Retro Review: Rambo 3
Platform: Sega Megadrive
This is my second Rambo 3 review and this time I take a look at the Sega Megadrive version. The game opens with a nice digitised shot of Rambo firing his famous bow and arrow at the player. The screen flashes white as the arrow is about to find its mark and then the titles appear. What a great way to start the game and it really gets you pumped up, just like Stallone’s muscles!
There is an excellent intro for Rambo 3 which takes scenes directly from the movie as you see a couple of jeeps being shot at by a helicopter. This is the part of the movie where Colonel Trautman is captured behind enemy lines by the Russians. As this is a Sega game the helicopter in question is Thunder Blade, which is a nice little touch and reference to one of their other games. Before you get started a digitised picture of Kurtwood Smith appears as he gives you your mission briefing.
The game is very similar to other top down shooters like Mercs and Commando except you have three special weapons at your disposal. They are C4 explosives, the iconic knife and finally a bow and arrow with explosive tips. You are also armed with a machine gun which has unlimited ammunition.
Enemies come at you left, right and centre and it becomes very frantic with trucks pulling up and bad guys jumping out at you. I tended to use the machine gun most of the time and C4 to take out vehicles and guard towers. Using the knife is tough as you have to get in close and risk getting shot, but you are rewarded with extra points and a top up of one of your special weapons if you do manage to get in a few stabs. You have to charge up the bow and arrow for a second or two before you can cause maximum carnage.
As the game goes on the enemies become more aggressive with the soldiers throwing grenades around like confetti and leaving bombs behind as they die. There are even soldiers disguised as bushes who try to ambush you, but they are fairly easy to spot.
The game follows the movie fairly closely with missions ranging from infiltrating the Russian camp to saving hostages and eventually Colonel Trautman. At one part of the game I did a double take as one of the people you save looks exactly like Rutger Hauer from Blade Runner! Don’t believe me, then take a look at the video at the bottom of this review.
The standout part of the game, which I would guess also count as the boss battles, switches the viewpoint behind Rambo into a third person perspective. You see Rambo tie his headband and grab his bow and arrow before facing off against helicopters and tanks. You must hide behind cover, timing your shots and how much power you use whilst avoiding the fire from the enemies. Graphically these levels look superb and it’s a shame that there aren’t more of them in the game.
Generally speaking the graphics and sound are very good with an excellent visual representation of Rambo without his shirt on and his muscles rippling! The death sound of enemies is nice and crunchy and it feels great when you are taking out the bad guys. There is a little bit of slow down when there are lots of characters on the screen, but not enough to make the game unplayable.
Graphics – The graphics throughout are pretty good but the real stand out has to be the third person levels which look great. 7
Sound – The music is very good matching the tone of the particular levels of the game. The sound effects are also good with a meaty crunch when you kill enemy soldiers. 6
Playability – It’s unusual to play a movie licensed game where you actually feel like you’re playing in scenes from the movie it is based upon however, Rambo 3 makes you feel like you’re Rambo facing hordes of enemies. 7
Re-Playability – Rambo 3 is still a very fun game to play. It is simple, yet adds a little bit extra in terms of multiple weapons and excellent boss levels. 6
Overall – Rambo 3 is very similar to one of my all time favourite games, Commando. Add good graphics and sound, multiple weapons, excellent gameplay, fantastic boss levels with scenes taken directly from the movie and you have a very good Rambo game indeed. 7