Preview: Rambo

This game, despite being based upon one of the biggest movie franchises of the 80’s in Rambo, has kind of slipped under the radar, for me at least. There may be a good reason for this following the Aliens: Colonial Marines disaster that was hyped up to such a point that many, including myself, had massively high hopes that this would be the game to do justice to the second Alien movie. Now we all know how that game turned out and the fall out surrounding the development and advertising of the game is still ongoing now, several months after it was released to a hugely disappointed public.

Rambo on the other hand is coming this summer and yet there is very little publicity for the game, it is difficult to even find any game play and as such the expectation for this title must be fairly low. This game is being developed by Reef Entertainment which is a UK based studio who has made a few games for PC and the Wii but nothing too large in scale. As such this franchise could well be a great boost for this studio to show off their capabilities, after all the Rambo series of movies has raised over $600m and with those sorts of numbers I would expect a video game to attract some interest, not as much as an Aliens game but there is still a big market out there for the Rambo franchise as was shown by the last film.

This game is based on the first three movies in the series. Sadly, for me at least, the latest installment from 2008 won’t be visited in this game, I really enjoyed that film and preferred its more realistic approach than the approach of the, at times comical, approach of the second and third films. So far only a few screenshots have been released and whilst these shots do look impressive, full of glorious forest and ocean locations, they may not resemble what the in game engine looks like. The image of Rambo himself in the forest, I assume taken from the first film looks brilliant, brilliant except that Rambo himself doesn’t look too much like Stallone.

The voices from the films are in this game, and whilst that should be a positive it is worth noting that it is not recorded and tailored for the game itself. The studio who owns the rights and the hard copies of the films, StudioCanal, has in effect handed over the original audio tapes of dialogue from the movies. This essentially means that the voices will be soundbites and odd sentences form the movies themselves which is slightly disappointing for me, in an age of where games expand so well upon a movies base material it may have been better to simply use someone else so that extra voice work could be in the game to expand the story.

The game play itself has been described as a stealth shooter using cover and quick time events. I am hoping that the cover dynamics are more like The Last of Us, where stealth is crucial and also a test of patience where there are several ways to solve a scenario. Hopefully it will edge away from the cover style of a game like Gears of War where it is very one dimensional and in all you do is take turn against your opponent to pop out and shoot at them. The original Rambo movie was a great display of stealth and how a highly trained soldier can improvise and use his surroundings to his advantage, I am hopeful that this game can think like this and allow the gamer freedom to solve the battles in their own way with a variety of tools instead of the usual A to B run and cover approach.

Hopefully this game could well surprise me; with source material like Rambo surely there is a lot that can easily translate to a video game. After all action games are usually the big sellers and when you think of action Rambo is one of the films that will spring to mind first. At least Rambo hasn’t been built up to be something it isn’t like Aliens: Colonial Marines. The problem with this is that it hasn’t been built up at all.

Rambo is out this August and is coming to the Xbox360, PS3 and PC.

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