Rogue Warrior – Better Than You Remember

Rogue Warrior - Better Than You Remember

We put on our neck on the line and defend one of the most hated games of all time…

Check out our retrospective of Rogue Warrior, the 2009 FPS that IGN described as “…completely bankrupt of any value whatsoever”.

Read the article that inspired this video


Hey how’s it going guys, this is Tom from UDS and welcome to the latest edition of our series where we look at games that critics hated, but in actual fact, we enjoyed a whole bunch. Whether they’re so bad they’re good, or genuinely under-appreciated hidden gems, we think it’s about time they get the spotlight they deserve.

Based on aggregate review scores, we’re going to throw ourselves directly onto the controversy bonfire, and tell you what you really missed out on if you listened to the critics of yesteryear. Lastly before we start, don’t forget to like, hit the bell and subscribe for plenty more video game content every single week and let me know what your favourite underrated games are in the comments below.

Whenever the discussion of the worst games of all time arises, Rogue Warrior is often bandied about. This is surprising in of itself, given it has the might of Bethesda behind it, as well as Rebellion, who created the amazing Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death, which we featured a few weeks ago. Anyway, sitting at a paltry 29/100 on Metacritic, Rogue Warrior  hasn’t garnered much in the way of praise from players or critics since it was released in 2009. 

Would I dispute that it’s not very good? No, no one could. Would I argue that it’s still a lot of fun? You bet your cock-breath commie motherfucking ass

Rogue Warrior gameplay still

Based very loosely on the real life exploits of former Navy SEAL Dick Marcinko, you act as a one man army dropped behind enemy lines during the height of the Cold War. Ostensibly a ‘by the numbers’ FPS, you have to take out foreign threats like the grizzled American hero you are. And while your methods might be extreme, they pale in comparison to your language. I’m fairly certain Mickey Rourke, who voices Marcinko, stubbed his toe in the recording booth, as he managed to reel off every expletive-laden sentence he could muster.

But while the language is painfully juvenile, and the gameplay is short and mindless (you can quite easily finish it in less than two hours), the sum of Rogue Warrior’s parts is probably the closest we’ve ever come to a faithful recreation of an 80s action film in gaming. 

There’s an attempt to implement a stealth mechanic, but when the enemy AI has the attention span and spatial awareness after two lemon shandies, it’s much easier to go in all guns blazing. For me, this makes for a much more entertaining experience than if I had to tediously peak behind cover, quietly cursing under my breath.  

Much like the films of Schwarzenegger and Stallone (as well as Rourke himself), you’re not meant to go into the game looking for anything of substance. You play it for over the top action, ridiculous dialogue and machismo that borders on the homoerotic.

Heck, I’m about as red as Lenin’s left pinkie toe, but even I enjoy playing as the jingoistic protagonist. Not because I agree with him, far from it, but because he serves as a parody of that mindset, and the silliness of it all is just as fun to watch as it is to play. That’s why it’s no surprise that many comedy gaming YouTube channels still break out Rogue Warrior to have a good laugh and a good time. 

And that’s just it. A game doesn’t have to be technically or philosophically advanced to be enjoyable. I love a thought provoking experience like Gris or Night in the Woods, but I also like to blow up baddies as an over the top action hero. 

This is a game that IGN described as “completely bankrupt of any value whatsoever”, giving it a scathing 1/10 review. And on a technical level, it’s hard to argue with the criticism. But, if like me, you finish a game with a big cheesy grin on your face, regardless of what anyone else thinks, it’s a good game.

But what did you think of Rogue Warrior? Did you play it back in the day, or are you going to check it out now? Please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your thoughts. And while you’re down there, don’t forget to subscribe for more videos every single week, and visit to read the article that inspired this series. I’ll put a link in the description

But until then my name is Tom, this has been UDS and we’ll see you next time.

While you’re here, please subscribe to Upside Down Shark on YouTubeApple PodcastsSpotify or wherever you listen to podcasts!


<strong>Tom Baker</strong>
Tom Baker

I like Star Wars, heavy metal and BBQ Pringles.

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