Rush'N Attack: Ex-Patriot Review
The update of the 80’s classic offers some pleasant fun and thrills, but is nothing to write home about.
Another in the line of rebooted/re-imagined classic games, Rush’N Attack: Ex-Patriot takes the simple premise of going behind enemy lines armed with little more than a knife to current-gen consoles. Published by Konami and developed by Vatra Games, this downloadable title for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 soups up the graphics and the violence for today’s audience.
Deep in the heart of the Russian wilderness, a rogue military group has been harvesting a mysterious element originating from a fallen meteorite. Twenty years ago, a United States operative was sent in but captured; his very existence was then disavowed by his government. Tasked with rescuing the operative and halting the enemy’s operations, a black-ops unit including Sid Morrow is sent in for a second attempt. When their mission likewise goes awry and all are taken captive, Morrow is subjected to horrendous experiments with the liquefied element. Escaping from his cell and armed only with a survival knife, Morrow must complete his mission at any cost.
While the original NES game Rush’N Attack focused on, well, rushing and attacking, the update focuses heavily on stealth and exploration. You are awarded bonus points for sneaking behind patrolling soldiers and cutting their throats, or using dark hideaways in the walls, floors, and even ceilings to spring out and take down unsuspecting foes. When that fails, you have a variety of unlockable combos with your combat knife to fight hand-to-hand. A handful of limited-use weapons can be obtained from fallen bad guys or found in hidden areas, including rifles, flamethrowers, grenades and mines. There are multiple paths to explore in every section, many of which contain hidden items. As you climb vertical shafts and sneak through ventilation ducts, you must also be aware of cameras and drops into boiling water.
So how does the game play? The controls are quite simple and smooth. Hand-to-hand fighting is performed with a fast attack button and a heavy attack button, and these attacks can be intermixed in a variety of unlockable sequences. Unfortunately you can hammer through the entire game with a random sequence of button mashes and the occasional block, and virtually all enemies, including bosses, will go down without too much trouble. Picking up weapons is pretty cool and you can use them with impunity, as more will never be too far away. None of the weapons are unique in any way, although the mounted gun turret is kind of neat.