Rogue Warrior First Impressions

Bethesda and Zombie are teaming up with legendary US Navy SEAL Richard Marcinko to deliver a new type of realistic military shooter.

by

While the Tom Clancy brand dominates the genre of realistic military shooters, it's going to get some competition from a legendary Navy SEAL. Bethesda and Zombie Interactive are currently working on Rogue Warrior, a tactical shooter for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 that's based on the fiction novels of the same name by Richard Marcinko, a former Navy SEAL commander whose best-selling autobiography is also titled Rogue Warrior. However, the game won't be based on Marcinko's real-life exploits in the Vietnam War. Instead, the plot, which could almost be ripped from today's headlines, is set in modern-day North Korea.

Rogue Warrior features the involvement of legendary Navy SEAL commander Richard Marcinko.

In Rogue Warrior, you'll lead Marcinko's four-man SEAL team deep into enemy territory. The game's plot has you infiltrate a North Korean submarine facility to get intelligence data on that country's nuclear capabilities. However, while you're busy doing this, North Korea launches a massive invasion of South Korea, and war erupts. Since all friendly forces have their hands full, you'll have to find your own way out of North Korea, which means you must escape and navigate through enemy territory.

There are a couple of key things to note about the game. The first is that this isn't a rigidly scripted game, like so many other military shooters. The design team at Zombie felt that the "rails" approach favored in those games (so called because you're basically restricted to a single path) doesn't really capture the essence of SEAL combat. SEALs are the Navy's elite commando units, and they're usually dispatched in small teams to operate behind enemy lines. That means SEALs must be smart, resourceful, and flexible, and to capture this element of SEAL warfare Rogue Warrior will have fairly large levels for a first-person shooter. The idea is that you'll be able to approach tactical situations in the manner that you determine.

For instance, in the example that we were shown, Marcinko's SEAL team approached a North Korean ship-breaking yard (where ships are torn apart for their metal). In this situation, there were three paths that the team could follow, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. One path might be more direct, but it also increases the odds of detection, while a safer option might offer a more roundabout path that takes longer to navigate. The idea is that you can tailor your tactics to fit your situation. However, having this freedom of movement in such large levels doesn't mean that Rogue Warrior will be like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Bethesda's hugely popular fantasy role-playing game. Rogue Warrior's levels are big, but not gigantic. The levels are designed for tactical flexibility, not exploring a huge dynamic world.

The game will feature extremely large levels for a tactical shooter to give you enough room to use real-world tactics.

During your adventures behind enemy lines, you'll encounter a wide variety of environments and foes. In the beginning, you'll battle North Korean conscripts, but as you progress closer and closer to the front lines of the battlefield, you'll encounter elite North Korean Special Forces, basically the equivalent of the SEAL team. North Korea has the largest Special Forces contingent in the world, too. These enemies promise to be intelligent. For instance, the bad guys will actually talk to each other on the radio, and that means if you neutralize a guard and his buddies start asking for him over the radio, you're in trouble because they're going to investigate why he disappeared.

The game is also going to be fairly flexible in how you play it. You can switch between first- or third-person views, depending on your preference. And you can also play the game as a team tactics game, where you give simple, context-sensitive commands to your teammates (for example, you can tell one to sneak up on a guard and knife him), or you can play it as more of a run-and-gun-style action game, where your teammates just follow you wherever you go. The really cool thing about the team mechanics is that the campaign supports cooperative gameplay, whereby other players can jump in and take over any of the other three slots in your team. And if anyone drops out, the AI will take over, so you don't miss a beat.

As cool as this new cooperative mode sounds, the new tiling system for the competitive multiplayer is even more interesting. The developers explained that one of the problems with online action games is that the levels never change. Rogue Warrior addresses this by separating the map into three sections that can be mixed and matched to create hundreds of different maps. Each side can select a map tile that it wants for its side of the map, while the middle tile is determined by the server. So if one side likes to snipe, it can choose a tile with long fields of fire for its section, but the other side can counter this by choosing a built-up tile for its section, thus negating the sniper's fields of fire. The middle section is a bit of the wild card, as the server can randomly select it. Put it together, and you never know quite how each map will play out.

The visuals are amazing, which is what you'd expect out of an Unreal 3 engine game.

Rogue Warrior is being built on the Unreal 3 engine, the same one being used for the upcoming Gears of War, so it goes without saying that the visuals, even at this early stage, look really sharp. The character modeling on the various SEAL team members is eerily good. However, this may be a game in which the audio outdoes the Unreal 3 graphics, as Marcinko and the other ex-Navy SEALs that he bases his characters on provide their own voices in the game. And if you've read any of his novels, you know that the man has a very "colorful" way with the English language. He talks like the seasoned sailor that he is--only this is a seasoned sailor with a master's degree. Listening to his descriptions of a tactical situation is humorous, crude, and enlightening at the same time.

Bethesda and Zombie hope that Rogue Warrior shakes up the military shooter genre. This is a genre that Zombie has plenty of experience with thanks to its Spec Ops games, but by teaming with Marcinko's popular franchise and infusing Rogue Warrior with tactical flexibility, we may be seeing the birth of a new kind of shooter. Rogue Warrior is scheduled to ship for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 next year.

Discussion

75 comments
mkdoomfan2
mkdoomfan2

Seriously... What the fuck happened!? This Rogue Warrior seems so much better than the actual final product!

EliOli
EliOli

This game is being developed by Rebellion studios and published by Bethesda, so there is no guaranty it will be of the same caliber as those games developed by Bethesda. Search "Rebellion Studios" and see scores for some of their other games on this site. I've heard mixed impressions, so I'm waiting to see how it reviews once the game is released.

WestSideAzn
WestSideAzn

This game looks promising. Bethesda, we all have faith in you.

MarcJL31
MarcJL31

Game sounds really goot. And I think the multiplayer map system sound interesting.

david_joseph93
david_joseph93

I wanna get this game. I´am an ARMY JUNKIE! I will graduate from Westpoint.

joeborg14
joeborg14

There's a lot of potential for this game, and I have a lot of faith in Bethesda, but I really hope it's not a flop. I've only seen them ever work with RPGs, and the character models/animations can sometimes get quirky, so I don't really know what's going to happen. However, it is on the Unreal 3 engine (I didn't know Bethesda could work with that!), so that should solve some of the animation issues. There's definitely a lot of potential, and with Bethesda, you know it's going to be high quality whatever it is. Expecting something bigger than FarCry 2 (more options), but still as intense as Crysis. They could easily do some big things with physics if they can make interactivity expansive and intuitive. And seeing how detailed they are, this may be good.

thrjpo
thrjpo

I put all my faith into bethesda. They keep putting out classics.

draco934
draco934

mmmmm............can't wait for this to come out. I happen to be a huge fan of the Rouge Warrior novels. This is gonna be sweet XD

worldind913
worldind913

as daGh0st187(or however he/she spells it) this should be "gangsta' " or at least a good game to pick up a year after release, if it ever does i suppose, as people say

Lebowski-Dude
Lebowski-Dude

Heh... I just realized the way they're teaming up with a person who wrote a book sounds kinda like Tropic Thunder.

Lebowski-Dude
Lebowski-Dude

Damn it. Now this is the only thing in Bethesda's "Work in Progress" section of their website, after the roaring success of Fallout 3. I look forward to any of Bethesda's games with a fervor, and this game is no exception, as I find the ideas very appealing (Crysis revamped by Bethesda sort of a thing). But now, as has been commented, it's been in production forever, and the release date has been pushed back to TBA 2009. I REALLY hope that they can do this, or something else. I'm hoping Bethesda will come out with a PR announcement stating what they will do next. Until then...

hvypetals
hvypetals

like someone else said - this game has been in developement for way to long and not a peep out of beth soft. i dont think its ever coming out. the best navy seal game was that one that came out in the 90's. date by todays standards but it covered real seal missions and tactics from vietnam. how many other games covered waiting in ambush at the side of trails?

aduana69
aduana69

this game has been in development for too long. I do not think its going to ever sight the light.

grover41389
grover41389

looks sweet and all but like others said id rather have another elder scroll and leave this to some1 else

jacobmjl
jacobmjl

not exactly saying this is bad, but i'd rather have the next Elder Scrolls

SystemoDown
SystemoDown

I havnt read the books. Bethesda rules. The `st thing i read i wasnt interested but now the game sounds sick. Is it for sure 08 or they gonna kick it back again?

Johnnyten
Johnnyten

I like that they went to get Richard Marcinko's real input on the game and that also its him leading his men. Which he really implements in his books he leads from the front and not the rear. So he should be able to paint a very real portrait of how he and his men go and complete an operation, with a very real scenario. I think this games going to be great, mainly because everyones modified look, there not all wartypes with the cammied faces or big hulking vest or the digital helmets (that makes it really unrealistic) There more suited for there task at hand. So I think this games going to be a lot of fun and hopefully just like the books.

DaGhOsT187
DaGhOsT187

Rogue warrior Books make clancy look like books for pussieez........ if they developers keep it gangster...and hard core .like Mr Marcinko and not deNUT his foul mouthed Old school seal style to cater to 10 year olds and .............dont cheap out...............This could Could lay clancy to waSTE THE BOOKS DO.... and dick would FUNK UP CLANCY AND HAVE HIM....WASHING HIS CAR CALLING HIM DADDY.....if Bethesda and Zombie .dont get cheap and cheesy .........bELIEVE ME ...........tHIS COULD BE A BIG FRANCHISE IF NOT DOwn played....edited for 10 year olds.....and not rushed out the doors for release.........and if they can get dick to really put in his style ..and they shut up and listen...........Should be gangster

mingfu
mingfu

looks pretty good

flushedorgen
flushedorgen

i really hope there is a cover system thats my favorite part about shooters

surppo
surppo

y cant more games have the switch view feature

flushedorgen
flushedorgen

God i cant wait for this game unless its out..........or not but i really want to play it and can sombody tell me iff its first or third person

ringwraith58854
ringwraith58854

I really hope they dont screw up this game. the Rogue Warrior is da BOMB!

macabre190788
macabre190788

Hopefully this one comes EARLY in 2008, like January or February. I just love co-op shooters. It's going to be interesting to see which game is the better one, this, or "Army of Two".

bigpimppapa
bigpimppapa

I just hope they don't just scrap this whole game I want to build my own defensive position last I read it will be out some time in 2008

mooseman721
mooseman721

Some more info on this would be nice!

KFrog
KFrog

This looks pretty good so far.

gameboy360
gameboy360

i love Ghost Recon but this game looks like it will kick it in the balls

Ghostse7en
Ghostse7en

Marcinko is the real deal when it comes to unit integrity and leading from the front. We can look at it as a game or hopefully we can look at it as almost as real as getting into the water with these guys. It may be a painstakingly difficult game if the enemy AI is going to be all its cracked up to be. I have high standards set for this game. Can't wait even if it needs to be delayed to perfect it.

Fauij
Fauij

looks like ghost recon..

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

game loks ok. we'll see how tiles turn out when it releases

theguitarman09
theguitarman09

Wow. Looks great. The seamless entry stuff for online looks really cool :)

mooseman721
mooseman721

Great book, Marcinko's involvement can only be a good thing, could be an absolutely stonking game, I'll definitely be keeping a close watch out for this.

RaNaBiR
RaNaBiR

Anybody worried about the file size of this game? How many DVD discs will be need to install the game on Windows?

Crystall3d
Crystall3d

bethesta and zombie int.? a nice joint indeed , my votes will be zombie int for the player movements ,gameplay bethesta for the gameflow and plot... goodluck to both

uberjannie
uberjannie

I like the random map on the multiplayer side. And whats with the "this is the same engine that Gear of War uses". Heck, what about saying : this is the same engine that Unreal Tournament 2007 uses. For gods sake gamespot, dont forget that game either. I think Unreal Tournament envy aka 2007 needs some more respect, since the engine is really designed for that game. And no single mention of huxley either, but thats ok since it doesnt have unreal in its name :)

The_Skipper
The_Skipper

Rogue Warrior was an excellent read, I've got pretty high standards for this game. Let's hope Marcinko doesn't disappoint.

_Sam_
_Sam_

This game seems to be copying a lot of other games, but I still might check it out

sangoanuta
sangoanuta

Bethesda did it good with Oblivion. I'm expecting a lot from this game. Gonna track it right now.

Eagle3000
Eagle3000

After reading almost all of Marcinko's books, and the fact that he is working with Bethesda on a shooter is awesome. Let's hope that it isn't like all the others out there.

sangoanuta
sangoanuta

I think Bethesda games have good graphics but they are a lil' choppy. You know, beautiful but clumsy... Anyone agree with that?

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

VERY VERY interesting. Tom Calny franchise is my fav, but I think its time for it to face some REAL competition. IT will challange Ghost Recon.

satjome
satjome

YES!!! finally a good tactical 3rd person shooter availble for pc!!! w00t!

malaciousrussia
malaciousrussia

hey x505, learn to read bro'seph, the game is using the Unreal 3 engine. when oblivion came out this engine was still in development. if you're a big fan of gears of war this game uses that same engine

Mikeys501
Mikeys501

can not wait for it to come out, being an old sailor, and know the Rouge.