Stranglehold Xbox 360


Generally favorable reviews - based on 59 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 59
  2. Negative: 1 out of 59
Buy On
  1. 90
    As long as you go into this game expecting an intense John Woo thrill, you will not be disappointed.
  2. Play Magazine
    Stranglehold is fun. It's fun in a "God hand" way. [Oct 2007, p.81]
  3. After finishing up the single-player campaign for the second time I came away very happy and found that I wish there was more to play. Finding yourself smiling more than once while finding a new way to kill an enemy or blow up that dinosaur skeleton is a normal occurrence for this game. The gameplay is simply superb and it looks really good while doing it.
  4. Games Master UK
    High-engergy action with some brilliant moments and touches. Shame it's so short. [Nov 2007, p.62]
  5. Stranglehold accomplishes what it sets out to do: be a cinematic, flashy action experience that mirrors one of Woo's films. It does this with excellent, accessible controls, playful, simple features that dodge gimmicks, fun environments that crumble during combat and polished presentation to make the package work.
  6. While Stranglehold doesn't revolutionize action games, or even any one part of action games, it's a solid game with an authentic cinematic style, great use of Chow Yun-Fat, excellent action, and destructible environments.
  7. The action-centric gameplay is as intense, over the top and engaging as any Woo work should be, and combined with the visuals of the Unreal 3 engine, the title is essentially what a next-gen Max Payne needed to be.
  8. 86
    Put aside such quibbles however and you're left with a fantastic action game that brings you as close to being the lead in a fully formed John Woo film as you're ever going to get, for his fans that alone will be enough, for the rest of you still left undecided go and watch 'Hard Boiled' with an Xbox controller in your hand and imagine how great it would be if it was interactive.
  9. The game is short, but it almost seems like a good thing, as too much more of it would have been too much. Again, the game is great fun (even given some frustrating camera issues that make it difficult to pinpoint an enemy causing Tequila damage), but it’s best in small doses.
  10. The ultimate guy and gun-enthusiast game. If you like shooting things, blowing things up, revenge, or cool action scenes, this is the perfect game for you.
  11. Despite the game's undoubted scope for replayability, it is decidedly low on play time. But in the cold light of day, we're not too bothered with all that - because Stranglehold offers something so raw and so hyper-energetic that the next game you play after it will feel positively tired and lethargic in comparison. Woo hoo.
  12. Pelit (Finland)
    Plays like a John Woo movie. Although ”tequila time” is nothing new, it is still a great effect. Gameplay is solid and everything runs smoothly. Action tends to get a bit repetitive towards the end, however. [Oct 2007]
  13. Stranglehold will capture the hearts of anyone looking for an action game, period. It might even capture the hearts of anyone looking for a game. While there are problems with the game, you will quickly forget what those are as you continuously mow down your enemies with various execution techniques.
  14. In a nutshell, it's safe to say that with Stranglehold, you will be getting exactly what you paid for: over-the-top arcade action with a Hong Kong twist and trademark Woo choreography.
  15. The action-centric gameplay is as intense, over the top, and engaging as any John Woo work should be, and combined with the visuals of the Unreal 3 engine the game is essentially a next-gen Max Payne.
  16. Overall, Stranglehold is a fun shooter to play, and an exciting indicator of the things to come if the borders between Hollywood and gaming continue to blur.
  17. 81
    This is the true sequel to "Hard Boiled," which means Stranglehold is more about style than substance. So, not surprisingly, the story is melodramatic and forgettable and the adrenaline-pumping action is the star of the show.
  18. 80
    Stranglehold might stumble occasionally under its own ambitious weight, and might not quite deliver on all its promises and potential, but it's still a unique and absorbing 8-hour tour through a legendary action director's potent unfilmable dreams.
  19. The gunplay works great and the presentation definitely carries Woo's signature style. It's the quintessential action game experience, even with its weak multiplayer option.
  20. 80
    The game is short, explosive and downright slick and it's everything we hoped it was going to be.
  21. Short and sweet, a throwback to the old days when you can pick up a game, play it and engage in some brainless, mindless fun. As a videogame, it has its flaws but as an example of big, dumb fun, you won't find any game that does it better. [Oct 2007, p.74]
  22. Sure, the action can get repetitive in places and many of the moves seen here have been done before many times, but the cinematic feel is pure Woo and that’s definitely worth a look.
  23. Simply put, it's exceptionally good at what it sets out to achieve, which is to distil the best bits of John Woo's cinematic vision and turn it into a crazed video game approximation that anyone can play - in that sense, you can't really fault it.
  24. The biggest complement that I can pay to Stranglehold is that when I'd finished it, I wanted to jump straight back in and play through again.
  25. 80
    In a seemingly overcrowded genre it is nice to finally play something that feels great and delivers simple satisfaction from the outset.
  26. 80
    Everything that made Woo’s films remotely interesting make absolute sense in a videogame universe. If you’re still clinging to the notion that the silliness of Woo films couldn’t possibly be appreciated, not even in videogame form, loosen up. It’s not that bad. Actually, it’s pretty good.
  27. But as far as action games go, Stranglehold is about as flashy as they come, with enough slick gunplay to keep fans of the genre glued to their seats and having fun, even if they skip multiplayer altogether.
  28. 80
    Stranglehold successfully merges the third person action game with John Woo's cinematic flair, with great, if short-lived results.
  29. Even though it isn't a direct adaptation of a film, Stranglehold is probably the best example of a movie-based game to date.
  30. AceGamez
    John Woo Presents Stranglehold may not exactly be what players were expecting, but it comes packed with a truly next generation look and presentation that makes it difficult to not enjoy, even if it is only for brief periods.
  31. 80
    Stranglehold is a solid single player experience that deserves at least a second run in one of the higher difficulties, even if it does repeat itself a little too frequently.
  32. Overall, Stranglehold offers bang for your buck akin to purchasing one large firework instead of a handful of smaller ones. Except that the large firework turns out to be only slightly larger than a mediocre one.
  33. What this game is about is mayhem, destruction and style, all of which it has in bag loads. It doesn’t have the most original gameplay, nor is it the most sophisticated game of this type, but it is essentially an officially licensed John Woo game, doing what a lot of wannabe John Woo games have been doing for a few years now.
  34. 79
    While I had a lot of fun with Stranglehold, this is one of those games you can easily get your money’s worth in a rental.
  35. Like a blockbuster action movie, there are definitely moments when Stranglehold drags (the second level was tedious), but there’s no doubt that your heart will be pumping by the time you make your way through the later levels.
  36. Stranglehold is trying to hijack a two-hour action movie and stretch it out into a seven-hour game. The concepts are great, the controls work, and there are plenty of cool things to do, over and over again as a bad ass cop. But keeping that sort of intensity is a challenge all its own, and throwing endless waves of enemies at the player isn’t the way to do it.
  37. If you're short on cash and waiting for the big blockbuster games this Holiday Season, you may want to skip over this game. Stranglehold probably best serves as a rental unless you're really into action games.
  38. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    But Stranglehold is choked by some mediocre level design, unreliable controls, and a point of view so tight on the creepy virtual Chow Yun-Fat that it feels almost claustrophobic. [Nov 2007, p.104]
  39. Stranglehold is a fun time for action gamers but the major problem is it's over way too quickly and there aren't many compelling reasons to come back to it. I liked it but I wish there were more to it.
  40. Taken as a whole, Stranglehold is a well-made, but short and shallow gaming experience that ends up being best suited for a rental and not worth its asking price for anyone expecting a game with a lot of depth to it.
  41. 75
    While the story and writing are reasonably solid, they're not nearly riveting enough to outweigh the too-simple, occasionally glitchy nature of the fundamental game.
  42. It’s hard not to like Stranglehold, as anyone who has played and liked the Max Payne games will certainly thoroughly enjoy the action experience extravaganza that is Stranglehold.
  43. With its hackneyed story, stylish action and Hong Kong setting, Stranglehold is most reminiscent of the 2003 martial arts game "Rise to Honor," which is exactly the kind of game this new entry turns out to be: pleasant and forgettable.
  44. Brainless shooters are one thing, but with an interesting storyline and the world of John Woo controllable in the palm of your hands, action fans should flock around this one as it offers much “bang” for the buck.
  45. Barely worthy of Woo, but well worth players' time.
  46. netjak
    Going over this title as a whole, Stranglehold surely delivers in what it promises to bring; non-stop popcorn action. While some may see its length as inexcusable, I must give it credit for being a fun romp for the short time you’ll play it. I strongly suggest going the route I did by renting it and returning it when you beat it a few days later.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 91 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 33
  2. Negative: 4 out of 33
  1. Sep 11, 2016
    I can't comment on the multiplayer aspect of this game but the single player campaign is about as fun as one could expect of any game. ThisI can't comment on the multiplayer aspect of this game but the single player campaign is about as fun as one could expect of any game. This game makes you want to sit down and finish it. I almost wonder if all the reviewers who commented how short the game was maybe just enjoyed it so much it seemed like a quick play. The game is at least 10 hrs which is longer than most other shooter single player campaigns. The draw of this game is it is frantic from start to end and pieced together with a decent story. In my opinion this game went for fun factor over realism and it nailed it. Here we have a good shooter game with a story with many destructible ways to take enemies out. As a player you can take the traditional approach of shooting enemies but you can also take out enemies through "bullet-time" powerups or by environmental damage. There is a tactical side to this game embedded within the high paced action and this is what makes the game so fun. The game is devoid or glitches and I found the checkpoint system paced as expected. If you die you start back at a reasonable area. Lots of health and ammo is available and not over or under abundant. The design of each area seemed to have paid attention to what a player would find entertaining, in other words this game actually seem play-tested to a high degree. I also found each chapters environments well thought out and interesting and varied. A couple downsides about the game and they are minor is the camera at times can be a little funky and do what it wants by way of zooming in and out on its own. It was annoying at times but not overly. Just saying it wasn't perfect. The other issue is sometimes to be stylish and get the skill points you could accidently dive or stick to somewhere you did not intend. Again, partially annoying but at least the spawn points and checkpoints in the game limited the frustration of how annoyed this was and minimized it to being a side effect. Anyway I highly recommend this game it really is a hidden gem especially at what the game must cost now. Full Review »
  2. Dec 28, 2014
    This game is nearly unplayable in just about every aspect. Easily one of the worst games I've played within the last decade. Controls areThis game is nearly unplayable in just about every aspect. Easily one of the worst games I've played within the last decade. Controls are horrible and story is forgettable. Full Review »
  3. Jan 18, 2014
    Stranglehold is the most average videogame ever it's not good and not terrible, I do have a soft spot as the game did produce a fond memory ofStranglehold is the most average videogame ever it's not good and not terrible, I do have a soft spot as the game did produce a fond memory of me and my mates being stoned playing the game and finding John Woo's name extremely amusing and making lots of jokes about it. The game itself is just a collection of gameplay elements picked from all over, the worst being a fist fight between cover based shooting and bullet time. This was this generations first greatest hits gameplay compilation with absolutely nothing to stand on it's own two legs with. Full Review »