In Rogue Warrior, lead character Dick “Demo Dick” Marcinko (based on the real-life ex-Navy SEAL, and voiced by actor Mickey Rourke) doesn’t just drop an F-bomb–he drops an entire nuclear warhead of repulsive language that would make even the most world-wise among us reach for a set of earplugs. As depicted in developer Rebellion’s newest first-person shooter, Marcinko is a shallow, potty-mouthed antihero without a single redeeming quality. Unfortunately, the appalling dialogue seems to have inspired Rogue Warrior’s gameplay, which is characterized by useless stealth mechanics, inconsistent hit detection, incredibly linear level design, and abysmal AI. Yet the boring, one-dimensional gameplay and terrible dialogue aren’t the game’s most insulting blemishes; that prize belongs to Rogue Warrior’s total lack of value. You can finish it in just over two hours, and the stripped multiplayer consists only of deathmatch and team deathmatch, yet publisher Bethesda Softworks is asking full price. Don’t be a sucker: Steer clear of this garbage.
You’ll at least sniff one sweet smell amid the stench–that of Rogue Warrior’s momentarily satisfying close-quarters kills. If you get close enough to your enemy (not exactly difficult considering the putrid AI), you can plunge your knife into his back, snap his neck, or smash his head into the wall. The thrill dissipates quickly, however. Every level is linear, and opportunities to sneak up behind your Communist foes are laid out in a predictable manner. There may be three or four enemies milling about at a time, all placed in such a way as to make it a cinch to sneak up behind them and play grim reaper. These easy stealth opportunities are further simplified by the morons you assassinate, who appear to have no peripheral vision and won’t notice you creeping up on them from the most obvious angles. They also appear to be near-deaf; they won’t react to the cries of their nearby comrades as you dump them over a railing, and they won’t notice the sound of your footsteps, even if you’re sprinting at full speed.