Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza
Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza is a FPS based on the original film. In the film Bruce Willis plays a detective, John Mclane, who goes to visit his estranged wife at her work. His wife works at the Nakatomi Plaza and when he arrives there she is having her Christmas party. No sooner has he arrived and gone to meet her, a gang of terrorists seize the building and hold it's occupants hostage. Luckily the building is empty except for the guests at the party. Whilst the party is being gatecrashed by the terrorists you are getting cleaned up and ready for the party. Your first objective in the game is to get out of your current location unnoticed so that you can sort the situation out.
Of course the game has got extra action over the film, otherwise it may only last a few hours and that might be good for Luigi's Mansion on the Gamecube but not for a PC title. There are forty single player missions and in addition to the film events there are plenty of other tasks for Mclane to perform. The game lasts around 12 hours so when you couple this with the three difficulty settings you get some decent value out of the game.
The game attempts to add some novelty to the FPS mechanics by the introduction of a morale system. Your actions are supposed to alter your enemies reactions. I don't know whether this works or not to be honest though as the enemy AI is lacking and it didn't seem to make that much difference to me no matter what course of action I took.
DHNP is an average FPS but it has problems which take the shine of the sub £20 price tag. The biggest niggle with the game, by far is that your enemies occasionally get stuck and seem to be frozen on the spot when you couple this with the fact that they occasionally walk through doors or poke their guns through corners of the wall; this makes for a frustrating experience. The AI of the enemies is weak especially when compared to titles such as Jedi Outcast. I have noticed that on the odd occasion when you are walking towards doors or past desks etc. that it is not uncommon for you to temporarily get stuck for a few seconds. The game feels like a beta in so many ways which is a shame as it could have been promising.
Graphically DHNP is outdated. The game uses the Lithtech engine and although that engine is not noted for it's supreme beauty on this occasion it is just plain ugly and looks like it should have come out three years ago. In it's favour though the framerate remains constant which given the fact that I was using a now 'old' graphics card in the shape of a Kyro II, this was quite impressive.
What I can say in favour of DHNP is that it is fully subtitled. Everything in the game is subtitled with a good clean font. The mission objectives are also given in text and can be recalled at any time. This is the first FPS in a long time to be fully subtitled and, bearing the games' faults in mind, if you are interested in the title you won't have to worry about it's accessibility.
Overall Game Rating: 6.5/10 Die Hard Nakatomi Plaza feels very much like a rushed out beta. It's the little things like enemies walking through doors and occasionally appearing to freeze on the spot that infuriate. I would imagine though that the game will eventually be patched and niggles such as this will be ironed out. If this is the case then at the price it will be well worth it.
Deaf Gamers comment: It is fantastic to see a FPS that is fully subtitled. If other game designers take anything from this title let's hope that it is this.