Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas
Most game sequels surpass their predecessors with improved visuals, enhancements, and better controls, and Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas is no exception. With a new engine and plot, the game offers better effects, smarter artificial intelligence, and smoother gameplay. The problem is that this title is still based on the same three Die Hard movies, meaning it's linear, predictable and more of what we've already seen in the original game.
The voice actor for John McClane sounds strikingly similar to Bruce Willis -- mannerisms and all. In addition to the voice acting, the soundtrack recreates the feel of the movies although none of the music comes from the feature films. There is also a barrage of video clips that are shown between the levels, which at times can be disruptive to gameplay.
Visually, this sequel is a significant improvement over the original. For instance, the character models are much bigger and more detailed, although these models are lacking when compared to other PlayStation titles released in 2000. The characters do not seem to be motion captured since everyone runs around like walking bricks. At least the characters resemble actual people instead of having paper bags for body parts (as seen in the original).
The special effects include realistic lights, explosions, fire, water and reflections. The PlayStation's lack of perspective correction, however, ruins the peripheral view in the driving mode; it can also affect the sharpshooter mode at times if the weapon isn't focused in the center of the screen. On the other hand, this sequel moves at a smooth 60 frames per second and features minimal clipping problems, which is a huge improvement over the original. It also implements realistic projectile and vehicular physics.
While there are several main levels, encompassing dozens of sub-levels that provide lots of action-packed hours, the game lacks various difficulty settings to increase its replay value. However, it contains a host of customizable options and the amount of weapons will keep most players entertained. The Practice Mode is worthwhile in that it keeps one's aiming and timing skills honed. Another nice feature is its peripheral support: players can use the PlayStation mouse, light gun controllers, and vibration feedback devices -- this game uses them all!
Overall, playing this title brings back fond memories of the three Die Hard movies. Those new to the PlayStation will want to add this game to their collection simply because of the variety in play mechanics, but those who already own the original Die Hard Trilogy will likely be disappointed that more wasn't added. ~ Cal Nguyen, All Game Guide
A large improvement over the first title, Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas has improved in the graphics department with a smoother frame rate, more special effects, and lots of detail. It lacks motion capture animation and detailed characters, however, and there are a few quirks in the visuals. ~ Cal Nguyen, All Game Guide
The sound effects are good and the soundtrack sets the mood for some rip-roaring action. The voice acting is adequate, as the main character actually sounds like Bruce Willis. ~ Cal Nguyen, All Game Guide
This sequel contains a plethora of options for exciting action, although it gets quite repetitive. The concept isn't too original and the action isn't groundbreaking. The gameplay is much better than the original, however. ~ Cal Nguyen, All Game Guide
Although there are a lot of levels to go through and one could go through the training levels again, when it's over, it's over. ~ Cal Nguyen, All Game Guide
The black-and-white instruction manual is thin, but explains a lot about each item and the various options -- all in a semi-miniscule text. ~ Cal Nguyen, All Game Guide