Review by Celtic Forest

Reviewed: 08/03/06

I'll give you three words: "Too. Damn. Short."

Mostly when you toss out numerous complaints about different games and how they could have been improved, you know that you wouldn't be able to do better yourself, and sometimes the bashing of certain game companies can be a bit unfair. But at a few specific moments, you just have to say the classic phrase with all your heart: "What were they thinking!?".

The much Die Hard-inspired game with the tasty long title "Rescue The Embassy Mission" seems at first to do everything right. When you take a glimpse on the concept and try out the first levels, you get hooked up directly and can't help to admire the rough atmosphere and stylistic terrorist action style. RTEM puts you up against a classic terrorist drama in the middle of a huge capital. A bunch of terrorists (whose names and nationality are never told) have occupied an embassy in the middle of a city center and taken the residents as hostage, and it's your job as a SWAT-team member to take them out. The game can't be classed into just one single genre, as RTEM lets you try out a lot of different levels, all with their own unique touch and gameplay.

The first level is a classic platform patrolling stage where your commandos sneak around in the streets trying to get to their respective strategic positions, namely look-out points from buildings close to the embassy. The terrorists have thought of this naturally, so they are guarding the streets with light sensors. Your mission is to take three specially chosen men through the level and get them to their points without getting caught in the light. If the terrorists spot you, they will start to shoot, and you run a big risk of getting hit and die. To prevent from getting caught, your character can do various agile moves to get out of the heat, including a roll, crawling on the ground, jumping behind fences and bushes and so on. The moves are animated very professionally and look really cool. The graphics and music add their own share to the atmosphere. The scenes are grimy and dark, and the music is both creepy and pumping with energy, piercing your nerves as you sneak around in the streets. The level gets longer and longer for each man that has to run it.

When the men are positioned out, level 2 begins. This level is based upon trick shooting. These men will now take out their sniper rifles and take out all the enemies they can see standing next to the windows in the occupied embassy. Now the game turns into a trick shooting simulator. Blasting away the windows will not only panic the terrorists, but also hopefully reduce their numbers. The second level is finished as soon as you have decided you are satisfied with the shootout.

Now the third level starts. This stage is nothing less than an attempt of a very early first person shooter. Now three new SWAT:s land on the roof of the building. These men now enter the building via rope climbing down on the wall. Having shot the windows will help a lot, since otherwise the terrorists would guard the entryways. Entering the embassy via the rope is a risky stage, and requires precision not to put too much tension on the rope and fall down. When the SWAT enters, he does it by kicking in the window in a cool sequence. As soon as you are inside, you begin searching through the embassy after the hostages and the terrorists. Now the game becomes even more stressful, as you have to watch out for terrorists jumping out from every corner to fire at you. You see the whole action from your eyes, and you have to move quickly to avoid getting caught or run out of time.

Basically, RTEM does everything the right way. It has attitude, it has variation, it has nice atmospheric graphics and sounds, it has a good gameplay. The game is also highly realistic and stressful. Your character can only take one bullet or fall, then he is gone forever. If a character dies, the game is not over, but the operation's difficulty is highly increased as important targets won't be secured, which puts a lot more pressure on the other team mates. A perfect concept for a perfect game. Too bad RTEM has one big flaw that makes it fall down thirty stories on the grade scale...

The game is too short.

No, it's not just too short, it's not even completed!

The three levels are cleared maybe within ten minutes. Then the game is over! No, I'm not kidding you! The game is over! There is nothing more to do! Literally, you will finish this game in ten minutes the first day you play it. What the heck is this? I remember when I bought this game as a little child. Normally, I wasn't very critic-minded as a kid, I just played and was happy. But this time I felt cheated. I was very mad. I still am. Why would you want to get a game that lasts for only ten minutes?

Yes, there are several settings you can do in the beginning of the game to change the difficulty, and the ending variates depending on how you proceeded through the game and how many of your men survived the operation, but still...this is definitely not enough. RETM is not only one of the shortest games for the NES, it must be one of the shortest games in history. Ever. Okay, if this game had been bad in all other parts, I wouldn't have cared, but now it had so much potential to be a true classic and one of the best games for the console. I am sad. So much potential going to waste because of lazy developers. Try it out, please, as it is a quite cool experience, but don't expect a lot of entertainment, as it only lasts for a few seconds.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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