Renegade Ops is a top-down vehicle shooter developed by Avalanche Studios and published by Sega for PC, PSN and XBLA. Renegade Ops isn’t the type of game that I’d usually play. For the sake of variety, I decided to try it out. I really didn’t know what to expect.
The game begins with Inferno detailing the destruction that he will wreak unless paid off. Concerned with the threat that Inferno poses, world leaders have gathered to decide what to do to combat this threat. Unwilling to compromise with a madman, General Bryant decides to take matters into his own hands.
Buckle up, Renegade. This is where you come in.
Under the command of Bryant, you are tasked with taking out the numerous forces that Inferno has amassed in various locales.
The story isn’t exactly original. Bad guy threatens the world and you’ve got to stop him. It seems like every game I’ve played has a story similar to that. This is not necessarily a bad thing though.
With that said, this is not a story centric game. The story just sets up the scenario for all of the ass-kicking that ensues. I appreciate what Avalanche has done and much prefer it to being dumped in a forest with no explanation.
Art and Sound
The cutscenes were very well done. It felt like I was reading a comic about the trials the renegades must face in their quest to stop Inferno.
You’ll be spending the majority of this game zooming through jungles, hopping off ledges and crashing into buildings. The scenery is great. The transition between fields and jungle were smooth and I didn’t notice any inconsistencies in the environment.
The transition from cutscene to game is a bit drastic. To try and integrate the comic theme into the actual gameplay, there are quick time events where you are treated to panels of fists hitting the faces of henchmen. I didn’t expect this and found it humorous. Every time I encounter these events, I smile.
The voices were cast well. The audio confirmed the feelings of the characters. The only slightly unnerving thing was how cool and calm Bryant sounded. I’d imagine someone would sound more concerned when combatting world domination.
There are four characters to choose from: Diz, Roxy, Armand and Gunnar. Each has their own unique vehicle and power. You can unlock character specific upgrades by playing through the game and leveling up, which earns you renegade points. Secondary weapons, like the flamer or railgun, can be obtained by killing and enemy unit and equipped. My favorite combination was the flamer (flamethrower) with the machine gun power-up.
I started off as Diz who can send out AoE bursts of energy that disable nearby enemy weapons for a set period of time. This especially comes in handy against tanks and Inferno.
I originally started this game on hardcore difficulty and dynamic splitscreen multiplayer. This was a big mistake.
Being unaccustomed to top-down shooters, I had a hard time moving around and killing things. My three lives were gone pretty quickly. We tried playing the level again and I ran into the same problems and then some. This time, I had a harder time keeping track of myself. The screen was moving around so much and I couldn’t see very far ahead of or behind myself.
Switching to a static screen helped a bit. I figured I’d have to play in single player if I wanted to succeed. I needed to be able to see what’s shooting at me without being in the enemy’s face.
When I went to play single player, I made sure to bump the difficulty down to normal. I died the first time I attempted Baptism By Fire, but I quickly recovered from my defeat. I was eager to see what more the game had to offer. It took a little getting used to but I can now run through missions on the first try.
If you somehow manage to be less coordinated than I am then I highly recommend playing the first mission on easy to get a feel for the controls and the way the game plays. I still get stuck on bends and edges, which I attribute to my poor driving. Give yourself as much time as you need to adjust. You can’t level up on easy but you can’t really level up at all if you’re dying all of the time!
Missions are comprised of you going to a point and defeating the enemies that are gathering at that point, destroying a building/object, or rescuing someone/something. While it’s all pretty much the same, I had a lot of fun smashing things and collecting the weapons that foes dropped. That’s where the real fun was for me.
I had a lot of fun rushing to primary objectives and shooting down anything that got into my way. I made sure to try my best to complete secondary objective as well. Sometimes, it was hard to figure out exactly where I was going because the arrows would point in totally opposite directions. I assumed that the arrows were guiding you towards the nearest objective but still got confused a fair bit.
I would have to say that the helicopter was my favorite vehicle to pilot. I didn’t feel as restrained as when I’m in the tank. There’s more room for doing crazy spins in the air but you have to be mindful of rocks. There is no elevation control on the helicopter, so I had to do my best to barrel through the coastline without exploding. I couldn’t tell the difference between taller and shorter rock and just ran headfirst into them sometimes.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this game. It’s not what I typically play and I think that Avalanche did a great job of creating a shooter that appeals to a wider audience. Still, the story isn’t the best in the world.
Splitscreen wasn’t particularly pleasant but if you can live with that then give this game a try. Or be like me and play alone.
Controlling the tank was a bit difficult at first but now that I’ve had time to adjust I’m ready to give hardcore another try.