on 5 March 2014
First off, let’s get real – this is a budget game offered at a budget price. So let’s set our expectations accordingly.
The first time I read about this game I knew that I had to have it – I mean come on, I get to be John Rambo in a video game! Being developed by REEF, and seeing some of the trailers, my expectations were fairly low. Even hearing that it was an ‘on-rails’ shooter couldn’t discourage me.
Then it arrived, I eagerly installed it to my HDD (yes, all 2 GB of it), and loaded it up. As soon as I heard the music I couldn’t wait to hit start! Anyway, for the first 3 or so hours, I cursed my love for the Rambo franchise; I hated it. Even on easy difficulty it was brutal and I couldn’t finish it! But that is where some of the other aspects of the game kick in.
While playing the story, you earn experience points which can be used to upgrade your health, light weapons, heavy weapons, grenades and wrath. Now even when you reach level 20 you still only have 19 upgrade points, so you cannot have all 25 upgrades activated at the same time. Luckily these points can be redistributed in the main menu to suit the level you are playing. As you level up, you also unlock extra ‘perks’. You start off only being able to equip 1 perk at a time, and by the time you get to level 10 or 11, you can equip 3 at once. The perks range anywhere from 5% health regain for headshots, to dishing out 25% extra damage, wrath burning 10% more slowly, or gaining an extra 10% XP to go towards levelling up. From memory, there are about 30 different perks. Again, you will want to choose different perks based on the level you are playing.
In Addition to this, you also have Trautman Challenges, which you can unlock better weapons to use on any level. An example of a Trautman Challenge is to complete one of the levels using only the bow and knife (stealth style).
You also have a level select where you can choose to replay any of the levels you have unlocked on either easy, medium or hard (Green Beret) difficulty. And let me tell you that without some of those perks, upgrades and unlocked weapons, Green Beret is going to be challenging! (on easy you get unlimited retries per level, on medium 5, and on hard, 3).
You can also play 2 player couch co-op (didn’t try it myself) and there is a Leaderboard section showing you your ranking and giving you all of your stats as well (kill, headshots, KPM, time played etc).
None of the achievements appear to be glitched (I managed to get the full 1000)
The graphics are not the best, but they do seem to get better as you progress through the game from First Blood to Rambo III. There also seems to be a filter applied to First Blood Part 2 that is intentional and makes it look a bit more gritty. As you can imagine there is quite a lot of blood and violence. The sound is obviously excellent, with sound clips of the voices taken from the films, and the music is true to the films as well.
Now onto the gameplay. As I said earlier, for the first 3 hours or so I hated it, then all of a sudden, something clicked and I just ‘got it’. I changed the aiming from automatic to manual, and reduced the sensitivity all the way down to about 20 (from 50!). Now I was getting somewhere. I was able to get through all of the levels on easy difficulty, barely. But then you start to look at your scores and question if you are playing the game right or not? I mean on the first level the first time I got about 250,000 points. The target score for 2 stars was 1,000,000 and 3 stars was 1,500,000!! And when you really start to look at it, the scoring system really is quite complex. You get extra points for headshots, and extra points for kill chains (kills within 5 seconds of each other). You get extra points for perfect QTEs and prefect reload combos. You get extra points for wrath combos, and not dying. At the end of each level you get multipliers based on the difficulty and you KPM (kills per minute) ratio. Taking all of these things in to consideration is the key to getting the best possible scores in the levels, and getting the magical 3 stars (even if it seems impossible to begin with). This game really is a lot more tactical than just shooting stuff.
Once I had the full 1000 and thought I had got everything from the game that I could, my playtime read in at about 15 hours. Not too shabby compared to others here saying they finished it in 3 hours and n3ever went back.
Granted, it is not the best game ever made, but I you are a Rambo fan, you will probably get some enjoyment out of it. As you can tell I actually quite liked it after I had given it a chance.
I realise this is a pretty long review, but there were just far too many saying ‘OMG worst game ever!’ without every really giving it the chance. There is enjoyment to be had with this game, I can promise you that.
What I can say for sure is that this game will make you want to sit down and watch the trilogy again at the very least ;)