Rogue Warrior Shanks Players
Even after being highly disappointed with Rogue Warrior after getting my hands on it at E3, I had still some hope that the
very rough game that I played in July could be polished up enough to be worth playing come December. Unfortunately, I was mistaken. Rogue Warrior is an ugly, broken mess.
Rogue Warrior is loosely based on the autobiography of Richard “Demo Dick” Marcinko, a veteran Navy SEAL tasked with tracking down several ballistic missiles that were smuggled out of North Korea by terrorists. Try as they might, Rebellion has failed to create anything resembling an intriguing narrative or interesting characters. Marcinko is voiced by actor Mickey Rourke, who has seen somewhat of a career resurgence as of late with roles in Sin City, The Wrestler, and the upcoming Iron Man sequel. Sadly, Rourke spends the majority of Rogue Warrior lazily grumbling random strings of swear words while murdering “commies”. In fact, Marcinko seems to end every sentence with the phrase “mother fucker”.
The clear focus of the gameplay here are the Kill Moves, quick and lethal takedowns that usually involve the enemy being savagely introduced to Marcinko’s knife. These kills are as varied as they are brutal, and initiating a kill move near a wall or railing will result in a more contextual takedown. The presence of the kill moves results in a more stealth-focused experience.
The kill moves are the lone bright spot of a game that really has little to offer fans of either the stealth or FPS genres. Not a single gun in the game has any weight to it, and outside of their clip sizes and iron sights, you’d be hard pressed to tell them apart. Not that the guns really matter anyway, since there are an inordinate amount of enemies that are situated with their backs turned to you, setting up for an easy kill move. Even if the baddies do manage to spot you, don’t worry. You can simply sprint straight ahead and execute a quick kill move without really ever putting yourself in danger. Just like the SEALs do it, right?
Rogue Warrior’s gameplay isn’t the only thing that falls flat here, either. The controls are a clunky bastardization of the layout made popular by the Call of Duty series. The framerate is atrocious, dipping below 30fps frequently. This might almost be acceptable if the game were even worth looking at, but flat and grainy textures, poor lighting, and boxy character models make the aforementioned framerate issues perplexing.
Of course, there’s also the arbitrary multiplayer deathmatch which, as one look at the leader boards will tell you, is a non-stop kill move fest. Not terribly fun or exciting.
Bethesda certainly did itself no favors by putting this game out so soon after the juggernaut that is Modern Warfare 2. Comparing the two games would be like comparing apple pie to a wet fart. There are some good ideas at Rogue Warrior’s core, but they’re all executed so sloppily that you’re left with a game that likely won’t satisfy many gamers. If the savage kill moves sound like your cup of tea, Rogue Warrior might be worth the the price of a rental or a spot in your Gamefly queue. Otherwise, save your time and money.