To start off, I was recommended to play Stranglehold, as I heard that it was very comparable to Max Payne. After finally beating the game, I have no choice but to label it the exact opposite. It really is more of a smack to Max Payne's face.
Let's start off, with the story. The game follows as a sequel to the movie, "Hard Boiled": http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104684/
. You play Inspector Tequila, you're quickly thrown into the story as a cop has been killed, and the HKPD (Honk Kong Police Department) gets some evidence proving it, with a note saying for one cop to go alone and meet the killers at the Golden Rabbit bar. The chief obviously knows this is a trap, and wanting to send in a SWAT team, is forbidden, when Inspector Tequila states he'll go. The game has a a bunch of rival gangs facing off against each other, and it leads up to Tequila's ex-girlfriend and her daughter being kidnapped. Pretty average storyline.
The gameplay is like a teeter-toter. it goes both ways. You have Tequila time, which is Stranglehold's version of Max Payne's Bullet time, but as an added bonus, you have Tequila bombs, 4 special moves that help Insp. Tequila through his quest to save his "family", A health regeneration, Precision aim which slows down time and zooms in to get a more accurate shot, Barrage which gives you unlimited ammo on one weapon for a short time, and finally a spin attack, which kills every enemy on screen. To be able to use the moves, the player either needs to find paper oragami birds laying around the levels, or kill enemies and earn style points. There are only a few weapons in the game, those being the pistol, golden pistol (its' a little stronger), the shotgun, Assault Rifle, Heavy Machine Gun, Sub Machine Gun, and the rocket launcher.....
The Artificial Intelligence is bad, and that is definitely an understatement. 95% of the time, enemies are either standing in one placing shooting at you, or they are running straight toward you full-auto. It's even worse when the game doesn't spawn some enemies with a weapon, so they try running up and melee'ing Tequila, in which, if successful takes away about a quarter of your health bar (On casual difficulty at least...) The bosses are probably the lighter side of the ugliness. The bosses stand there shooting, but at least they can actually do some damage to Tequila.
The difficulty is great, it's so great that Hard Boiled difficulty is almost impossible unless you're the kind of gamer with a lot of patience. Every area where you are in combat has about 25+ enemies to kill, with about 5 - 6 in the room at a time. On Hard Boiled Difficulty, I would be able to kill at least 4 or 5 enemies before I was almost dead. I thought Veteran difficulty in Call of Duty 4 was hard, but then I played Hard Boiled difficulty on Stranglehold...
The sound is probably the best part of the game. Most guns sound like they should (except the pistols), and the voice acting isn't perfect, but it holds together well. The bad part, is the bosses usually repeat a script of 3 lines about 20 times before you can kill them, which can get annoying.
The multiplayer....well, I can't talk about, nobody plays the multiplayer, so I haven't played it, and can't review it. Most likely it's bad if nobody plays it.
The achievements are good and bad. The singleplayer achievements will make you cry, especially the achievement to beat the game on Hard Boiled difficulty. To anyone who has earned this achievement, I give you massive props!
There are a bunch of multiplayer maps, as well as some DLC multiplayer maps with achievements, but none you'll probably get, as like I said, nobody plays multiplayer.
The game is good, but that's about it. Most people think the reason the game is bad, is the fact it's based off a movie. I don't think the game is bad, I just think that it may have been rushed. WIth a better A.I., more of a weapon selection (perhaps a sniper rifle...) would have made the game a lot better, but without it, the game is sub-par. Buy it if you're going to spend the time required to complete the singleplayer, and to boost the multiplayer, otherwise rent it, or don't play it at all :D.