As a child of the 80s, there was only one person I wanted to be when I grew up, and that person was John Rambo. Sure some kids wanted to be Indiana Jones, Han Solo or Hulk Hogan, but to me there was no one greater than Rambo. He was 100% badass. All he did was kill people and he did it with style. Guns, bows and arrows, knives, he was a prepubesant boys dream of what you should become when you’re a man. If you fucked with Rambo, the only thing that was assured is that your death was going to be an orgy of violence and awesome. He was my hero.
Now, that’s not to say I ever saw a Rambo movie growing up. I didn’t, and I didn’t need to. There was no way my mom was going to bring me a R-rated movie where a human death machine killed his way through third world countries for the express purpose of kill kill kill kill. That didn’t mean I didn’t understand what Rambo was about, because you can learn everything about Rambo from one 30 second TV trailer.
After I saw Rambo for the first time, that was the only game I wanted to play and it was a very simple game indeed. Step one is get a red cloth to tie around your head. Then you get a toy gun, a stick, or just use your hands and pretend to kill everyone else. Then, when everyone is dead someone else gets to be Rambo and you start all over again.
The same concept has been used for various video games over the years. I remember playing Rambo: First Blood Part 2 on my Sega Master System and for its time it looked pretty good. Again, red headband, weapons, killing. That’s all you need for a Rambo game, it’s not difficult and now a new game has been produced promising to allow people the chance to be the ultimate one man army. Too bad it looks fucking terrible.
In RAMBO ® THE VIDEO GAME: Machine of War, it appears that you play as a poorly rendered human being that looks nothing like Rambo (except for the red headband) as he murders his way through somewhere, for some reason. Now the core concept seems pretty solid: Rambo murders people, and is a badass. I respect their accuracy to the source material but I’m not sure why they programmed this game so it’s compatible with the original PlayStation I’ve seen games for mobile devices that look better than this horse shit.
I’m also not sure why you would spend the money to buy a licence for an intellectual property like Rambo but not bother to spend more than minimum wage on the graphic designer that could be make Rambo actually look like Rambo. It’s almost like they went to fiverr.com and paid some 14-year-old blind kid who has never even heard of Sylvester Stalone five bucks to create the character design documents.
Now it’s possible there is some type of artistic reason as to why Rambo looks like a a giant-headed neanderthal with a tiny face, but after you look at the rest of the “graphics” presented in the trailer it’s pretty clear that the reason is “untalented staff.” If you’re going to create a Rambo game, you don’t really need to spend much money on things like “story” and “dialogue.” That stuff can be written by pretty much anyone after spending a few hours watching the first three Rambo movies or simply a 30 second TV spot. If you’re a video game studio making a Rambo game, your budget should be split up as 50% Rambo, 45% blood/killing effects 5% everything else. It looks like Reef decided to spend a majority of the budget on stripper Thursdays, which I understand, but the result is a game that looks like a stripper’s father’s suicide note, sad and filed with regret.