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A new triad gang called the Golden Kane is gaining strength in Hong Kong and starts to openly threaten the Dragon Claw with it's leader James Wong, the oldest and most powerful clan. His daughter Billie Wong once had a relationship with a cop and got pregnant with Teko. One day both get kidnapped by the Zakarov Syndicate. The name of the cop who got Billie pregnant is Inspector Tequila. He is a veteran Hong Kong cop who doesn't really work by the book but has his heart in the right place. When a cop gets kidnapped (and killed) by the Golden Kane, Tequila starts investigating, against the orders of Captain Ed Lee.

You take on the role of Tequila and not only get the copkillers but also unwillingly help the Dragon Claw because of Billie and her daughter. But the task isn't an easy one since hundreds of enemies stand between him and his goal which mostly end in killing a boss or blowing stuff up.

To deal with all those bad guys Tequila has not only his fists and his trusty Enforcer (dual wield pistols) but also gets access to machine guns, shotguns, grenades and rocket launchers. But this won't be enough either. To give Tequila the ultimate advantage he also has access to Tequila Time and Tequila Bomb.

Tequila Time is like the Bullet Time in Max Payne. It slows down time and allows Tequila to better react to the situation. You can either activate it manually or it gets activated automatically if you perform a jump or interact with your environment. You can slide over tables, roll around on carts, run up stairrails and kick over tables to use as cover.

The Tequila Bomb are super moves like a Health Boost or a Spin Attack (white doves included). To fill up your Tequila Bomb Gauge, you either need to find hidden Origami Cranes or earn Style Points.

You gain Style Points if you kill your enemies during a Tequila Time move or by using your surroundings. If you are fast enough you gain Style Combos which not only fill up your Tequila Bomb Gauge faster but also multiply your Style Points. These Style Points can then be used to unlock all sorts of concept art from the main menu.

Since John Woo greatly influenced the development, you also take part in Mexican Standoffs. In these you are surrounded by some enemies and Tequila takes them on one by one but he can only lean to left and right to dodge the incoming bullets.

The game also features an online multiplayer mode with statistics. The two available game modes are Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch for up to 6 players.


Stranglehold PlayStation 3 Shotgun headshot at point blank, ouch!
Stranglehold PlayStation 3 Taking out the huge neon sign on top of enemy bunker.
Stranglehold PlayStation 3 These musicionas know no fear, or they really got paid big not to move during the gunfight.
Stranglehold Xbox 360 Action gunplay based on John Woo's films.

Promo Images

Stranglehold Screenshot
Stranglehold Screenshot
Stranglehold Screenshot
Stranglehold Magazine Advertisement Part 1

Alternate Titles

  • "John Woo presents Stranglehold" -- Tag-line title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Have You Ever Fired Two Guns While Jumping Through The Air? Xbox 360 Classic Nigel (150)
John Woo does gaming, with mixed results. Windows Steely Gaze (209)

Critic Reviews

Kombo.com Xbox 360 Sep 07, 2007 9 out of 10 90
XboxAchievements Xbox 360 Nov 17, 2007 85 out of 100 85
PC Powerplay Windows Aug 29, 2007 83 out of 100 83
IGN PlayStation 3 Oct 29, 2007 8.1 out of 10 81
GamesCollection Xbox 360 Feb 15, 2008 8 out of 10 80
Gamer 2.0 Xbox 360 Sep 12, 2007 7.9 out of 10 79
FileFactory Games / Gameworld Network Windows Feb 20, 2008 76 out of 100 76
Gamers' Temple, The PlayStation 3 2007 74 out of 100 74
Gamer Within Xbox 360 Sep 25, 2007 7.1 out of 10 71
Game Revolution Xbox 360 Sep 06, 2007 C- 42


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1001 Video Games

John Woo Presents Stranglehold appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

German version

On September 22, 2007, the international versions of John Woo presents Stranglehold were put on the infamous German index by the BPjM. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed Games.

Because Midway already knew that this would happen, they released a different version of the game in Germany in which all blood and ragdoll physics on corpses were removed. It got rated by the German rating organisation USK with "Not free for minors" and contains only the German voice-overs unlike the other European releases.

Hard Boiled

Midway's Stranglehold is the spiritual successor to the John Woo directed action film, Hard Boiled. The orchestrated bullet-ballet style of John Woo, as well as the game's main character, Inspector "Tequila" (originally in the film and now in the game as Hong Kong action-star Chow Yun Fat) and some the environs from the film are captured in Stranglehold.


As of 2007, Stranglehold is the first ever PC game to ship on 2 DVD9 discs and to use up almost 15GB of hard drive space.

Information also contributed by Karthik KANE and rstevenson

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Contributed to by Sciere (791374) and Sicarius (61516)
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