Starsky & Hutch - PC

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Starsky & Hutch (PC)
Also for: PS2, Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Mind's Eye Productions Soft. Co.: Empire Interactive
Publishers: Empire Interactive (GB)
Released: 20 Jun 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 11+
Accessories: Mouse, Keyboard, Steering Wheel


It is a Saturday night in the mid-1970's and you are transfixed by what's going on on your TV. A couple of notionally cool American cops in a distinctively decorated car are haring around the streets after the bad guys, indulging in 'amusing', 'off-the-cuff' banter as they go. With scant regard for traffic regulations and pedestrians, Starsky and Hutch dominated TV cop show ratings, easily knocking the likes of McCloud into a cocked (cowboy) hat.

Fast forward 25 years or so and the same duo can be found on the UK's fifth television channel in the middle of the afternoon. How the mighty have fallen, you may be thinking, but some bright spark has taken note of the gamer demographic in the 21st century and decided to revive the Starsky and Hutch brand. Thanks to the repeats on Five, an upcoming film, and the seemingly endless slew of nostalgic 'I Love the 1970's (even though I'm not really old enough to remember them) type programmes, it's almost like Dave and Ken never went away. Never considered wearing flares and an oversize cardigan while playing a game? Starsky and Hutch from Empire might just change your mind.

Right from the start, you're controlling the red and white Gran Torino whose paint job was mimicked so many times by Datsun Cherry owners in the 70's. The game is essentially a series of chase/combat sequences worked around the premise that the more impressive your driving and shooting skills are, and the number of baddies you take out along the way, the higher your viewer ratings rise and the further you can progress. Weapons pick-ups and shooting out targets as you drive along is all part of the action and become essential in the latter stages of the game. There are 18 episodes of TV-inspired action and a further three specially commissioned TV specials to play. Other unlockable game content is available, including exclusive material from Antonio Fargas, the original Huggy Bear, who provides narration throughout.

As mission-based driving games go, Starsky and Hutch for PC is easily a match for the likes of The Italian Job and Reflections' good old Driver. If you must have this kind of game for your PC then Starsky and Hutch will swing your pants wildly. Those of you old enough to remember the car, the clothes, and Huggy's baffling street jive will jump at the chance to drive the Striped Tomato. Those too young to remember, get this game, check the TV listings, and see what all the fuss was/is about.


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