Starsky and Hutch was a great 70's cop show. The witty humor, the not so great hair, and of course the Striped Tomato. Does the PC version of the game live up to the television show? I think it does! Read on to find out why.
As you start to play Starsky and Hutch, you get your normal intro movie and then it's off to the menu. There is the story mode, free roam, bonuses, but for the most part the story mode is where most people will be. As you start, Starsky and Hutch are in their Striped Tomato, a Ford Gran Torino. A cut scene plays an explains what you need to do. A blue car bolts around the corner and you have to stop them.
Anyone that has seen the show will be familliar with the sounds and music in S&H. All the 70's jive talk is alive and well in the game. Aside from the jive turkey talk, the sounds in S&H are what you would expect in a car game. Screeching tires, glass shattering as you jump through a four story building, and the always present gunfire! Music is a kickback to the 70's also. At one it started to remind of bad porno music but, it fits the nostalgia of the game. Huggy Bear is also voiced by Antonio Fargas, and for those of you who don't know, he played Huggy Bear on the show.
Starsky and Hutch comes off fairly well in the graphics department. Visually it is appealing, although being a console port it can't make it into the top 10 nomenees for best graphics games of the year, if you know what I mean. The textures are rather bland, Although I should say that it performed admirably on my machine: having the graphics details up as far as I could get them, and resolution set at 1024 by 768, I could not find one slowdown in S&H. Crashing through windows, boxes, and blowing up gas stations at the same and still no slowdown in game performance. Even Starsky and Hutch look very much like their television counterparts. Sure it is not the best looking game in the world, but it does have a great look to it throughout the entire city.
The controls are fairly simple and you can change them if you so desire. The arrow keys move the car and the mouse aims and fires. As you start to chase and shoot at the bad guys, you will notice almost anything is destructable. As you chase the car through the city for the first time, you will come upon different things such as traffic lights, stars,and vr boxes when you see these things for the first time, the game will slow down and explain what they are. It does get a little annoying on occasion but nothing real bad.
Since you are playing the game as a television show, you have viewer rating points that you start out with. If these fall to zero - game over, so it is best not to let that happen. Some things that affect your VR is while you are chasing bad guys through the city, shooting the traffic lights to turn them green will help. If you shoot a citizen's car or hit a pedestrian, you lose points fast. If the guys you are chasing shoot you, you also lose viewer ratings but the good news is to keep your VR up there are several ways to do so, and stunts are a big part of it. There will be stars floating about the city, these are an immense help and sometimes they can be of help when you are chasing cars. There's not much variety in gameplay - the objective is to blow up the car you are chasing usually.
The first mission you have to stop the car before it gets to the city limits. On your way through, you will pick up different weapons such as a shotgun and a .357 Magnum. These are very helpful as they are a lot more powerful than the little pistol you start with. Additionally, you have secondary objectives too; these range from destroying twenty boxes to getting to a certain point in the city in a given amount of time. Although they are not necessary, they will unlock things for you. Also around the city are other types of icons you shoot or drive through. These can be boosts, better traction, or keys which unlock diffent cars. There are also Huggy Bear cards in all levels. These unlock movies and such. But by far the coolest thing in the game is the stars. These are you stunts. Some are just little jumps but others are just great. One of which is while you are chasing the blue car in the first mission, there is a star hanging up in the air, shoot that and a semi comes down the road as a car comes from the alley on the side and crashes into the semi blowing it up, and if you timed it right, it will crush the car you are chasing. This is pretty much what you will be doing the whole game.
Starsky and Hutch does have multiplayer but not in the sense that you would think. As you use the mouse and keyboard for the controls, one person can drive as the other shoots.Although you can't shoot at your buddy, it is still fun. If you have a steering wheel, S&H will accomadate that also. It would have been nice to have a mp option for at least over a LAN, but still not bad.
My overall impression of Starsky and Hutch is a good one. Sure the graphics are not the best they could be and there's no LAN/Internet play, but that aside it is a fun game to play and it I bought it new for twenty bucks! Ya just can't beat that. If driving around a city shooting and jumping through buildings is your thing then I recommend it. If it is not, well you could always stop reading this and go try the demo!