Rounding out the stable of games that was shown at the Bethesda press event last week is Rogue Warrior, a game based on the life and career of Dick Marcinko, who has had a decorated career with the U.S. Navy, serving in one SEAL team and founding a second. Near the end of his career, he made a living by showing that it is possible to remain undetected while infiltrating places like Air Force One. Bethesda's Rogue Warrior is a fictional tale based on the man's life and set in the Cold War circa the 1980s, with Marcinko fighting behind enemy lines in an attempt to stop Korean manufactured missiles from crossing the border into Russia. Marcinko's nickname of "Rogue Warrior" is aptly applied here, as no sooner does he cross the Russian border does he go rogue from his commanding officer in the pursuit of the missile destination.
Rogue Warrior has been extensively reworked from its previously shown version and is now is more geared around the main character and his personality. Voiced by Mickey Rourke in the game, Marcinko proves to be a sarcastic and sardonic antihero who is at his best when he is brutally offing a foe, though he manages to inject some dark humor into the situation from time to time. Indeed, the game is presented like an '80s action movie not unlike "Rambo" or "Die Hard," delivering knife kills and profane one-liners with great frequency.
The gameplay shown to us was a blend of infiltration and assault modes, with the former showing Marcinko's likeness skulking around and taking down enemies as silently as possible. To do so, Marcinko utilizes kill moves, of which there are 25 of in the game; they can also be environmental, such as throwing an enemy over a railing or smashing his face into a wall. Some of the more brutal ones have Marcinko stabbing a man in the kidney multiple times or slashing an enemy's throat before crouching over the foe and slashing the throat a second time. These kill moves are violent and somewhat realistic, and Marcinko has identified them as moves that he would viably use in the field.
The assault mode kicks in when Marcinko is detected and needs to trade fire with the enemy. Though the game is primarily played in the third-person perspective and has a cover mechanic that allows for trading fire without fully leaving cover, players can also elect to enter a first-person view in which they use their weapon's sight to draw more accurate fire on their target. Both the infiltration and the assault modes had their share of rough edges, especially in the case of hit detection with the gunfire, but it bears noting that the build we were shown was currently in a pre-alpha stage.
Some multiplayer details were given about Rogue Warrior, specifically that the game will ship with six maps and allow for up to 16 players battle in either deathmatch or team deathmatch modes. In multiplayer, players can pick a model from friends and foes found in the campaign mode, though only the top-scoring player on the server gets to play with the "Dick skin," as the joke from the event goes. Kill moves are reportedly available for multiplayer as well, but we weren't show any form of the multiplayer mode at the event.
Rogue Warrior is currently slated for a fourth quarter release in 2009 across the PS3, X360 and PC platforms. While the presentation showcased a more cohesive design in terms of how the character is defined and used, at the same time there is obvious work to be done since it's still pre-alpha. Once we actually get some hands-on time with the title, we'll keep you posted about how the gameplay is progressing.
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