Review: Rambo The Video Game

Rambo (4)

RAMBO THE VIDEO GAME puts the player in John Rambo’s combat boots, and takes them on an action packed journey through the iconic combat sequences and story-arcs of FIRST BLOOD, RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II  & RAMBO III .

Rambo (1)

Pros:

  • Graphics are not the best for the character models but the location graphics, lighting and general appearance are some of Teyons best work. The level of detail is like its been lifted straight from the film and chucked into the game.
  • The sound, Using the original score, you know you are in good hands. The ambient sounds of the jungle to the distant sounds of sirens in the city, The game bring atmosphere like never before.
  • Full 360 pad support but its down to personal preference. I found the keyboard and mouse easier for headshots and reloading but found the pad better for QTE. Both control schemes can have the keys re-binded and both work really well.
  • You can choose from three difficulty settings ending up essentially being easy, medium and very very hard! Choosing the higher difficulties gives you a higher level completion score. They also each have there own set of continues allowed. Easy allowing unlimited continues. Checkpoint frequency is also factored in to the difficulty. Play on easy and expect a checkpoint after nearly every gun fight.
  • New innovative game play, here is where Rambo sticks out for the right reasons:
    • Every kill gives you a score, Headshots get you more than body shots.
    • Your score will have a times number underneath it with a brief description of what your doing. In other words if you headshot a guy then body shot a guy, it will display headshot times x amount of points, body shot underneath times x amount of points and change you overall multiplier on the left of your score.
    • Reload system is a two button press  spinning dial affair (like the system used in golf games), Get the reload icon in the yellow part of the dial and you get a perfect reload which while giving you a quicker reload, also gives you additional ammo in the clip. A hit in the white area will give you a normal reload with a small score mulitplier and few extra bullets. A hit in the red will jam the gun and it will take longer to reload and give you a smaller ammo clip. Which ever one you get, it will be added to your score multiplier.
    • Chain kills, get consecutive headshots and get perfect reloads fo maximum scores on levels.
  • Wrath mode: Activate this to turn all enemies to a bright yellow colour, Killing them will regenerate your health. It has a cool down on it so use it when a load of enemies are on screen. You get infinite ammo when in wrath mode. This is the only way to get health in the game.
  • Its all on rails so you never do any free movement. You do however get the chance to move behind cover when in a gunfight. On many occasions you will have multiple cover options, each serving you well for planning your attack. Just because your behind cover, doesn’t mean an enemy on your far side cannot shoot at you though! If they can see you then they can shoot you. Use cover strategically to thin out the field and increase your odds.
  • Storyline will see you play through some of the key moments in the three Rambo films.
  • Three game modes are available to play:
    • Story mode: Self explanatory, Choose this option to play through the campaign in all its glory.
    • Mission select: Replay any completed level here.
    • Challenges: Here is where you can earn new weapons for use in the story mode. It is very much a case of play a certain level with only headshots or perform all perfect QTE prompts.
  •  Before starting each story level you can choose your loadout, Your three options are main and side weapons and thrown weapons like grenades or bow and arrow. Here is where you will select the weapons you unlocked from the challenges.
  • At the end of a level your score is calculated and rated on a three star rating system. You will lose score for dying and gain scores for not dying. Your stats will be broken down to kills/deaths, accuracy, headshots etc. Here is where your difficulty choice will come into play as well.
  • Your score is used in an overall ranking system. Level up and you get to pick from the many upgrade options, These can be things like: extra grenades, take less damage, wrath mode lasts longer. Each of the upgrades can be reset when ever you like. Each time you level up you will also unlock perks. Perks are passive extras if you were, Here you start off being able to activate one then unlock more slots, upto three. Perks can vary a lot from actual upgrades and being things like 20% extra ammo when reloading from behind cover, screen doesn’t shake when being shot, More exp from kills etc.
  • On the level completion screen its worth noting that you can see what score is needed for the three different ranks so you can replay the level and try again.
  • With the reloading mechanic explained, You also need to know that each gun has its own reloading circle. Some guns are easier to get perfect reloads on than others.
  • QTE does play a prominent role in the game but they are done in a way so they are actually fun to do. With the button prompt banging up, a bigger circle will be around the button and players need to press the button as the circle closes in on the button icon. This way it allows players time to find and get ready to press, the correct button. Its actually harder to fail a QTE than it is to succeed.
  • Online leaderboards which can be filtered down to friends only. Here is where the score chasing all makes sense. You can break the scores down to individual levels or have overall score. Grab some friends and the replay ability is never ending.
  • Enemies will always spawn in the same place which should be a bad thing, But in this case its a good thing. For you to achieve maximum scores, you need to learn the layout of the level, time everything down to a tee for leader board domination.
  • The game does support co op but only in a local offline capacity.
  • The level select screen has still from the actual films and is a nice touch.
  • Has Steam achievements and cloud saving.

Rambo (2)

Cons:

  • Can be hard to make out enemies on some levels they seem to blend in with the scenery and its a nightmare.
  • The Rambo character model is a bit on the weird looking side. Later on he sorts himself out but early on he looks like a right meat head with a skinny body.
  • Voice acting for Rambo is minimal and for the most part he doesn’t speak at all. When he does you can tell its only an average performance of the voice actor.
  • Can suffer from the dreaded ” all enemies look the same” syndrome. To be fair though you will not notice it as much due to the fast paced game play.
  • Story Line is a bit hit and miss as most scenes used are either shortened down and dragged out far too long. In a few cases they dont work with that in place.
  • The death animations are simple and a bit scary looking as Rambo decides to die always falling backwards and always with his eyes open!

Rambo (5)

In Summary, The game will surprise you! It did for me. I was expecting a simple point and shoot poor mans Virtua cop with a few Rambo cut scenes. But nope I was wrong, The clever reloading system mixed in with the scoring system, actually makes the game fun and gives it a lot of legs. Its easy to jump into and play and most importantly have fun. Yes some of the graphics (character models especially) look a bit jank, The story line is very predictable and average but, There is no doubting that the scenery and overall backdrop look brilliant. Very much a perfect example of dont judge a book by its cover philosophy. Whichever control method you use, They will both work well and the level design is done in such a way that there is multiple ways in which to get decent scores. One thing I did find funny though, In any other game running and gunning is known as going all “Rambo” but yet a game with Rambo is so far from that saying its funny. Run and gun in this and you will die quickly and constantly. I can recommend this game for shooter fans just because of the unique scoring system and even more so if you are a Rambo fan. Yes it has a few little issues but what game doesn’t. Treat the game as a score chaser and it will appeal to you that much more. Treat it as a shooting game and you will be left disappointed.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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