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October 27, 2006 - Before Bethesda finished development on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, they had already begun working with Zombie Studios towards creating a shooter to be released on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Development began last November and we first [Register or Login to view links] in August thanks to an online job posting. Several months later, Bethesda invited us down to Las Vegas for the first look at this new title, [Register or Login to view links].

The Rogue Warrior is a man named Dick Marcinko. If his autobiography is to be taken as true, and we're in the habit of believing everything told to us by anybody who has killed lots of people, then Dick Marcinko spent the formative years of his life kicking ass, making time with the local ladies and drinking until dawn every night. He then went on to become a Navy SEAL and form SEAL Team Six, the Navy's first counter-terrorism unit. This larger than life man is the main character in Rogue Warrior. From that you can probably guess where this game is headed.

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Rogue Warrior is a first-person tactical shooter that uses the Unreal Engine and streaming technology to create some massive environments. Everything we were shown was real time using and looked fairly impressive for a game that isn't due out until fall of next year. The demo kicked off by showing off some of the single player game. The game begins with Marcinko and his fellow SEALs infiltrating North Korea via a submarine as a voice over explained the situation. This was to be a standard recon mission, though nothing ever goes as planned. Once the team has crossed the border, North Korea launches an attack on their neighbors to the south. This separates the squad from any possible help or evacuation as they are now behind the front lines of a major war.

When the playable section started, the first thing we noticed is that the game is entirely HUD-less. We were then shown a few of the technical aspects of the game, such as the ability to play either in first or third person and how vehicles will take damage differently depending upon where you shoot them (hint: don't aim for the cloth area). Unfortunately, it looks as if the vehicles in the game will merely be part of the scenery rather than being operable. The bulk of the demo consisted of us being taken through a series of gun fights, each approached in a variety of ways, to show the range or gameplay options that Rogue Warrior has.

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The philosophy behind Rogue Warrior is to create a game that is a departure from the norm; a game that can help to differentiate the shooter genre. While most shooters fall into either the tactical or run and gun styles of play, Rogue Warrior is looking to leave the gameplay style up to the player. To do this, free form battlefields have been created where you can choose to attack the situation in any way you'd like. In the demo we saw the player give commands to his teammates with a single button press to spread out and flank a group of enemies. Another time the player just let the team be controlled by AI. This time, they took cover in areas around the player when he did, went stealthy as he crept forward, and then began the attack alongside the player. The level of micromanagement is really up to the player.

Rogue Warrior isn't just an action shooter. You can also perform stealth attacks, booby trap bodies or equipment and generally mess with the enemy AI. Since the enemies act as soldiers should, they'll investigate irregularities, such as a fallen or unresponsive friend. That's when the demo kits come in handy. You can also set up nice little traps by laying out some explosives and then sounding the alarm. As soon as those guys come running they'll find a nasty little surprise waiting for them.



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