• Ben Thompson

Why Die Hard Trilogy is one of the best movie tie in games ever made

Updated: Apr 3

Let me start of by saying that I am a massive Die Hard fan. I will argue with you that the Die 4.0 (as it was called in the UK) is better than the Die Hard 2: Die Harder and that A Good Day To Die Hard is not that terrible. None of them come close to the greatness of Die Hard and Die Hard With A Vengeance though, two of the greatest action films ever made (fight me) in my opinion.

I grew up on these films as a kid. I was probably 4 or 5 when I was first introduced to the series and have probably watched them all combined hundreds of times, Bruce Willis was cool as hell, he was my action hero growing up and to do this day still is, even with all the crap he's been in of recent times.

So onto the game. I was lucky enough on Christmas day 1995 to receive a PlayStation 1, which is still one of fondest and happiest memories from my childhood. I'm surprised we never got burgled seeing as I was probably the only kid on my council estate with one. Fast forward a year later and I was in possession of Die Hard Trilogy, a game that blew me away back then and is still great fun to play now in 2021.

Die Hard Trilogy was developed by UK based studio Prone Entertainment as was only originally meant to be a tie in for the third movie in the series, Die Hard With A Vengeance. Fox Interactive however wanted a game tied more closely to the film series so Probe got to work on developing two more segments tied to the first two films. That decision was brilliant as not only did the game end up becoming three games in one bundle, but they were also three completely different styles of game as well.

Die Hard was a third person shooter where players fought their way through levels of Nakatomi Plaza as John McClane (surprisingly well voice acted by Eric Allen Baker) saving hostages along the way. Die Hard 2: Die Harder was a first person on rails shooter where you fought your way through Dulles Airport where terrorists have taken over. Lastly, Die Hard With A Vengeance was portrayed as a fast paced driving game where you raced through New York trying to defuse bombs set up around the city within a time limit.

Die Hard was a great third person shooter, it had tight mechanics and varied level design along with a bunch of weapons to pick up and use throughout. You would run around the levels saving hostages, brutally shooting countless bad guys, getting to bombs before they exploded and also come across boss fights along the way which were bullet sponges and trust me, this game was no easy feat to complete.

Die Hard 2: Die Harder is my favourite of the three games on offer. You could play it using a controller, mouse or light gun. I remember having a specific third party light gun just for this game as for some reason the Namco G-Con 45 light gun was not compatible. I was and still am a huge fan of arcade light gun games, so to be able to play another at home along with Point Blank and Time Crisis was the dogs bollocks. You'd fight your way through Dulles Airport trying your best not to kill civilians (oh yeah, it's possible to kill civilians in all three games by the way) as that affects your score. You'd shoot weapon pick ups for better guns and you could through grenades. The real impressive part of this game was not only was not only was it a great on rails shooter, but the level of destruction you could cause throughout the levels was incredibly spectacular.

Die Hard With A Vengeance was easily the weakest game of the three but still great fun to play albeit bloody hard. You would have these strict time limits to race around New York in various different cars you'd swap between, avoiding pedestrians and defusing bombs by slamming into them and causing massive explosions destroying everything in a 30ft radius. Why that was the case? Don't ask me. The driving mechanics were just solid and you could even call in an EMT like McClane does in the film to plough a route through traffic for to use as shortcuts. The voice actor for Zeus's character was an awful Sam L. Jackson impersonation though.

All three genres of game are so well put together was a great feat, considering this game was built by a team who'd had no prior experience working with 3D games as each game ended up being it's own standalone in it's own right because the three titles shared no code between them in the end. Let's not forget that all three of these games looks incredible for the time in the early days of the PS1. They were also included as a bundle for the same price as one game on it's own which was great value for money. Die Hard Trilogy also reviewed very well at the time with all 3 versions, PS1, Sega Saturn and PC averaging an 8/10 review between them.

It's a weird one also because from personal experience, a lot of people seem to forget about this game when movie tie ins are brought up and some people have never even played it which is a big shame as this game is well and truly a diamond in the rough. If you haven't then you should definitely give it a go. You can actually download it for PC completely free and legally over at MyAbandonware with this link. There was also a Die Hard Trilogy 2 set in Las Vegas and had nothing to do with the films, it's also nowhere near as good either.

I hope that was a decent little read. I'm hoping to add more features on many different gaming topics in the future so do keep your eyes peeled.