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Have You Played... Rambo The Video Game?

Last blood.

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

If you’ve answered no to the question posed above, I recommend that you keep it that way. Rambo The Video Game [official site], you see, isn’t very good.

“I’m a crack shot at this,” says Marty McFly of the Wild Gunman arcade cabinet in the Cafe 80s. He shoots three quick-fire rounds, and the trio of on-screen poncho-donning antagonists are laid flat out. “CRACK SHOT!” heads the display. “You mean you have to use your hands?” scoffs the juvenile Marty had hoped to impress. “That’s like a baby’s toy.”

It’s now 2016 and we don’t have flying DeLoreans, nor hoverboards. According to the snot nosed kids from Back to the Future 2 (one of whom I recently discovered is Elijah Wood), we don’t have light-gun shooters anymore either.

Two years ago, sadly, we did still have rail shooters. We also had an officially licensed videogame franchise which chose to centre itself around a movie trilogy which reached its conclusion five months prior to the release of Super Mario Brothers 2 in 1988 - eschewing a far more recent fourth series entry just, well, because.

So, a Rambo-themed rail shooter in 2014. There’s not too much else to say, really. Generic enemies are offed by generic guns against generic scenery in a story-on-tracks which is so jarring and rushed it ironically mimics the montages of which the movies became inadvertently famous for. Sadly, this is far from satirical meta-humour, but simply poor design.

Control is too often robbed from you, and dodgy camera work results in complete disorientation. Even the genre’s core mechanic - ducking and covering - is hit or miss, depending on whether or not each level feels like including it. Worse still, clumsy QTEs plague every turn. There’s no reason why 2008’s titular rendition wasn’t included, but I’m hardly complaining. At least not about that. I very much am regarding the rest of this disaster.

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Rambo: The Video Game

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Joe Donnelly