Reviews// Renegade Ops

Posted 22 Sep 2011 18:10 by
Games: Renegade Ops
What do you get if you cross the A-Team with Desert Strike? Turn on your console and look at your digital download store to find your answer. Renegade Ops has all the hallmarks of a modern-looking but classic shooter with some insanely cheesy scenes and set pieces that seem inspired by the greatest-worst action flicks of all time.

Hereís the skinny: a villainous tyrant called Inferno wants to burn the world to a crisp and create a new world order under his rule. A disillusioned general, Bryant, has a bit of a rant at the world leaders, who are sitting on their thumbs without a strategy with which to tackle the looming threat on their cities.

Instead, his plan is to use his impressive mutton chops to recruit four special ops soldiers to blow the shit out of everything and save the world! Yeah! Go team! Hilariously, you realise that itís not strictly the most legal course of action, but Bryantís the kind of guy who just doesnít give a shit. Itís glorious.

A pretty comic book art style underlines the gameís presentation, and the hilarious dialogue (upon receiving an anonymous distress signal, Bryantís first words are ďWHO IS THIS? IDENTIFY YOURSELF, DAMMIT!Ē) is married with voice acting that is pretty much par for the course with SEGA games. Iím going to coin the affectionate term ĎSEGAbadí just to describe said voice acting in fact.

The gameplay itself is as wonderfully brainless as its premise. Itís your typical twin-stick shooter - one controls the tank that you roll around in and the other directs your infinite rounds of firepower. Pump lead into enemies to blow them up. Smash bullets into tankers of oil to blow them up. Open fire on puny infantry soldiers to blow them up. Everything must blow up.

And it all blows up in spectacular fashion. The boys at Avalanche Studios have reworked its titular engine to suit a top-down isometric experience, and the result is quite simply stunning on a graphical level. Imagine the environments of Just Cause 2 with the birds-eye camera angles of Command and Conquer - beautiful stuff, and makes for some great effects too. Especially when, yes, blowing stuff up.

Objectives are handed to you during the course of the mission, all of which are signposted on the massive maps that youíll be careening around in your battle jeep. Red objectives are timed affairs, and will result in a Game Over if you fail to accomplish them in time, while optional black objectives offer the chance to clock in some serious points.

You start each mission by picking one of the four characters in Bryantís mercenary squad - each has their own special abilities, level progression and upgrade tree. While the right stick does function as your standard fire, you do get to obtain a limited amount of secondary weaponry (such as laser guns and flamethrowers), and each characterís special has its own unique advantage in the heat of battle.

Roxy, for example, can order air strikes, while Gunnar fixes himself in place and uses a huge turret to take out foes. Armand has a pissy shield which is much more useful when upgraded, and Diz casts out EMPs to knacker enemy forces. Racking up high scores allows you to level up and purchase unlockable perks. Up to four can be equipped, depending on how far youíve progressed the character.

Playing Renegade Ops is immense fun with friends. The game was built for co-operative multiplayer. Having up to four players roll around in jeeps with the immensely fun suspension and handling makes for some great entertainment - especially when you accidentally perform mid-air barrel rolls after clipping a random rock, landing on your wheels and getting a Stunt Bonus.

The best thing about the experience is the almost base enjoyment of seeing things explode into a million pieces, whilst getting constant commands from your bonkers general. Itís just like a modern version of the aforementioned Desert Strike, only with tanks. That is, until you get a helicopter - then itís exactly like a modern Desert Strike!

However, Renegade Ops is not so engaging when played on your own. The fun and excitement that comes from playing with buddies isnít there, and it all wears you down quite quickly. Itís a very challenging game too, so you donít want to be attempting this on your tod, lest you just get frustrated. Annoyingly, the achievements are all rooted in the single-player experience, which is sort of counter-productive to the true nature of the game.

SPOnG Score: 81%

For 1200 Microsoft Points - or £9.99 of your PlayStation Network money - this is truly entertaining stuff, and if you have a few friends willing to engage in some hilarious retro action then this is highly recommended. Nine missions of incredibly difficult, but rewarding arcade action - itís proper old-school gaming at its finest, but it grates without your mates.
Games: Renegade Ops

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Earthworm Swiss 23 Sep 2011 22:29
Been looking forward to this one for ages, shame it's hard to convince other people to buy it...ah well, I'm sure once the Gears phenomenon dies down it might be a little easier. ;D
TimSpong 23 Sep 2011 23:15
Earthworm Swiss wrote:
Been looking forward to this one for ages, shame it's hard to convince other people to buy it...ah well, I'm sure once the Gears phenomenon dies down it might be a little easier. ;D

Gears is over priced then?
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me no likey 28 Sep 2011 18:32
serious question: is this site written for by retards?
Dreadknux 29 Sep 2011 08:52
@me_no_likey Given your fantastic grasp of the English language, I'm not entirely sure you're in a position to ask such a question. But, if I think I understand you correctly, the answer is 'no' anyway. Thanks though!
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