Published on February 27th, 2014 | by Andy Bell0
Review: Rambo The Game
I must admit, I had to ask myself what I might be expecting from a game that is using its source content from a film chain that started over 20 years ago. The truth is I was actually expecting quite a lot. Fair enough, there was a good chance that I was wearing a shell suit and drinking Pepsi Tab while watching the Rambo films but playing the Rambo arcade games back then, with the oversized Uzi and little red missile button was brilliant. I felt empowered; I had to wear a red bandana and shout “to win the war, I had to become war”, all with my top lip curled upwards. But hey it’s 2014 now, so let us have Rambo for a new generation and stand on the shoulders of those 90’s arcade games. Let us all strike First Blood. Let us all become John Rambo… or at least attempt it.
The storyline is focused around the films with a slight twist. Without giving this away, it essentially runs through the films which we all know so well, so no real need to dwell on that. Now onto the gameplay. Normally I would still like to be a bit kind to games that lack slightly in this area but sadly, Rambo The Game crosses a line. What it does is to mess with my childhood!
Rambo The Game is just plain awful! Why I have a problem with this is that I grew up with these films and as many of you readers would agree, they were great. The arcade games were great and the whole bandana thing was cool(ish). What has now been produced is a game that is worse than the 90’s arcade game. It’s almost as bad as Spielberg announcing that he is going to remake the Goonies using the band One Direction as the new cast!!
Whilst back in the day you had that oversized plastic gun to aim with, in the new game you still get the crosshair but it gets poorly controlled through the right control stick that has a tendency to wander. This is mainly because you don’t move! The game takes you through the level in a way that these old arcade games did (note the word “did”) and it’s hard to keep the aim centred. Once you get tired of shooting there’s are some points sections of timed button sequences; levels left to pressing only buttons. To add to a War Hero’s insult the game is truly unforgiving! I can almost get and slightly forgive the whole retro feeling of the game. As mentioned the material is over 20 years old, but never once did I feel like Rambo!!!
Throughout the game, Rambo has hoards of enemies coming at him constantly and ok, they are not as good a shot as you, but they are hard work. Three main things work against you. Firstly, the active reload – this active reload point changes from weapon to weapon and is almost impossible to master and get right all of the time. Secondly, health – this is not regenerated or obtained via a pick-up. You need to go in to a “frenzy” and kill enemies. This does not give you a boost in anyway, It’s just a tool for you to survive. Last of all, the game. Yes, the game really works against you. Like performing a reload while going into a button bashing area will cause that sequence to fail so you would then die – or having an “auto travel” area that will not let you reload so at the other end you get shot whilst you are reloading. You then die. The worst kind is the game not giving you enough time to reload – even on a perfect reload! So you get shot and die. This, coupled with the game’s unforgivable lack of cover (as even in cover – you will get shot), makes the game harder than Iron Man’s nutsack.
The general issue I have with this game is the number of times I died! Unless I am mistaken, Rambo never died once! Ok I hear what you are saying, I do expect to die now and then, but doing the same bits over and over again because of some gameplay flaw adds massive frustration to the game. Plus to earn higher points you will need to play at harder levels – but then you start to get only a limited amount of retries in any one given level and you know what you can do with that!!
In summary, the graphics are poor, the sound is poor, the gameplay is rubbish and the game is so challenging that it becomes unappealing and the want for replay is none. I don’t really know what is trying to be achieved with this game. I thought it would be easy to make some “balls out” action game with big explosions running about shouting “AARRGGHH” but what you get is a game that tells you what to press when, it tells you were to go, (actually moves for you) and if you take more than a couple of shots, you die. I can’t think of any reason why you would really want to spend good money on this game, your time will be better spent searching the length and breadth of the country looking for the old arcade game, or simply watching the films again.
Summary: Sadly a failed attempt at an old school shooter, even a die-hard Rambo fan will find this game hard to like.