It seems that 20th Century Fox’s strategic decision to release a cut down, 12a-certificated version of A Good Day To Die Hard worked well at the UK box office. The film pulled in £4.6 million last weekend across less than 500 screens.
But if the child-friendly cut down has left you personally jonesing for a more adult-oriented Die Hard fix, and you’ve played your copy of the original until the silicon turned to vinegar, there might still be an option…
Because, perversely, the Good Day To Die Hard iPhone and iPad game is marked with Apple’s over-17s-only rating.
It’s free, so I just grabbed it to see what needs to be kept away from the kiddiwinks. After the Age Restricted Content button, the first thing to strike me was that the player character isn’t John McClane Sr. but Jack. That was unexpected. Not feeling the fun, Bruce?
And then, after that… I was plunged, in the way a foot plunges into a slipper, into something like Temple Run in slow motion.
Temple Walk, but with a gun that only fires four bullets before you need to reload it and some people with automatic weapons to shoot but who won’t turn round to shoot you in the back if you just walk past them an inch or two.
The levels I played took part in a bombed out, bummed out Russian location that seems to be comprised mainly of statues of political leaders, burning cars, oil drums and old sofas. In many ways, it did feel like a faithful reproduction of the film.
It didn’t stop there, either. Here’s the official blurb for this game:
Yippee ki-yay! Welcome to Russia: are you ready to battle ruthless mobsters, elite commandos and shadowy politicians?
A whole shopping list of modern Russian baddies, right?
Now, I don’t see anything in the game that goes beyond the movie in terms of “age sensitive content.” The issue might be, I suppose, that it’s interactive. This is about ‘firing the bullets’ yourself.
Every time you die, incidentally, a voice over asks you “Are you sure that it’s a good day to die hard?”
So I don’t know for sure if the discrepancy in “rating” is down to the BBFC being responsible on the one hand and Apple on the other, or some different standards for passive and interactive media, but I could really see nothing in this game, content wise at least, that renders it unsuitable for the same kids piling into cinemas to see this sort of bullet-spraying silliness in a rather more photorealistic fashion.