Die Hard 2 (Grandslam) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


Die Hard 2
By Grandslam
Commodore 64

Published in Zzap #87

Bruce Willis is such a lad; first off he saved a bunch of hostages from a ruthless gang of terrorists in a tower block, and now he's off to an airport to, er, save a bunch of hostages from a ruthless gang of terrorists. Mark "Didn't We Do Well" Caswell flags down a passing 747.

Die Hard 2

In the original Die Hard, super cop John McClane saved the lives of many hostages as Hans Gruber and Co took over the headquarters of the Nakatomi Corporation. Now he has to pull another rabbit out of the metaphorical hat as Dulles Airport is under threat from a band of terrorists trying to rescue an extradited South American General. To this end, they've occupied the airport and are threatening to crash the planes circling above.

But fear not... because the fearless copper's back and he's on the case pretty damn quickly. The game is split into five levels of Op Wolf-style "if it moves shoot it" action.

Before the game proper, you can visit the Target Range. A floating cursor appears on-screen and it's a case of blast the terrorists and dodge the civilians. At the end of the session, you're given a readout of your performance.

Level One takes our hero to the baggage handling section of the airport terminal. As on the Target Range screen, the enemy hordes attack from all quarters, but these guys don't fire blanks. An energy bar bears testimony to this: every time your frail bod is riddled with slugs the line gets smaller and smaller.

Big Guns Galore

Don't panic yet though, because the death of terrorists reveals handy icons. Most necessary are the extra weapons that appear regularly. There are four to collect (with ten tokens from cereal packets); you start with a 9mm Berretta but things do get better. The least powerful is the Glock, next comes the M16, then the Kalashnikov AK47 assault rifle, and finally the ultimate in firepower, the Israeli-produced 9mm Uzi machine pistol.

Ammo for all weapons is limited, as indicated by the number of clips and bullets. Extra ammo can be collected along with medical kits (which top up your energy) and grenades (read: Smart Bombs). These come in useful for blasting the flak-jacket-wearing hard dudes at the end of the level.

I adore Operation Wolf-style games, and I held high hopes for Die Hard 2. The title sequence and pre-game 'Target Range' option are excellent, as indeed are the graphics all round.

The terrorists are a mean-looking buncha bad asses as they leap, run and pup up from all parts of the screen. The range of collectable weapons is also noteworthy; the poxy pistol's pretty dire but once the Uzi's grabbed, it's lead sandwiches all round.

This leads me to that which piddles on the proverbial fireworks of what could have been a good game. Levels One to Three are piddle-easy to complete; I did so on my first sitting! But, try as I might, I couldn't get through Level Four. This is very annoying indeed. If the game was an original concept, I might have been able to forgive it. But this game type has been going since the birth of the C64, so I'm afraid Die Hard 2 gets a thumbs down from me. Like my old school reports, must try harder!


Blimey, talk about a steep difficulty curve: Die Hard 2's like the take-off path of a Harrier - it's even more ridiculous than the film! The first three levels are a piece of cake for the seasoned gamesplayer, but the fourth is ridiculously hard.

Robots zoom towards you lobbing tons of grenades - if you've only got a pistol, you've had it. It's not very encouraging, especially when you've seen 80% of the game on your first go!

Earlier levels are identical apart from different backdrops, but the crude Op Wolf-style action is playable enough to begin with. There's just not enough here to keep you playing time after time. A few more levels would certainly have helped, along with a more gradual increase in difficulty.


Presentation 82%
Digitised title piccy, static between level screens.

Graphics 85%
Well drawn sprites, colourful backdrops.

Sound 70%
Okay in-game tune, blam, blam sound effects.

Hookability 68%
Really-easy-to-get-into Op Wolf-style action.

Lastability 55%
Early levels too easy, Level Four impossible!

Overall 59%

Ian Osborne

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