It's time to travel back to a simpler time, a time when hairdos were big, cardigans were bigger, and running around in bri-nylon flares generated enough static electricity to power your house for a month.... Yep, it's time to journey back to the 70's for a welcome slice of classic cop-show action, with Empire Interactive's take on the cult TV phenomenon: Starsky & Hutch. It may seem like a lifetime ago since the draylon-clad duo graced our screens with their inimitable crime-solving, laydee-charming ways, but it'll feel like yesterday when you slip into that iconic red Ford Torino and start crashing through cardboard boxes.
The action in Starsky & Hutch is a combination of fancy car-handling pursuits and classic baddie blasting. You can have a crack at both in the single-player mode, controlling steering, acceleration and shooting, or share the law-enforcing with a mate in co-op mode, with one of you performing the breakneck manoeuvres and the other riding shotgun. If you're really well kitted out - with a steering wheel and a compatible lightgun - you can recreate the drivin' and shootin' feel with each player taking a role. Vintage 70s musclecar optional.
Apart from the interesting drive 'n' shoot formula, Starsky & Hutch has a rather unique scoring system up its chunky-sweatered sleeve. The story is episode-based, so missions take place over the course of three 'seasons'. You're awarded points based on skill and performance in your mission, and TV ratings are boosted if you succeed. What this adds up to is a whole lot of shooting, smashing into stuff, and pulling off cool moves in order to up your ratings. Perform badly, and you'll see your ratings plummet, perform well and you'll see your ratings meter tot-up nicely, earning you power-ups and bonus points.
And it wouldn't be Starsky & Hutch if you couldn't cruise round an authentic 70's city, complete with litter-strewn side-streets and groovy-clothed pedestrians. Your pursuits will take you round four Bay City locations, and the missions involve everything from apprehending a pair of bank-robbers who're fleeing the scene in a getaway van, to blasting the hell out of evil crime-lords.
There are 25 episodes to tackle, with some crazy dialogue provided by the show's very own infamous informer, Huggy Bear, voiced by the legendary Antonio Fargas, star of the original series. And if that's not enough to get you digging out your flares, donning a tank top, and hunkering down for some seriously funky retro-action, then... well, fair enough really. But if you do like a generous helping of misty-eyed nostalgia with your drive and shoot 'em up adventure, you'd do a lot worse than to take Starsky & Hutch for a ride.
- Check out the four funky modes of play: Race, Arcade, Bug, and Pass the Bomb
- Take to the streets and tackle the City's low-life with your buddy in Multiplayer mode
- Authentic 70's soundtrack to get down to