Remember Chuck Norris? Well, he’s a girl scout compared to Dick Marcinko. “Demo Dick” was a real life American badass, doing tours in Vietnam as a Navy SEAL and then continued to lead two other Special Forces teams. Seriously, this guy was one mean motor scooter. You would think that a video game about this guy would be pretty entertaining; with such an awesome life, how could the game go wrong? Unfortunately, Rebellion Studios and Bethesda found a way.
I’ll let the games own description fill you in on the plot. “The unthinkable has happened. War has erupted between North and South Korea. And you’re caught behind enemy lines.” Alright, come on. Is war between the two Koreas unthinkable? I mean, maybe they forgot the whole Korean War? I’ll try and get past the obvious silliness and get to what the game is really about. It takes place in the mid 80’s, using the Cold War as motivation for the story. It’s loosely based off of Dick Marcinko’s autobiography, but I’m doubting this actually played out. It starts out in Korea, trying to track down nuclear missile capabilities and then moving to Russia. Those stinkin’ Commies are out to destroy the world again! The plot never twists or turns from the basic pursuit of nukes.
It’s a first person shooter, but when you’re close to the enemy, you can push A to do a “kill move.” During the kill moves, the camera switches to 3rd person while you watch Dick violently kill the poor bastard. They say there are twenty something unique kills, but I really only saw the same four or five over and over again. There is also a really broken cover system, trying to mimic Gears of War. It only allows your reticule to move a little bit, forcing you to leave cover if you want to shoot someone just out of your turn radius. The blindfire is practically useless, even when the enemy is at close range. The game handles really poorly. Dick runs way too slow at his normal pace, but when you sprint, he tears like a bat out of hell straight forward. There’s no pleasant medium for trying to get around. Then there’s the actual shooting, seeing as it’s an FPS, this part is pretty important. The guns look like toys and sound like BB guns; when you shoot them, there’s no recoil at all on Marcinko. I’m sure that Dick was pretty strong, but there’s no way that his body wouldn’t react at all to firing a gun. The controls are sluggish and delayed, just trying to crouch can take a few pushes of the button before you really duck down. Not to mention, the frame rate is constantly lagging you down. It’s difficult to get a straight shot on someone because of the awful frame rate. My biggest problem with the gameplay was the fact that it took way too many bullets to kill each guy! It was ridiculous, pumping an entire pistol clip out only to kill one soldier. Unless you get a head shot, you’re going to be putting a lot of lead into the air while clearing a level. If three or four guys rush you at once, you can’t do anything about it: if you spray into them, then you won’t kill any of them and if you focus on one, he’ll die but the others will still kill you.
Also, this game is short. I mean, really short. I beat the game in about two hours. There are eight missions, each one only taking ten to twenty minutes to complete. It’s so linear, that you never take the time to explore or look around. So, you end up just running as fast as you can towards the bad guys. This game is practically a rail-shooter, you never explore into the maps. It’s just hallway after hallway full of bad guys and you kill ’em all. You literally can’t explore or attack from different sides, because there are either walls in the environments or the even more deplorable invisible game walls. There are only a few guns, surprising considering that this is a run and gun game. You have your standard assault rifles and shotguns, one sniper, two pistols and a grenade launcher. I couldn’t believe that there were so few guns in this game, and they all do about the same damage, so it doesn’t really matter what gun you grab.
The graphics are just as bad as the rest of the game. They look like an original Xbox game or at least an extremely early 360 game. The textures are barely there, the walls and floors are just one picture that’s repeated. Also, Dick looks like he’s got some kind of horrible bowel problem. He moves as little as possible, with no fluidity in his motions at all. During the Kill Move scenes, you can see how little effort was put into it. Now that I think about it, aside from the intro video at the main menu, there are no cinematics in the entire game. Everything is the awful in-game graphics. There were also a lot of issues with collision detection, meaning that Dick could walk through boxes or bullets would fly through solid walls. During one kill move, I remember this enemy’s hat moving freely through Dick’s body, like he was a ghost or something.
The music is done in DOOM fashion, using one song per level and looping it. Sadly, that worked for DOOM, but not for Rogue Warrior. The songs were generic mixes of guitars and techno beats, which were trying to give a fast pace to the levels. I can’t tell you how irritating it was to have no variety in the music. Most games will have some sort of shift of music between action scenes and stealth scenes, but Rogue Warrior just blares the same crap constantly. So, even if you’re sneaking and the feeling should be tense and quiet, the music continuously shouts at you.
Speaking of shouting, the voice acting for Dick was…..unpleasant. Marcinko is voiced by Mickey Rourke, which is pretty awesome, but the dialogue for the character is outrageous. The only English speaking characters are Marcinko and his commander that is played through an ear piece. Honestly, the dialogue for Dick is the most foul thing I’ve ever heard from a game. I mean, I’m all for a little swearing from the characters in games, but this really took it to 11. He was consistently shouting obscenities at the enemies. It got pretty ridiculous. I would give you an example, but it would be ragingly inappropriate for me to repeat what he says to you. It sounded like a 14 year old boy got to write what Dick said, so he made it everything that he’s not allowed to say in front of his parents. I seriously can’t believe they got Mickey Rourke to say all of these things. Also, there’s no volume control on Rourke’s voice. Once, I stealth killed an enemy to try and remain hidden, only to have all of the other guards alerted by Dick screaming, “Rock and roll, mother****ers!” It’s frustrating to be killed because YOUR OWN CHARACTER screamed out to the world.
This game reminds me a lot of Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, it’s broken, boring and not fun. It seems like someone made half of a game, as a joke, only to have Bethesda turn it into a real game. Please, for the love of God, do not pay $60 for this game. Don’t pay anything for it! Do yourself and everyone you know a favor and just ignore this awful game. It’s a shame that someone as cool as Dick Marcinko could be turned into such a horrible game.
I give Rogue Warrior an Epic Fail