Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Rambo: The Video Game

Review: Rambo: The Video Game

1:00 PM on 02.25.2014 // Chris Carter

They drew first blood, not me

The original Rambo is more than just a guilty pleasure for action enthusiasts. While the latter two in the trilogy are arguably just popcorn flicks in terms of their overall impact on the industry as a whole, the first movie, appropriately titled First Blood, was a legitimately good film.

It dealt with the very real troubles of soldiers returning from war to adjust to normal life, in this case, specifically targeting the Vietnam War. Although Rambo is often regarded as a cold-blooded killer, he only actually kills one person in First Blood -- by accident. Eventually, the series would get progressively more ridiculous and further removed from the original's message, culminating in a mess of an experience called Rambo: The Video Game.

And what a mess it is.

Rambo: The Video Game (PC [reviewed], PS3, Xbox 360)
Developer: Teyon
Publisher: Reef Entertainment
Released: February 21, 2014
MSRP: $39.99 (say whaaat?)

Rambo: The Video Game is an unpolished, uninspired on-rails lightgun game that's currently being sold for $40 in 2014. If that description alone doesn't scare you away, everything else about it will.

Following a storyline that covers the original trilogy (and not the 2008 film), most of the "Video Game" takes place from a shaky first-person perspective as the titular Rambo shoots everything in sight. Our hero has the ability to take cover like many genre staples, coupled with an active reload system similar to Gears of War (but with an extra ammo boost instead). From there, it somehow manages to take that relatively simple premise and devolve into an even worse game. It may look like Rambo is a fully-fledged first-person-shooter based on the trailers, but even as a lightgun outing, it fails.

There's just no nuance to it, and even the act of shooting doesn't feel impactful or fun. Everything is scripted, and every enemy will either react in the exact same way or dive out from the exact same hiding spot every time. While other lightgun games like Virtua Cop have that fun arcade-like silly feel to them, I didn't have any of those same reactions to Rambo because it takes itself too seriously. The PS3 version has the one benefit of Move support, but PC and 360 fans will get no such luxury.

It doesn't help that the visuals feel mostly unfinished (and not to mention buggy at times), especially when it comes to the PS2-era facial models and the generic fodder that Rambo mows through. The voicework for the original film's stars, Sylvester Stallone and Richard Crenna, was ripped wholesale from the films, and feels jarring when juxtaposed to the new recordings for the game (which aren't good, in case you were wondering).

There are no witty one-liners, and no chances to sit back and laugh at the absurdity of it all. It's not self-aware in any sense of the term, which is a complete shame as it doesn't even have that "so bad it's good" value to it. Worse yet, most of the nuance of First Blood is completely ignored here, in favor of adding in senseless violence and murder where it wasn't present before.

What's crazy about Rambo: The Video Game though is that Teyon was able to somehow faithfully recreate many of the same locations from the trilogy. It's almost like they crafted a virtual render of Rambo just for the fun of it, then decided to cram a game into it as an afterthought. While Rambo may still be relevant to me as I grew up with the films, the poor reception to the 2008 movie should have given the studio a hint that maybe the action hero has lost some of his appeal.

In addition to the piss-poor on-rails shooting sequences there are QTE-filled action and stealth scenes, which are somehow even worse. While stealth sections could have been pretty fun with the right use of the bow and arrow, the game's clear budgetary constraints ensure that you never have too much fun while sneaking around.

Once you've exhausted what little the game has to offer, you can play it again in a score attack fashion, or opt for the painful two-player local co-op mode -- which doesn't even attempt to explain the second player's involvement. It sounds like a small complaint, but when the rest of the game is so rushed, it stacks up. Teyon really could have gone full camp with something unique, like inventing an original Rambo-like character for co-op, but they didn't. "Perks" can be unlocked such as the ability to always pass QTEs, but they're all basically useless considering how simplistic the story is over the course of its scant few hours of existence.

I don't mind on-rails shooters even in the modern era, but there are certain concessions that should be made to ensure that they're not shallow. The fact that Rambo: The Video Game is being sold for almost full retail price is insulting, not to mention the fact that it feels mostly unfinished and uninspired. If you need a Rambo fix, you're better off just watching the original trilogy and acting like this never happened.



Rambo: The Video Game - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Broken - One of my least favorite games ever. Just thinking about it is upsetting. I am upset.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Rambo: The Video Game

  Jan 17

The gameplay modes of Rambo: The Video Game

But where did they put the kitchen sink?

  Jan 06

Check out these clips from Rambo: The Video Game

'Don't push it, or I'll give you a war like you won't believe'

  Jul 10

Rambo: The Video Game gets Rambo: The Trailer

Not by the hair on my chiny chin chin!

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th October - Leighapalooza

Context Matters! Fanservice's Secrets EXPOSED!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Oh yeah, I have an account on this site.
Parismio avatarParismio
Ever wanted to get that item behind that safe in the beginning of Fallout 4?:
Shinta avatarShinta
Got Resident Evil 4 Wii for $5. Uh ... this might be my favorite version. I'm just getting headshots nonstop. Did I miss any other Wii games that are frequently overlooked? Like, really obscure Wii games that no one talks about? I'm interested.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Poeple due not aprecciate teh hrdships of bein a squid.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Guys, check out your blogs! Just be sure to bring tissues. I wish I had. [img][/img]
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Anyone see the new Captain America trailer? It's pretty dope!
Shinta avatarShinta You're welcome.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Update: played through Hyper Dimension Neptunia Rebirth, reminded why I don't like the series, and requested a refund on it and its sequel. Not sure if they'll refund the sequel, but if they honor at least the first, I'll use that money to get Undertale.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
I hope the new Star Wars movie answers the biggest question I have about the franchise; do Midi-Chlorians poop?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Wow, I feel really stupid. You had to give the Zora King the bottle with the letter in it. Like actually equip the... Wow. Oh, modern gaming conveniences, how I take you for granted.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Srry abot tye lak of coments latly. As a squid now it haas bcom hrrd 2 tipe. Im a sqiid now.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Backing Indivisible can be done with more than just money. Strapped for cash? then spread the word! post about it on Facebook, Instagram, tweet or simply tell your friends. Head to
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Even with the help of an old hunter I can only knock ludwig to his holy blade phase -_- I will kill the jerk, even if it takes me all night.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
This week in How We Can Make Link Hotter... [img][/img]
JPF720 avatarJPF720
I'm trying to publish a new blog post but for some reason it's not showing?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
If anyone is interested, Amazon has the $80 Persona Q limited edition at just over $40 right now. Haven't beaten it yet, but it's been a ton of fun so far, and at that price, hey!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I don't know what's been going on, but I actually feel like I have to fight with the formatting of the blog editor now to get it right. Hope it'll settle down soon.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
What? Wonderful 101 on eShop is $19? NO EXCUSES.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Robin secretly controls the boobs of Nintendo characters. She stole the Xenoblade boobs and took the Fatal Frame lingerie for herself. #DammitRobin [img][/img]
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -