In the 1980s, movie series called “Rambo” was released, starring Sylvester Stallone as the titular character John Rambo, a soldier suffering from PTSD after the Vietnam War. This year, a video game was released covering the first three movies of the Rambo series on Feb. 21.
The game is a rail shooter, where the character moves himself without any input from the user. Rail shooters are best when a peripheral is used, as in a plastic gun. Because the player simply uses a controller or a mouse and keyboard makes the game lacking in the gameplay department. In comparison to modern first person shooter games, where the character can move, having a rail shooter in 2014 makes the game seem outdated.
“Rambo: The Video Game” doesn’t impress visually, either. The main character bears little resemblance to his movie counterpart, and the enemies tend to repeat too often. In a scene with police as the enemies, over 100 are shown with only two different models. In the Vietnam section, all the enemies look the same.
The game features audio straight from the movies, but that does not help it. The sound has not been remastered, making the audio seem out of place, like it would be playing in the background. The other sound effects, like Rambo’s yelling, are overused and sound so different from the other voice acting that they also contribute little to the quality of the audio.
The story tries to recreate the movies faithfully, but it does a poor job with the implementation. In a section from the first movie, “Rambo: First Blood,” the player is tasked with taking out 137 police officers, either by “disarming” them by shooting their legs or arms or simply killing them. In the entirety of the first movie, the main character kills at most four cops, most of them by accident. The game needed an excuse for gameplay, but using the story doesn’t work.
Another facet of the game are certain stealth sections, which use quick-time events. These sections simply consist of pressing the right button at the right time. However, one perk that is unlocked early in the game allows for players to never lose at these events, making these sections impossible to lose and eliminating all challenge.
These perks and other weapons are available from the starting screen before every mission, but they do not have real innovation in them, as they just increase your stats like damage and health. The guns have no real choice, as they all are the same except for the amount of ammo the clip holds.
Overall, “Rambo: The Video Game” tries to pay tribute to the action series, but it just ended up looking outdated in comparison. With bad graphical and sound design, poor and meaningless choices and a story that doesn’t match the gameplay or source material, this games deserves no more than a 23 out of 100 percent.
“Rambo: The Video Game” is available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC for $40.