Rail-shooters get a pretty bad rep these days, mostly because of Call of Duty (I'll explain later). But we don't get many arcade rail-shooters these days but Reef Entertainment wants to change that with Rambo: The Video Game.
Players don the role of John Rambo, military vet and loner. Rambo will journey through various intense and exciting moments from the movies made famous by Sylvester Stallone in 1980s, as the rail-shooter will have you blowing up buildings, blowing up cars, blowing up tanks, blowing up helicopters and even using Rambo's signature explosive bow to blow up people.
The game's YouTube page is littered with lots of hilarious comments, as people recognized that the game is an on-rail shooter game (meaning that you don't actually move around in the game, but instead just aim the target reticule and shoot at stuff on screen, ala Lethal Enforcers). One user wrote...
@Catel1 who said: "Wow ! PlayStation 2 is still producing games ! Such longevity." Please get your facts right: this is being made for the Nintendo 64.
Now, despite the game looking kind of trashy and as if it were produced in 1983 with 2006's graphics technology, I have to admit that the game has a certain kind of charm about it. I think it's because the game appears to be designed as an escape away from a lot of other games out there; it's not a tacky, Gears of War style shooter like that forgettable Terminator Salvation game. It's not a straight-through cash-in shooter like 007: Quantum of Solace that seems to have just about disappeared off the face of the planet. And it's not a typical AAA-style blockbuster title like Avatar: The Game, which means it has some measure of promise.
But here's the thing, it's easy to rag on this game because it is an on-rail shooter. A lot of gamers stopped appreciating these titles because they've been undermined by first-person shooters like Call of Duty encroaching on the genre due to how the games are basically designed as linear corridor shooters that mimic an on-rail arcade game: Players have barely any room to move around, barely any control of the character and barely any control over the gameplay outcomes (not counting Black Ops 2).
With so many other game studios chasing after CoD's strangehold on the casual market with their own spinoffs on the linear corridor shooter, such as EA's Syndicate or EA's Medal of Honor, it's easy to see how gamers see a real rail-shooter and think “Yuck, this is like that crap from EA and Activision.” The rail-shooter genre was indirectly deluded thanks to crap from the first-person shooter genre.
However, in this case, Rambo is just a new generation game based on arcade titles like Operation Wolf or Time Crisis. So long as Rambo: The Video Game has a moderate asking price and offers enough content to satisfy long time fans of the franchise, I can't really say it's a bad thing. I mean hey, I actually found The Expendables game to be some mindless co-op arcade fun, reminiscent of the old G.I. Joe arcade title from Konami. So maybe there's hope still for Rambo?
You can learn more about the game by paying a visit to the official website.