Being a gigantic, muscle-bound dude who walks around half naked, uses a talking gun and has bright blue skin, Rogue Trooper must be as easy to recognise as the Incredible Hulk. Despite this, the authorities feel the need to put out TV broadcasts warning people to look out for this most wanted (massive, murderous, a bit blue) fugitive.
Rogue is a Genetic Infantryman, bred to be super strong and able to breathe the poisonous atmosphere of Nu Earth. The ultimate weapon of the good Southers in their chemical battle against the nasty Norts, he’s the last of his kind – the sole survivor of a massacre organised by the Souther Traitor General – and he’s on the trail of the man who sold him out.
The story was originally told in a 2000AD comic back in the early ’80s and the game expands on it slightly by allowing the doomed GIs to survive the carnage long enough to have a couple of battles together. Once they’re killed, you’re left with just Rogue and his three biochip mates. Slotted into his semi-autonomous equipment, they provide a stream of chatter and don’t really seem to mind that, until a few moments ago, they were a trio of giant, muscle-bound blue dudes. Now they’re computerised personalities in a machine gun (cool) a robot backpack (also cool) and a hat (the short straw).
The game is a surprisingly competent third-person shooter that first appeared on Xbox in 2006 and has gained a new control system makeover and a slightly enhanced splitscreen mode for its launch on Wii.
Rogue sticks to bits of scenery (in theory) to take cover and you can pop up to shoot enemies, fire blindly or lob grenades. The main gun can be upgraded with add-ons such as an underslung shotty and a silencer for the odd scripted stealth sequence, plus you can stick it on a tripod to make an automatic turret.
The shooting works well, with the remote making it easy to pick out swift headshots or hit the Norts right in their backpacks, resulting in a humiliatingly fiery death. Twisting the remote to zoom in and out with a sniper scope isn’t quite as easy, but the view is stable enough for you to hit things from a decent distance.