Bethesda Softworks is best known for its series of RPGs in the Elder Scrolls series that it developed in-house, but the company is also a publisher of a number of other third party titles, including this year’s Pirates of the Caribbean movie game and the upcoming Star Trek: Legacy. Next year Bethesda re-enters the first person shooter genre with an all new title called Rogue Warrior. At a press event earlier this month FiringSquad got to see a brief glimpse of the PC-Xbox 360-PS3 game in action which is being developed by Zombie Studios (Shadow Ops: Red Mercury).
If the name of the game is a little familiar, it should be. Rogue Warrior is the name of the best selling non-fiction book written in 1992 by Richard “Dick” Marcinko where he recounts his former military life of 30 years as founder of the counter-terrorist SEAL Team Six where he and his team were sent into missions around the world, from Africa to the Middle East to Central America and more. Later he was a leader of Navy SEAL team Red Cell, which was designed to test out the security of military bases by staging simulated raids on them. Marcinko is a very controversial military figure and in fact was sentenced to federal prison in 1990 for 21 months on charges of defrauding the US government over the price of military weapons contracts for hand grenades (Marcinko maintains in his book he was set up as part of a witch hunt by a number of senior military officers who he claims were embarrassed by the raids on their bases as part of his time leading Red Cell). After writing Rogue Warrior Marcinko co-wrote a number of fictional novels under the Rogue Warrior series, and served as an advisor for moves like The Rock, GI Jane, and TV shows like 24. He is currently the chairman of Red Cell International, a private security firm
Bethesda Softworks wanted to get back into making action games (its last entry in first person shooters were a series of games based on the Terminator movies 10 years ago) and got together with Marcinko to secure the video and PC game rights for the Rogue Warrior series. They then enlisted Marcinko and other former and current Navy SEALs to work as active consultants. Zombie got the heads-up to develop the game itself. Marcinko attended the Rogue Warrior game press event and he comes across as a person who doesn’t quite fit your normal assumption of a Navy SEAL. He’s clearly strong but not the silent type with a full beard, long hair and wearing beach shorts in a room of game journalists wearing jeans. However it’s clear that he knows his stuff and while he admitted to FiringSquad he doesn’t play video or PC games himself he will be a major source of info for the Rogue Warrior dev team
The game itself takes place a few years in the future and has a storyline that’s about as topical as you can get these days; the rise of a very hostile North Korea. In the brief but live game demo (we were not allowed to actually play the game) we got to see an opening in-game cinematic where a fictional version of Marcinko and three other Navy SEALs are being transported via a mini-sub to a mission inside North Korea, specifically a shipbreaker yard where old hulks of ships are being torn apart for scrap. It doesn’t take long for the mission to turn sour for the SEAL team, as their plans for a swift extraction go haywire due to a firefight. The demo ended with another in-game cinematic showing the full scale invasion of South Korea by North Korea. The bulk of the game will showcase the fictional Marcinko and his team trying to find a way to get out of the war-torn country to get back home. Naturally, the North Korean military has other ideas.