Repost: Rogue Warrior Review

Rogue Warrior sounded like it would be a good first person shooter based off of Richard Marcinko’s history in the United States Special Forces. There were a lot of stories that could be pulled from to make an interesting game.

Instead, Rogue Warrior felt like a ported PlayStation Portable title with all the issues that could happen in a portable and magnified for the console release. Even with Micky Rourke hilariously voicing the video game version of Marcinko, the title failed to meet the most important criteria of video games: being challenging and fun.

The title begins with Marcinko dropping into North Korea with two others in the 1980s. Those two others die in the first minute of the game leaving Marcinko alone to complete the mission. From that starting point, over the next few hours, Marcinko is lead through a fully linear path violence.

Sounds fun? Rogue Warrior has two combat systems in place: FPS/Cover and Stealth Kills. The FPS and cover systems in the game are very essential to the survival of players. When taking cover, the camera pulls out from the first-person view and moves to a third person, overlooking Marcinko and the place where he is taking cover.

The cover system is broken. Broken because the cover system does not make it simple to defeat enemies. There is a blind fire ability that will not help whatsoever even at close distances. Popping out of cover to aim and fire takes so long because the reticule is a simple dot. The general FPS action feels slow compared to other games, and it takes a lot of bullets to down a North Korean or Soviet soldier. But while you may be pumping enemies full of bullets, it does not take much for them to cause your health to fall to dangerous levels. Even with the numerous different weapons, a headshot is the quickest way to defeat an enemy, but good luck aiming for the head.

Stealth kills are the best way to work through the game. Based on the position of Marcinko to the enemy, different animations are triggered. They are amusing to watch and a nice change from the FPS shooting. But the “stealth” aspect is lacking in that it is possible to sprint to every single enemy to activate the stealth kill, even when soldiers have spotted you.

Visually, Rogue Warrior varies on looking like a first generation PlayStation 3 title and a PlayStation Portable title. Marcinko looks the best in third person, but enemies are all copy/pasted and generic. The animations are mechanical and the environments are lacking for a game released at this point in the console generation.

The sound is a little more impressive because Korean and Russian is spoken by enemy characters, providing at least a little realism in the game. The Micky Rourke-voiced Marcinko is hilarious. Partially because it sounds so much like Rourke playing Marv from Sin City and the ample use of cursing. Otherwise, there is not much to hear or listen. Even weapon fire isn’t all that impressive.

The game does have a multiplayer mode, but I could not find a game to try out the multiplayer mode.

Rogue Warrior‘s biggest issue is the lack of variety in missions. They are very point A to point B with missions taking around ten minutes with the biggest issue being the enemy’s ability to take you out with a few bullets while you fire with pin-point accuracy and they still stand. It is disappointing because the license could have created a very fun FPS game that was different and interesting enough to stand among other top FPS contenders.

I have to maintain that Rogue Warrior feels like a port of a portable game for consoles. The dismal playtime for the game, along with sub-average graphics and sound make Rogue Warrior feel like the first IP for Rebellion. There are a lot of things that could have been done differently, but as the final product, Rogue Warrior is one to skip.

Review copy provided for review purposes

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