not with the Die Hard Trilogy. Instead gamers were given three excellent games for the price of one, each with a different genre and each based on one of the movies. As such, the first movie is re-imagined as a first person shooter, the second is a rail shooter and the third is a driving game similar to Crazy Taxi and surprisingly enough all three games are of full length, meaning hours of playtime. If just one of the games had been released on its own, it would rightfully have been hailed as a classic, but having all three in the same box set serves to emphasize just how dedicated the developers and publishers were to creating a great package, and there’s little doubt that such a feat would never be replicated in today’s industry.

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Although all three games are great, there’s little doubt that the first game is by far the best. The goal of each level is to kill all the terrorists on the floor, save the hostages, and finally make your way to the elevator that takes you onto the next level. This may not sound riveting, but the solid gameplay and the thrill of being John McClane, complete with shouting out his famous catchphrases, ensure hours and hours of fun. There are multiple weapons available to pick up and use against the enemy, with the best being the machine gun which makes mincemeat of the terrorists. Although the graphics haven’t really aged well, there is still an intrinsic joy to being able to explore the faithfully replicated Nakatomi Plaza and the player really does feel as if they are living the movie, which is much easier said than done when it comes to gaming.

The second game features somewhat better graphics which are offset by weaker gameplay. This time the player has to tackle terrorists that have overtaken an airport and is thrust into the action headfirst as they progress through the airport. The rail gun mechanic is somewhat difficult using only the controller and it’s recommended to use a light gun if you can get your hands on one because it makes the game much more engrossing. The main point of the game is to try and get the highest score possible and unlike the first game, you can actually choose to shoot hostages which takes away from your overall score. The difficulty is also noticeably ramped up and you’ll find yourself dying quite a bit. It’s still a lot of fun to kill enemies and make your way through the levels, so being killed constantly is a minor flaw in an otherwise solid game.

The third and final game is no doubt the weakest, but also a welcome change of pace and is still quite fun. Within this installment, the player has to drive around New York in various vehicles trying to find the bombs that have been planted across the city. It’s also quite funny to discover that you can run citizens over, resulting in some hilarious moments as you claim to be saving the city only to have gore splashed all over your screen as you kill an innocent bystander. The game tries to replicate the city with mixed results which. although interesting for its time, has become laughable with the release of games like Grand Theft Auto IV. That said, it still immerses the player within the game and you’ll find yourself continuing to enjoy driving through the city at full pelt.

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The Die Hard Trilogy is a great game that is well worthy of your time if you are able to get your hands on a copy. Although the games graphics haven’t stood the test of time, the gameplay is extremely enjoyable, as is the sheer longevity of the game, which is a fond reminder of a time when DLC and intrusive DRM didn’t exist. The game is available dirt cheap on Amazon and eBay, so what are you waiting for? Get online, order yourself a copy and experience the world of Die Hard. Yippee-ki-yay, gamers!