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In Rogue Warrior, players take the role of Richard “Dick” Marcinko, a hard-ass soldier who was the leader of SEAL Team Six, and whose real-life mission gone wrong proves to be the perfect subject matter for a truly awful first-person shooter. While he and two other SEAL members are engaging in a covert op in North Korea, the mission goes awry and his mates end up at the fragmented end of a grenade. From there, Marcinko goes on a vengeful rampage through North Korea and Russia, cursing all the while like a fourteen-year-old competing in an online deathmatch.
The individual who penned the dialogue for esteemed actor Mickey Rourke to voice (yes, although Marcinko himself is still alive, he apparently didn’t sound enough like his badass self to get the part) needs to learn the difference between colorful banter and crude behavior. While Marcinko was certainly enough of a real-life character to earn a following through his autobiographical work, the man who earned the nickname “The Geek” comes across in the game as little more than a homicidal killing machine. As he slaughters his enemies, he blurts out such lovely phrases as “Lights out motherf***er,” and, “Drop dead, motherf***er, you f***ing amateurs.” Few pieces of dialogue come across as even mildly intelligent.
Unfortunately, the language is the most notable part of Rogue Warrior, because the gameplay isn’t any better. Most games that claim to be a “mixture of stealth and action,” do one of those things far better than the other. Not so in Rogue Warrior: It sucks at both. The easiest way to complete the game is through straight up, run-and-gun action, especially since the Vietnamese and Russians do little more than hide behind cover and occasionally stand up to shoot off a round. Players can maneuver behind cover and wait patiently for their target to pop up, and then snap off a few rounds to destroy their enemies. Assuming the sluggish aiming doesn’t throw you off.
Or, you can take advantage of the fact that most of your enemies seem determined to stand with their back to you and enjoy the one arguably redeeming part of Rogue Warrior, its Brutal Kill system. Get close enough to an enemy and hit one button and Marcinko performs a gratuitously violent slaughter on some hapless victim. The action is fun – at least for the first five kills. After that, the animations start to repeat themselves and the novelty wears off.
Unlike most modern shooters, the progress in Rogue Warrior isn’t really tangible, you don’t really get new guns and the levels don’t seem to introduce anything new into their play. The levels are relatively varied, but the linear nature of each mission makes it difficult to feel any sort of creativity in the action. Mix that in with an inability to really utilize the stealth mechanic to its fullest, and you have a recipe for a disastrous product.
Multiplayer modes, at least as this review is being written, are hard to judge, simply because the game requires you to actually have at least four people in a match. You can’t play with bots, and it seems real people know better than to buy this heap. Online leaderboards where the highest scoring individual had achieved TWO wins four days after release pointed to some troubling times.
Even if you’re a tremendous fan of Marcinko and love his books, rent this one before you spend your hard-earned cash. The season is too full of top-notch games and excellent DLC for you to spend your cash on this stinker.
Dec 9, 2009