I was at Best Buy tonight…not really looking for anything in particular but scanning the racks of PC games to see if something might have snuck under the RADAR.



You can usually tell which games are good (or not) by the price. A sub $20 game is usually not so good (remember – I said I was shopping at Best Buy, where everything is overpriced anyway - I know you can get some really good games for less than $20 on Steam or other digital distribution services).



I just happened to come across Rogue Warrior. A bargain at $19.99.



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". The primary goal for Marcinko begins as an infiltration mission to disrupt hostile missiles and evolves to prevent other potentially dangerous situations.


Now, I can’t say for certain where I read just how abysmal RW was…it was probably various websites and/or magazines. Maybe even here at GIO or the GI magazine. Where is kind of irrelevant. The point is that I read it was bad. Beyond bad even. Downright horrible.



So when I picked up the game to read the back of the box, I had no intentions whatsoever of actually buying the game (and don’t worry – I didn’t). After I got done chuckling, (there was actually a data point that read, “Kill the enemy before they kill you.” – Imagine playing a game that actually encourages you to kill the enemy before they kill you. That’s revolutionary).


Anyway, like I was saying, after I got done chuckling, I was actually a little aggravated. If you look at the cover art and read the product description, the untrained gamer might actually think this is a great game, especially for the everyday low price of $19.99. People might actually buy this junk. And it’s pretty much confirmed it is indeed junk. Take a look at these review scores:



Game Informer: 1.5/10; GamePro: 3/10; GameSpot: 2/10; GameZone: 2/10; IGN: 1.5/10; X-Play 2/5


The box also indicated:


Best Multiplatform Game. "Full of Pure Action". -Blast Magazine



It's interesting to note that Blast Magazine appears to be nothing more than an online website dedicated to trendy and geeky subject matter. It doesn't seem to be a real publication, but I suppose when you label it a "magazine" it makes it sound more reputable.


Well...the "Full of Pure Action" quote on the back of the game appears to have been taken from this online website's summarization of the non-playable E3 demo back in 2009, which is provided below.



Rogue Warrior

Bethesda Softworks

PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Fall 2009


Rogue Warrior looked great in a demo, and nothing is cooler than getting to play out the experiences of a real life badass navy seal voiced by Mickey Rourke. This game is full of pure action, explosions, and a great mix of stealth and offensive firepower.


Ironic, the author of this article is also quoted as saying, "The graphics and sounds are beautiful, and this will be a winner when it comes out in the fall for Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3." -John Guilfoil


Clearly he was wrong. But whatever...I don't think it's necessarily his fault that his praise for a very rough non-playable demo showed up on the final product. That's the part that annoys me though.


This is clearly false advertisement. And yes, I know...there are literally dozens of bad games that fill our shelves trying to steal the dollars we have budgeted for video games that use this same dirty tactic. But come on, this is a game that was produced by Bethesda Softworks.



Perhaps you've heard of them. They also produced a game called Fallout 3...they're working on Fallout: New Vegas. They have a long list of games they've produced.



Now, I’ve heard discussions before why bad games are ever released in the first place. The excuses normally range from budgets were exceeded so publishers just decide to cut their losses and publish the game no matter how bad it is just to recoup some of the money invested in the game. While I might believe that could be true of an independent or smaller publisher, when a company as large as Bethesda allows this kind of shady business practice to occur, it’s disappointing.


Disappointing not because I think you and I will fall for the gimmick, because realistically, we know better…but disappointing that the casual gamer is the one getting screwed over.


It makes me want to design, print or purchase some peel off some stickers…some top notch high quality stickers that I can just peel and stick on all the games to show potential buyers what the real reviews look like.


So instead of something like this…

Perhaps something like this, based on the actual reviews (that can be stuck right on the outside of the game)…



There are plenty of other sticker options…


GameSpot  2/10 "Dreadfully boring...an absolute rip-off."


Gamervision 3.5/10 "Save your money, spend it on anything else, and forget it ever existed."


IGN 1.5/10 "Abysmal"


GameZone 2/10 "It isn’t just an awful shooter but it’s also a terrible game."