Friday, 8 April 2011

Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza (PC) - Guest Post

Another fantastic new feature for the blog: mecha-neko's FPS Friday! A new first person shooter every single week until he runs out of them or loses interest. Whatever happens first.
Welcome to the party, pal!

We begin with a warm welcome from Mr. Takagi. I repaid his hospitality with screenful of my mighty badge. Takagi and his colleagues cower in fear and awe.

It's my ex-wife! And a guy who looks absolutely... nothing like Ellis. They best believe they're getting the badge. You can sense the tension.

Uh oh! Looks like somebody's come to crash the party!

And I'm suddenly in Holly's bathroom. I think this thing in front of me is supposed to be a mirror. It's not showing any of the usual signs of being a mirror at the moment though. John doesn't curl his toes because he doesn't have any feet.

Suddenly, Germans! Everywhere!

With nothing but my badge with which to defend myself, I'm soon dead.

After three more goes, I notice that my gun is on the counter in front of the mirror.

Bliggedy-bang! The assassin is momentarily amazed by the lightshow.

Still dead though.

This time, I wait behind the door for them to come in.

They walk straight through the closed door, shooting blindly at everything, including each other. The enemies manage to take down one of their own number before finally getting to me. My own bullets do nothing.

Toast.

I try again. As soon as I get control of John, I dart out the bathroom and watch the goons stride down the corridor and threaten a civilian. We get into a gunfight. I die.

It took me at least twenty goes before I work out that I'm supposed to be ignoring all the enemies and instead running toward the 'Exit' door. Phew.

Hey, it's Hans Gruber!

What do you mean you can't tell? Oh right, that might be because he's not facing the damned camera. I played this game for three hours and not once did he face the camera. He doesn't get a mugshot in the game manual either. I'm led to believe that the Nakatomi Plaza incarnation of Hans has no face. This would explain why he mumbles so much. He also says 'He is no longer among the living' instead of 'He won't be joining us for the rest of his life.'

That alone is reason enough for me to want to hunt him down and kill him.

Meanwhile, McClane is trapped in a giant labyrinth of plasterboard and pain. This place is both huge and featureless.

I got stuck behind these wooden panels for ages. When you approach them, John says 'HMMM', which was a great help. I thought at first that I was supposed to shoot them. Then I thought of gun-butting them. Then smashing them with the fire extinguisher. Then having at them with a wrench. Then prising them apart with a hammer.

After searching around for fifteen minutes, I found a fire axe, which did the job.

My original plan was to try and duck-jump over the partition walls by using a staircase of crates placed in plain view beside the blocked path. Turns out you can't do that. No duck-jumping in Nakatomi Plaza.

Who remembers duck-jumping? Those were the days. Terrible, terrible days.

Hey! Do you recognise this guy?

HO - HO - HO

We didn't end up falling down the stairs though. We had a shootout in a massive unfinished room, where I simply ran at him at full speed with firing the MP5 all over the place until he died.

Wait, where's the Santa hat? :(

And in Nakatomi Plaza, McClane's left behind the satchel with the detonators in it! Uh oh...

Holly and somebody who quite clearly isn't Ellis.

For a reminder, this happy fellow is Ellis.

Level 3! We're disarming bombs!

You have to clear out the entire level to find the wire cutters, then disarm a dozen bombs. Luckily, these bombs can be safely disarmed by snipping every wire.

What you're not supposed to do is shoot the bombs. Repeatedly. Even accidentally.

This level is as big as the last, with few notable landmarks to help with navigation. It's like some kind of big office building.

I have a feeling that this gentleman may have worked on this game.

We're on the roof and we're one FCC violation from calling in the cavalry. HUZZAH! I think we should stop here for now.

This game is very strange... it's like a Die Hard-themed total conversion for Blood 2. No, wait, it IS a Die Hard-themed total conversion for Blood 2.

The game clearly wants to be like Die Hard as much as it can. You can't help but like Fake McClane or the absurd not-German guys you're up against. Even mumble-Gruber's constant off mannerisms and constant lack of face somehow works. It's like a really charming fan game. In that way, it reminds me of The Nameless Mod. (A total conversion mod for Deus Ex. - Ed)

Here's some shocking conclusions for you:

This game is entertaining both as a game and as a we-tried-the-best-we-could wonky retelling of Die Hard. It has nice guns, so it's better than Perfect Dark. It has quick save and quick load so it's better than Crysis 2, and it sure as hell doesn't have any aliens in it.

Absolutely no auto-aim of any kind. No 'cover system', either. You want to get behind a table? You MOVE behind the table and CROUCH. You want to get up? You STOP CROUCHING. You want to lean around a corner? You press the lean button.

Ray had assured me that this was the worst that the era had to offer; I was disappointed.

Best FPS ever? It may very well could perhaps may be!

If a reader knows anyone who lives in a cave, you could try the following experiment. Give them a PC and Die Hard Nakatomi Plaza and tell them its an original game. After they've won it, wait for them to suggest that it should be made into a movie.

Then tell them that Die Hard the movie has JUST been made. Finally, stand well back because their mind will be BLOWN.

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