The good news is that First Blood gets its due. We knew this when Fahey showed us screens of Hope, Washington. The bad news is that Rambo: The Video Game looks like something for the PlayStation 2. It just looks terrible. Which, of course, means day-one purchase for me.
Make no mistake, I'm a big Rambo fan. First Blood is one of my 10 favourite movies, and despite what the name has come to stand for since, it was a critical success, too. Roger Ebert gave it three stars. Stallone's tirade to Richard Crenna, laying out the futility of his existence post-Vietnam, legitimately shaped my very young understanding of what war did to people, and what that one did in particular. But then it devolved from an action flick with a real point to a self-parodying symbol of Reagan-era belligerence. Still, the second and third films, I gotta admit, were entertaining as hell in their own way.
As I said about Ride to Hell, this game will definitely fill a void — playing as John Rambo versus the weekend warriors up in the soggy forest outside town. Kicking the deputies' asses looks like a cutscene; that'll probably be followed by the game's obligatory stealth level as you escape from jail. Then again, pretty much all of whatever stands for First Blood Part II should be stealth kills. Making that interesting for a brand so closely identified with empty-the-belt action is a near insurmountable challenge.
Reef Entertainment has been working on this since 2011. Unfortunately, looks count for a lot, and what we see here suggests a game that didn't end up with a budget to match its ambition, or name recognition.
I don't see Rambo nailing a guy to a tree with an arrow through the forehead or sewing a wound shut. The most iconic badass shit Rambo does in this trailer, the mud camo, gets my Joe Bob Drive-In Academy Award for most unintentionally hilarious trailer highlight of 2013. Anyway, this game is out in August, PS3, 360 and PC.