Published by Reef Entertainment Ltd.
Directed by Piotr Latocha
Platform played on: PC via Steam
Expectations: I haven’t been this pumped to play a game in years.
On the general scale (considering all the “flaws”):
But in terms of pure enjoyment and the amount of raw action and testosterone per minute:
As soon as Rambo: The Video Game was announced, I was ecstatic. The trailer made the game seem like nothing but balls-to-the-walls action recreating all the kick-ass Rambo shit that Rambo did in the Rambo movies. It was seemingly going to be everything I had ever wanted a Rambo game to be, going all the way back to 1988 when I spied the cover of the Rambo NES game and imagined what treasures the game might hold. That game did not live up to my internal hype, but Teyon’s Rambo: The Video Game didn’t just live up to my huge, unrealistic expectations, it shot an explosive arrow directly into their heart and machine-gunned them as they begged for mercy.
I’ve never written a video game review before, but while playing Rambo: The Video Game I felt compelled to. The game has received negative Internet buzz and press since the first trailer dropped, with people deriding the game for its animation, character models, use of quick-time events (QTEs), and even its choice to be an on-rails shooter instead of the more traditional first-person shooter. After the game’s release, this fire only seemed to grow more intense, as did my frustration with the public’s inability to see this game’s greatness.
At times, though, the game does get frustrating, but I can easily explain this away with two key points. First, it’s important to remember that Rambo: The Video Game is old school in its approach, just like an old arcade game. This is a score-based video game, where skill and quick reflexes will separate the Rambos from the Trautmans. Certain sequences are initially difficult, or play on the old “There’s no possible way I could have done anything about that until I died from it once” frustration, but remember the great arcade shooters of old, specifically the shmup sub-genre. If you want to do good and score high, you memorize patterns. Rambo: The Video Game is no different. And like those arcade games of old, Rambo: The Video Game doesn’t care if you make it to the next level. You only move on when you’re badass enough to do so.
So yeah, you might be frustrated at first, but get up and try again. Rambo wasn’t built in a day. He was trained and molded and traumatized into the man we know, so think of your first time through the game’s levels as your training in becoming Rambo. When I started the game, I was in no way prepared for the final mission that literally ends with almost non-stop explosions coming from a series of rockets, tanks and helicopters. It’s a harrowing, exhilarating experience — perhaps the most action-packed, intense level I have ever played — but it’s one that I needed to train for.
Oh, and Terminator fans? Get excited! It was recently announced that Reef Entertainment would be publishing a game based on the first two Terminator films. Uhh, I know there’s a Terminator quote that would be perfect… That’s it! I’ll be back! I hope Teyon will be too!