|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Rebellion||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Bethesda Softworks||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Q4 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Tony Capri
May 4, 2009 - On the heels of Fallout 3, Bethesda Softworks is fast closing in on Rogue Warrior, a first-person shooter that puts you in the shoes of counter-terrorist hero Richard Marcinko. Announced back in 2006, Rogue Warrior is being developed by Rebellion (Rogue Trooper). The game was originally in the hands of Zombie Studios but seems to have since changed hands. With so much time in the oven, what can we expect from this latest action adventure?
If you're not familiar with the name Richard Marcinko, or Demo Dick as he's oft referred to, he's a man of many faces. An ex-Navy SEAL and commanding officer of Red Cell (a U.S. counter-terrorism unit), Marcinko is a real-life war hero (or anti-hero, depending on who you talk to). Though his actions in combat have been scrutinized by politicians and other government officials, his larger-than-life persona will command the helm of this latest venture by Bethesda.
The beginning of the story focuses on North Korea during the cold war (1980s), and as the rogue warrior, it's up to you to unravel a conspiracy that threatens the entire globe. You'll eventually make your way into the U.S.S.R., using both strategy and raw savagery to tear through to the truth as something of a one-man army. Bethesda boasts over 25 "brutal kill moves" in the game to allow players to experience all the grit and gore they desire.
Though the game is being promoted as an FPS, most of the screen shots we've seen thus far show Marcinko from a third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective. Considering the game seems to have a heavy focus on stealth and tactics, moving into the third-person seems like a welcomed option. You'll eventually go up against entire squads of enemies, and sabotage and the element of surprise will often be the best weapons of choice.
The gameplay and story are based upon the real-life recollections of Marcinko and his experiences with black ops. He'll command a small unit of soldiers, using whatever means necessary to fulfill his objectives.
There are several multiplayer modes in place as well, and the online options do ring a tad familiar. With the spotlight on - once again, as Bethesda likes to term it - "brutal kill moves," we're expecting something along the lines of a Gears of War-type, head-to-head experience. However, 10 gameplay modes, along with a system that allows players to compete on some 200+ maps, promises to make Rogue Warrior an extremely valuable gameplay package. A squad-based, cooperative option for the story mode has also been hinted at, which would certainly be a major plus in an adventure such as this, where working together in the shadows takes precedence over straight-on, run-and-gun action.
Rogue Warrior is a heavily story-driven experience; however, as is Bethesda's forte, the game will afford players the freedom to tackle the experience in their own way. Environments are massive, with a focus on freeform thinking, rather than scripted events. The game also sports advanced A.I., able to execute flanking maneuvers and act as part of a team.
The game is being constructed using the Unreal 3 Engine and makes use of streaming technology. In layman's terms, that means the game will pre-load required elements as needed, rather than forcing the player to sit through load screens. It also means that the game looks really good up against the best of the best from this generation. Rebellion seems to be making very good use of Epic Games' cutting-edge technology. Character models exhibit excellent detail, and environments look authentically exotic. We've yet to actually view the game in motion, so we're eager to get our hands on it to see and experience, first-hand, how everything comes together.
One of the more interesting, new developments is the addition of Mickey Rourke to the project. The veteran actor will be voicing main character Demo Dick, and we simply cannot imagine a better choice for the role. Neither can Bethesda, evidently, as Rourke was their first choice to fill the shoes of this infamous character. You may remember the actor from such films as The Pope of Greenwich Village, Sin City, and more recently, The Wrestler.
Originally announced for release in late 2007, Rogue Warrior seems to have taken a few sidesteps, and much like its main character, the game is still very much shrouded in mystery - laying in wait for its release later this year. The pedigree of the publisher certainly gives us plenty of reason to hope big, though there's still much to learn about the game. We anticipate a major showing at this upcoming E3, so be sure to check back for more on this gritty shooter in the making.
CCC Freelance Writer