With the wide publicity given to 'Rambo', few people can have failed to hear of the all-fighting, invincible character brought to the screen by Sylvester Stallone. Ocean, catching on to the Rambo bandwagon, have now released their binary interpretation of Stallone's blockbuster. The plot of the game follows that of the film quite closely.
John Rambo is a veteran of the Vietnamese war; a jungle fighter drafted back into service to perform a reconnaissance mission to a Prisoner of War camp. His instructions are to gain entry, take some photos and get out without either engaging the enemy or being noticed. If Rambo is spotted, it would jeopardise the prisoners' chances of rescue and could lead to their deaths.
In the film, our hero begins his adventure by skulking into the camp and manages to stick to his orders until he spots his old war comrade, Banks, tied to a bamboo cross. Unable to leave his old pal dying in the sun, Rambo disobeys his orders and rescues his friend. The enemy, of course, spot this, and much blood splashing, carnage and mayhem is the result. Swiftly, Rambo returns to the helicopter that airdropped him, and makes the pilot fly back to the camp for a quick and successful attempt at rescuing the prisoners.
Then, pausing briefly to tackle an enemy gunship that tries to blast them out of the sky, Rambo and the rescued prisoners fly to Thailand. Well that's the theory and, if you complete the game, that's what should happen.
Rambo is a Platinum Productions game and is front-ended with their familiar options screen. Keys can be defined, although S starts the game, and skill levels can be set. The playing area occupies the left two thirds of the screen, with the right hand portion occupied by a combined inventory and status area.
The jungle scenery scrolls around our hero in the action screen. The viewpoint from which the game is played is above and behind the hero, creating a pseudo 3D effect. Rambo can move around in the eight normal joystick directions but may come to halt when he reaches the edge of the jungle.
Rambo is not the only person in the jungle it's full of enemy soldiers sneaking about. This is a combat game, so Rambo's inventory keeps a track of his 'kills' as well as displaying the weapons he collects. Starting off with knives and grenades, Rambo can collect other weapons on the way. Apart from the knives and grenades, you may find other weapons lying about on the jungle floor including a bow and explosive arrows, a machine gun and a rocket launcher. All the weapons have a seemingly endless supply of ammo, but only one weapon may be used at a time.
Grenades are quite deadly but the noise does tend to attract the baddies to your location, whereas the knives are silent. If you throw a knife in the direction that Rambo is facing, any bad guy it travels over is killed and your score increases by ten points. If, on the other hand, a baddie should shoot or stroll through you, you don't survive the encounter. All the same, the man is tough: you get four lives.
Rambo starts his mission outside the enemy camp and must get inside via a small entrance on the right hand fence, rescue Banks by running over him and then run to the helicopter which is due north. The helicopter then needs to be flown to the large H landing pad in the jungle from where the hostages can be liberated using the rocket launcher. On the trip home, with the helicopter filled with the good guys, a gunship attacks. The view is similar to the jungle and camp scenes, but a helicopter replaces Rambo in the playing area.