This is gameplay from all three parts of Die Hard Trilogy for the PlayStation.
Die Hard: 0:00
Die Hard 2: Die Harder: 7:36
Die Hard With a Vengeance: 13:55
Die Hard, in my opinion, is the best action movie series of all-time. They are extremely well-written, well-acted, and well produced, they are also hilarious yet serious when they need to be, they have great characters, and most of all, they are damned fun to watch. Twentieth Century Fox and the Die Hard movies arguably made Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman household names in the American film industry and raised the bar for what to expect from action films. In a nutshell, Die Hard is great.
So great is Die Hard that it is kind of hard to imagine how such a fast-paced, beautiful series can possibly translate well into the early 32-bit era of consoles, which is pretty much synonymous these days with "slow and ugly".
Keep in mind that this was an era in which arcades dominated, and consoles were just slowly beginning to make the leap to the third dimension. Games like Sega's Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop and Daytona USA were roaring success stories, but that is because they had the powerful arcade hardware to back up their awesome 3D graphics. The Sony PlayStation and the Sega Saturn were not even close in terms of raw power, so their early 3D attempts have mostly aged terribly and can be chores to play these days.
This, and the mostly-true notion that movie-based games tend to suck it hard are reason enough to be wary of Die Hard Trilogy. I mean, Probe Software did an excellent job with The Terminator on the Genesis, but could they really pull off Die Hard (all three of them) in 3D, on the PlayStation, no less?
Somehow, they did, and damn, am I impressed. The controls are smooth, the framerate is solid, the particle effects are fantastic, transparencies are everywhere, almost everything that looks breakable is actually breakable, levels are large and visually impressive, and it's all excellent fun.
Not only do each of the three Die Hard parts on the disk play well, but they look great and show off the 3D power of the PlayStation.
Die Hard, the first part, is extremely loosely based on the original Die Hard movie. Third-Person Shooters were something of a rarity back in 1996, but DHT pulls it off very nicely with the PlayStation controller. John McClane (voiced by a surprisingly good Bruce Willis sound-alike) can run, strafe, roll from side to side, jump, shoot and throw grenades, and after adjusting to the PS1 controller, it's very easy to control. Essentially, McClane needs to fight through 20 floors of hundreds of East German terrorists (wait, weren't there only 12 terrorists in the movie...?), saving hostages as he goes, and there is an extremely minor penalty for shooting them. John literally says "Oops!" is he accidentally shoots one of them. Still, it's great fun and there is quite a bit of environmental interactivity for a PS1 game.
Die Hard 2: Die Harder is a shameless ripoff of Sega's Virtua Cop, but it definitely one-ups VC in terms of destructible scenery and gore. "M"-rated games were not very common in 1996, but DHT really deserves it. Once again, you only lose points for shooting innocent civilians. This is also the hardest of the three parts, if you ask me, at least if you are playing with the PS1 controller and not a light gun or a mouse.
Die Hard With a Vengeance is a driving game that reminds me a lot of Reflections' Driver games. Essentially, it's Driver if Driver was balls-out and stupid. McClane and Zeus go from destination to destination in a free-roaming 3D recreation of New York City, "disarming" bombs by, uh, driving into them...? Which still explode anyways right under the car...? Okay... There are also power-ups for points, nitrous boosts, time extensions, bombs that, um, launch the car into the air to avoid obstacles, and my personal favorite, the EMS truck power-up. If you watch the video, you'll understand why. Of course, all of of this is enhanced by the campy one-liners of McClane and Zeus, who sounds nothing at all like Samuel L. Jackson but is still a hilarious angry, screaming black man.
Yes, Die Hard Trilogy is stupid, corny, and shamelessly gory, but it is still a damn good game. I like it almost as much as Die Hard Arcade. It's a great movie-based game with good variety, humor, graphics and gameplay, and an awesome game in general. If I have any complaints, they are that the draw distance for the first part is worse than that of Nights into Dreams on the Saturn (that game is still awesome, though) and that despite the "M"-rating, John McClane never says the full, uncensored "Yippee-ki-yay..." line. Okay, so running over innocent pedestrians and wiping the blood off your stolen taxi with windshield wipers is cool with the ESRB, but dropping the f-bomb a few times isn't? Still, this is an awesome game that more than lives up to the Die Hard name.
Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker! :D