At first glance, Rogue Warrior looked promising.
It was released in 2009 and developed by Rebellion Developments Limited, who brought us the now infamous Sniper Elite series. The game’s publisher was Bethesda Softworks, responsible for publishing the Dishonored series and The Elder Scrolls series.
Considering this, it is obvious why I was excited to play the game.
However, the gap between my expectations and reality was vast and it left me feeling utterly disappointed.
The player takes on the role of Richard Marcinko, a U.S. Navy SEAL who infiltrates North Korea with two team members.
Their task is to gather intelligence about alleged new ballistic missile production, but in classic Hollywood fashion, Marcinko loses his two teammates and is told to abort the mission by his superior.
He blatantly goes against orders to see his mission through to the end, even though it risks causing a war to break.
The plot was interesting enough to keep me engaged, but it was overshadowed by the horrible gameplay.
Hit (or miss) detection
For a game marketed as a first-person shooter (FPS), Rogue Warrior has some of the worst hit detection I have ever come across.
Precision headshots mean nothing, as you can often aim above an enemy’s head with greater chances of success, while point blank shots feel more blank than anything else, even when using a shotgun.
The gunplay lacks any impact, as enemies often don’t even flinch when a sniper round whizzes through them, while broken AI and laughably easy combat encounters make the game feel stale and unengaging.
With visual fields about as big as actual traffic cones and hearing that’s only sensitive to gunshots, enemies are oblivious to the player’s presence unless you make yourself painfully conspicuous.
This allows players to run past any enemy virtually unscathed.
Watch your profanity
I don’t mind the occasional use of profanity in video games, and Marcinko made me chuckle the first few times I heard some of his profanity-laced commentaries.
After about 10 minutes in, though, even a seasoned sailor would want to turn the dialogue volume down.
In the end, my experience could have been worse – I could have bought the game at full price.
Considering the average playtime of about 2 hours to beat the game and that it was supposed to be a Triple-A title, the price of $60 (about R900 today) at release was an unashamed cash grab.
Luckily, I got it on sale for a quarter of its price, but even this could not redeem it.
My advice? Take a rain check on playing Rogue Warrior.