Codex Gamicus

Rogue Warrior (initially titled Rogue Warrior: Black Razor) is a tactical first person shooter video game. It was developed by Rebellion Developments and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game was released November 26, 2009 in Australia, November 27, 2009 in Europe and December 1, 2009 in North America on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Windows platforms.[1][2][3]

In Rogue Warrior, the United States has sent in Richard Marcinko, a veteran Navy SEAL, on a mission into North Korea to disrupt ballistic missile launchers. As players progress, Marcinko will encounter numerous enemies and allies as he is sent from locations such as Korea, Russia, and others to pursue terrorists with dangerous missile capabilities. The plot is not based on the autobiography by the game's protagonist, Richard Marcinko.[3] Marcinko is voiced by actor Mickey Rourke.

The game was originally being developed by Zombie Studios, who was in early development stages of the game. Soon after, Bethesda stated that they weren't satisfied with the direction Zombie Studios was taking the game. Bethesda quickly scrapped the project and brought in Rebellion Development to develop an entire new game from scratch. Rebellion, while retaining some major elements from Zombie's rendition, has taken a whole new approach to the game and its focus.


File:Rogue Warrior Screen 1.jpg

Richard Marcinko using a finishing move to eliminate an enemy. A third-person perspective is used when showing finishing moves.

Rogue Warrior is primarily a first person shooter with tactical elements. The player assumes control of Navy SEAL Richard "Demo Dick" Marcinko, also known as "Rogue Warrior".[2] The primary goal for Marcinko begins as an infiltration mission to disrupt hostile missiles and evolves to prevent other potentially dangerous situations. To achieve this goal, Marcinko may use a wide array of weapons and explosives. Such weapons include AK-47s, grenades, and combat knives. In addition to weapons, Marcinko may also utilize explosives barrels and gas tanks to eliminate enemies[3][4]

The focus of gameplay is Marcinko's over-the-top methods and signature execution moves used in war situations. When the player is in close proximity of an enemy, they may press one of several buttons to trigger an instant kill via finishing moves, referred to as kill moves in the game. There are more than twenty-five finishing moves available to players. Such moves include throwing an enemy over a rail, slashing their throat, or stabbing them in the forehead. Upon initiating a finishing move, the in-game camera shifts to a third person cinematic angle to show the finishing animation.[3] A cover system akin to Gears of War and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas will be incorporated. This allows the player to blindfire and pop in-and-out of cover, but some positions of cover may be destroyed. There is also a "robust" checkpoint system that tracks player progress.[4]


The game begins with Richard Marcinko, Navy SEAL, being sent into Unggi, North Korea to retrieve intel from a North Korean mole on ballistic missiles of an unfamiliar design that North Korea is supposedly in possession of. Shortly after touching ground, Marcinko and his two men kill a North Korean Army patrol. However, one of the guards is wounded and pulls the pin of a grenade. Marcinko's men are killed. Admiral Peyton, the commander of the operation, demands that Marcinko abort, but he refuses. After fighting through Unggi, Marcinko realizes the mole was killed. However, he finds intel in the mole's apartment room on missile launchers that have been developed in Unggi. Marcinko is then tasked with disabling the missile launchers by any means necessary. Marcinko enters the facility that is producing the missile launchers and realizes only one is present. According to intelligence received from Peyton, the rest of the launchers are being moved out by sea. Marcinko heads to the Unggi harbor, and realizes that they are actually being sent out of Unggi by train to the Soviet Union, less than 20 km from the city. Marcinko boards the train and destroys it as it crosses the border. Marcinko enters Soviet territory and gathers intelligence that the ballistic missiles were of Soviet origin, not North Korean. Marcinko also notices that the ballistic missiles were smuggled out of North Korea to a palace in the Soviet Union. Peyton warns that an attempt to go after the missiles will not only result in Marcinko's court martial but even war between the US and the Soviet Union. Marcinko dismisses these warnings and goes after the missiles.

Marcinko enters the palace where the missiles are located. He contacts Peyton, who threatens to have Marcinko court-matrialed. Marcinko suggests that he found proof that the USSR created a missile defense program aimed to deter any US nuclear launch on Soviet territory. This program was similar to the real-life US Star Wars program aimed at deterring any Soviet missile attack on US territory. Marcinko launches a missile at the palace, destroys the missiles located in a bunker under the palace, and escapes the palace. Marcinko then enters a submarine base with the purpose of destroying a submarine carrying similar nuclear warheads. Marcinko escapes onto a patrol boat with Navy SEALs aboard.

The game's plot is embellished from Marcinko's real life encounters during his time as a SEAL as well as his autobiography from the same name. No further details have been released yet. Bethesda has yet to state what plot elements were included or left out from Marcinko's sources. It was revealed that the game was supposedly being built as a "personality shooter", which obstensibly meant that the game focused heavily on the plot and character development for Marcinko and his squad throughout the game.[3]


Announced in the Fall 2006 as a partnership between Bethesda Softworks and Zombie Studios, Rogue Warrior: Black Razor was billed as a tactical first-person shooter for release in 2007. Set in near-modern day North Korea, the plot focused on Marcinko and his team's effort to neutralize the nation's North Korean nuclear launch capability. The game was to be built using the Unreal Engine 3 and include drop-in four-player cooperative and 24-player competitive multiplayer, offering unpredictable maps based on a unique tiling system.[5]

In 2009, the game resurfaced after much silence. Bethesda has publicly stated that they were not satisfied with the direction Zombie was taking the game. Bethesda scrapped the project and commissioned Rebellion Developments to develop the game. Starting fresh, Rebellion made numerous changes to the gameplay, plot, and features. The setting shifted to 1986 USSR and North Korea; the game engine became proprietary; the cooperative play was struck along with the multiplayer tiling system; the overall focus turned to Marcinko's personality and kill moves; and the name was shortened to simply Rogue Warrior. Mickey Rourke was also announced as the celebrity voice actor of Marcinko.[3] On September 6, video game website GameSpot posted the game's first preview after the game had been reconstructed.[4]


Review scores
Publication Score
Gamervision 3.5/10

Rogue Warrior received extremely negative reviews from critics. GameSpot awarded the PC version 2.0 out of 10, saying "This dreadfully boring, expletive-filled, extremely short shooter is an absolute rip-off." [7] The website Gamervision awarded the game 3.5 out of 10, saying "The very fact that there's an attempt to charge $60 is insulting. Save your money, spend it on anything else, and forget Rogue Warrior ever existed." IGN rated the game an "Abysmal" 1.5 out of ten, stating that the gameplay is poorly done [8] While GamePro awarded it 3 out of 10 and said "A generic, buggy and broken shooter with limited appeal, even to dedicated fans of Marcinko and the many books and novels that have documented his incredible life." [9] GameZone's Natalie Romano gave the game a 2/10, stating it is "A very disappointing game from start to finish, Rogue Warrior is a game that brings nothing new to the genre nor does it make for a fun first-person shooter worth the money. Simply put, this isn’t just an awful shooter but it’s also a terrible game. Sorry but this is one hero we would like to leave behind."[10] Andrew Reiner of Game Informer concluded that "with the gunplay being as bad as it is, and the story coming across as a six-year-old’s interpretation of Cold War events, the only fun comes from the possibility of stepping into the shoes of a blatantly homoerotic Rambo".[6]

See also[]


  2. 2.0 2.1 Rogue Warrior for Xbox 360. Gamespot. Retrieved on 2009-09-07
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Crecente, Brian (April 27, 2009). Rogue Warrior Carpet F-Bombs With Rourke. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2009-07-20
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Rogue Warrior Hands-On. Gamespot (2009-09-06). Retrieved on 2009-09-07
  5. Ogden, Gavin (October 30, 2006). Bethesda creates new first-person shooter. Computer and Video Games. Retrieved on 2009-07-20
  6. 6.0 6.1 A Game That Makes Almost Every Game Before it Look Better - Rogue Warrior - Xbox 360
  7. 7.0 7.1
  8. 8.0 8.1

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