As enduring action heroes go, few have endured more than John Rambo. Just as it seemed Rambo fever had tapered off entirely following an '80s decade positively bursting with tales of Sylvester Stallone going to exotic places like Vietnam, Thailand, and Oregon--not necessarily in that order--to kill indeterminately foreign bad guys and also Brian Dennehey--again, not in that order. Be it via film, Saturday morning cartoon, or video game, Rambo was everywhere, until he suddenly wasn't.
Then, in 2008, Sylvester Stallone brought us a decidedly saggier, but still stab-happy revival of the brand in the glibly titled Rambo. Suddenly, for like six months, Rambo was awesome again. We then can thank that film, as well as Stallone's 2010 tribute to all things testosterone, The Expendables, for today's news that a new Rambo video game is coming from Reef Entertainment.
If the first thing that flew out of your mouth upon reading that last sentence wasn't "FUCK YEAH, RAMBO," then it's safe to assume you probably have a couple of questions about what's going on here. Chief among them may be, "Who, exactly, is Reef Entertainment?" This is the company best known for porting ancient-ass action games like Sniper Elite and Rogue Trooper to the Wii for reasons inexplicable to anyone that doesn't work at Reef Entertainment. Now they're tackling the Rambo license, which bodes well.
Your second question might be, "Why Rambo? Now? In 2011?" That's actually three questions, but no worries. Let's have Reef CEO Peter Rezon answer that one for us:
"I am a big fan of Sylvester Stallone movies, and when we had the opportunity to secure the video game rights from StudioCanal for the Rambo franchise, we had to grab it with both hands," said Reef Entertainment CEO Peter Rezon.
"With the success of the most recent Rambo film, and an international appetite for action movies with Expendables 2 scheduled for release next summer, we felt now was a good time to do something special with this licence."
Reading between the lines on that hyperbolic statement (I don't think he literally grabbed it with two hands), it basically sounds like the rights were available, and StudioCanal was like, "Uh, yeah, sure!" Why they opted not to go with an Expendables game is beyond me, though perhaps licensing the likenesses of a half-dozen other noteworthy action stars was going to prove troublesome.
One can presume that Reef will be anxious to get this out in time for that Expendables 2 release, since Stallone's resurgence as an action star can really only last for a finite amount of time. Given his frequent cigar habit, his admitted use of HGH, and the fact that his face constantly looks like it's melting off of his skull these days, it seems unlikely we'll be seeing him in front of the camera for too much longer. Unless someone is filming him eating a delicious steak. He'd probably be up for that.