Al Rambone – Hussein in the Membrane is a dual-stick shooter that doesn’t give your trigger finger a moment of rest. You play as a juiced-up military man on a solo mission to infiltrate a Middle Eastern compound and take down what we assume is Saddam Hussein at the height of his power.
The reason we’re not sure exactly what’s going on is that there’s no pesky storytelling to get in the way of the action. The gameplay is nonstop shooting from the moment you start, and it’s backed the whole time by an energetic metal soundtrack. Even the loading screen is all business, as it shows Al taking a dump and angrily reading the newspaper.
Hope you bought body bags in bulk.
So we love the Duke Nukem-esque tone of the game. We also enjoyed trying out the various guns you can use to blow holes through the never-ending cascade of enemies. The problem is that the game feels cheap.
The art is ugly, the controls are unresponsive, and the gameplay is hyper-repetitive. All you really do in the game is walk to the right and pump enemies full of bullets. Certainly, there are games out there that make this same idea fun, but they usually involve a more sophisticated fighting mechanic, an upgrade system, and dynamic environments.
Also hampering the experience are the shoddy controls. Al moves around like an elephant in molasses. An auto-targeting system helps on the aiming side of things, but the controls never come close to feeling as tight as a game like Minigore.
Clearly, Al Rambone – Hussein in the Membrane has enough personality to fill an atom bomb and still have plenty to spare, but the mushy controls and the overall low-budget feel of the game make it hard to recommend.