Rogue Warrior Preview (Xbox360)
What do you get when you make Sam Fisher grow a full-on beard, add a few years and make him bloodthirsty as can be? No, not Splinter Cell: Conviction (though I canít blame you for guessing); Rogue Warrior. From Rebellion Developments, a developer most known for film adaptations and game sequels (also working on Aliens vs. Predator, to prove theyíre not just screwing around), and Bethesda, Rogue Warrior is all about taking your knife and ramming it into someoneís eye.
In fact, when I got to play it at PAX, thatís all I did. Spent half my time in the game running up to enemies (knowing full well that the difficulty was set to easy or a cheat code for invincibility enabled) and doing just that. There werenít too many different given animations for the one-hit-kills, though I was assured the system is location sensitive, meaning if theyíre by a rail, knife them and push them over. Or by a wall, knife and push into a wall. As The Joker says, knives are so much more personal.
The game is based on the book, also named Rogue Warrior, following Richard Marcinko, author of Rogue Warrior and the actual team leader of both SEAL Team Six and Red Cell (wiki link), players must fight their way through North Korean forces (among others) in the late 70ís/early 80ís. Why? Because they killed his team, and heís out for blood.
One of the few titles to slip through my hands that is actually based off a book, itís one of his few published works that is not non-fiction. Iíll be out picking up a copy, so a mention will be had in the full game review. However, considering his consultancy on such films and shows as The Rock and 24, it seems like a safe bet.
Or does it? As I said, my enjoyment from gameplay came mostly from navigating a knife into a Russianís eye, not from much else. The similarities between Rogue Warrior and Splinter Cell end abruptly when you look at the advanced age of both protagonists and their skill set. Marcinko (the character, not actual person) is a blind-with-rage killing machine that is trying to make the river of Styx into a pool party.
A first person shooter that breaks into 3rd person when behind cover and when activating insta-gib melee attacks, Rogue Warrior feels very much like the recent James Bond game, Quantum of Solace: far gunning, quick killing and an extremely fast pace. Except instead of a movie audience to make sure plays, violence is not only a given, but demanded. In comparison to strategic gameplay, Rogue Warrior feels like My Little Pony. You just donít do it.
To be fair, my 20 minute demo didnít offer much for tactical analysis besides using some crates for cover. But in my mind, it just doesnít seem like the kind of game where players are supposed to sit back and slowly creep towards given objectives. Itís about getting down and dirty, taking this old, rough and tumble action-hero Stallone tried to be in the latest Rambo, and just kill everything. Is there anything wrong with that? I certainly hope not.
|Modeled after the real Marcinko, in every way imaginable. Including the "he'll kick your ass" way.||Yes, occasionally you'll use cover. However boring that may actually be.|
After some additional research, I came to learn more about Richard Marcinko, which you can too (without reading his book, if you prefer) by seeing his personal website. My badass radar just blew up. That is no joke folks, and Mr. Marcinko (if youíre reading this), not only are you frightening everything within a ten mile radius of the US, I think I was just scared into buying the book and demanding an early copy of the game.
Update: Having just completed the book, I can safely say that Dick Marcinko is perhaps the greatest man America has ever produced. This is exactly the type of person we need games about. He's the embodiment of every Gears of War character combined. It puts lots of the gameplay into perspective, but I'll need to see more.
Rogue Warrior, still a mystery to us all, is set for release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on October 27th. The identically titled book the game is based on is in bookstores nationwide.