They Cloned Rambo’s Bandanna! – Vidjagame Apocalypse 474

Back in the ’80s, Rambo (along with a lot of other action and sci-fi movie franchises) had a huge influence on game developers, and there was a point when the standard uniform for serious arcade action heroes was just a pair of pants and a headband. This week, TL Foster joins us for a celebration of five of gaming’s most memorable John Rambo clones, after which we’ll dig into Sniper Elite 5, Diablo Immortal, PlayStation’s TV and movie plans, and the fad toys that disappointed you the most as kids.

Question of the Week: What’s an iconic movie character that more games should just blatantly rip off?


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6 thoughts on “They Cloned Rambo’s Bandanna! – Vidjagame Apocalypse 474

  1. QotW: The recent season of Stranger Things has me wondering how no horror games have made use of a reality distorting paranormal serial killer ala Freddy Kreuger. The large majority of horror games make their external conflict either hoards of things endlessly swarming the player or a single unkillable Jason Voorhees style antagonist that slowly stalks the player. It’s either bullet sponges or one really big bullet sponge.

    One of the tricks that constantly impresses me is surrealist set pieces in videogames. From the opening of Gears of War 3 to the Scarecrow sequences in the Arkham games to all of the nightmares in Life is Strange I’m just always impressed when somebody adds a bunch of trigger volumes and timers to an Unreal Engine level to create the ultimate haunted mansion ride. That’s to say nothing on non-Euclidean games like Antichamber. I don’t know how those work. Maybe it’s some sort of code that does hitscan detection to guess where the player looks? Maybe it’s dark magic given to the developers when they made a deal with the devil in hell?

    All of which begs the question: Why can’t all of this clever design be used to scare the shit out of me? Being trapped in a shifting nightmare where the floor can become quicksand or drop out from under you, the walls can close in and stairs can turn into a slide straight into a pit of fire has a lot of untapped potential. Suddenly being strangled to death by one of the many pipes in a boiler room as it turns into the gruesome fleshy arms of your own personal demon sure seems like it would maintain the terror a lot longer than “what if a zombie but like…big- a big zombie.”

  2. QOTW: I think that with this type of question, villains are really the best way to go, so my answer will be the Joker. The thing that I love about the Joker is that he just does bad things because it’s fun. A villain that’s just so chaotic that you can’t combat him through ordinary means and have to think outside the box to beat him would make for a fun game. We also just need more mentally insane video game villains in general.

  3. QotW: A great action hero that is not ripped off enough is Frank Drebin from Police Squad! and The Naked Gun. Imagine accidentally slapstick prat falling your way through action sequences, doing mindless interrogations with a snitch using the same $20 bill, and generally goofing your way through a TellTale or L.A. Noire style punfest. Close second would be anyone from the movie Airplane! Closer second: Neek Reevers from Top Secret!

  4. QotW: John Wick, I am actually shocked that there is not a Hitman-esque version of John Wick in video games anywhere. The guy is the Baba Yaga, killing people with stealth or just shooting his way out of 100s of dude. Either way, it would be fun video game.

    1. I should have specified, they should rip off John Wick since the movie people have no interest in making a game.

  5. Ripley from Alien/Aliens.

    We need more games that have quietly competent, take no shit female roles that do t relay too much in the ‘badass girl with a badass attitude’ or character design that seems more determined to imply the curvature of her labia than any kind of discernable personality trait.

    Balls to all that, gimme retro-futuristic Reeboks an ugly , ill fitting flightsuit and the determination to just get the goddamn job done, from obeying the goddamn quarantine rules (like a sensible fucking human being) nuking the site from orbit, to smashing a gigantic alien queen’s head in with a bipedal forklift.

    Just not only in future Alien Isolation games. I never beat that one cause it scared the shit out of me.

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