By all accounts Bruce Willis's whole career has been based around the premise of saving up enough money to be able to make the above film. When he started of in his acting career he handled his own promotion. Calling it Hudson Hawk Promotions, he had a dream of producing a film based around this Hudson chappy that he dreamed up when he was at school. I haven't seen it but by all accounts, he shouldn't have bothered.
Well maybe he should have. Because if ol' Bruce babes hadn't produced and starred in said piece of cinematography, software industry history may not have been made. What am I talking about? I'm talking about an Ocean film licence that is actually damn good, playable and worth the 25 quid.
The game takes the form of a platform style adventure, the kind of thing that features simple puzzles for opening doors and requires pixel perfect leaps and bounds to ensure than an untimely death is not met.
You control Hudson whose only real weapons are his big boxing glove and some baseballs if you hold the Fire button down long enough. These baseballs are crucial for throwing some of the switches to open doors and the like.
Divided into three levels, reflecting the three major crimes of the film - the Auction House, the Vatican and the Leonardo da Vinci museum - the game has a total of 18 big stages. Each of these must be learned off by heart before they stand any chance of being completed frequently enough for the player to stand any chance of finishing the whole game.
The Auction House sees Hudson begin the game on the roof, trying to find his way in, then inside as he dodges the security cameras, dogs, and tourist kids who will try to slow him down by dazzling him with a flash. The style of this first level, while increasing in difficulty with the later stages, encourages the player to keep moving and try and make decisions on the run, rather than slow down and get bogged down in trying to work out what to do. He who hesitates is lost. He who dares wins. He who buys me a pint is a good lad.
The Vatican has a lot in common as far as the idea behind the gameplay goes but is completely different in execution, the behaviour of the enemies, the styles of its puzzles and its graphical style.
Leonardo's museum, though, becomes almost like Lemmings at some times with switches having to be activated at one end of the room while a door opens at the other for later use. It all starts getting very complex but you have to keep moving, because - being a thief - time is of the essence.
Controls are the usual jump and run style thing, but there is a certain amount of inertia built in which means that Hudson takes a while to get going, and he has to skid to a stop or to turn around, This adds another little dimension to the gameplay as you have to be ever so careful of where Hudson is going.
It all ends up as a very good looking platform game with heaps of action, acres of game area, a pile of puzzles and mountains of gameplay. Rick Dangerous had better watch out.