Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hudson Hawk (C64, 1991)

Remember the Bruce Willis movie "Hudson Hawk"? No? Can't say I blame you. Nobody seems to, seeing as it was a huge flop in general. It did spawn this noteworthy game though, released in 1991 by Ocean. Now, back then, Ocean had developed a reputation for producing worthwhile movie conversions. The problem is, following the big success of Batman The Movie and The Untouchables, Ocean's record seemed to get stuck in a groove, as far as movie conversions went. They featured the same formula again and again. That is, a bit of platform action, a bit of driving, a puzzle mini-game, some Op Wolf-style shooting etc.

Thankfully, Hudson Hawk escaped this treatment, going instead for a full-fledged platform game in the vein of Rick Dangerous. One notable difference with Rick is that the levels in Hawk are more horizontally structured, whereas the levels in Rick are more vertically orientated, but apart from that the comparisons are very apt.

The great thing with Hudson Hawk is how cinematic it is. There is a clear plot that is being followed, advanced by neat cut scenes, and the levels have their own unique character as Mr Hawk goes to various different locations to steal the works of Leonardo Da Vinci.

The gameplay is also pretty good. This is not your bog standard platform fare. Every level features it's own little surprise, whether that is crates that have to be used in creative ways, elevators, spikes, slides, alarms that can be set off, machines to be deactivated, and so on. It's only at level three that the game seems to run out of breath, and settles for a rehash of what has been seen previously. Oh well. The controls could be a tad sharper, although I feel that they've been intentionally done like this, to compensate for what would otherwise be a very easy game.

My verdict: cool game, check it out.


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