Developer: Avalanche Studios
Release Date: Oct. 26th 2011 (Steam)
Official Website: http://www.sega.com/renegadeops/
If you’ve been keeping up with my rant about this game, then you know I was one unhappy camper. This game was not only delayed more times than I have fingers on one hand, it was also teasing me with its trailers and its screenshots. There was something about it. Solid graphics, screen wide explosions, and guns a blazing nearly every second of play. Who can resist?
So it only served to aggravate me more with all the delays. I bought the damned four pack, and I wanted to play it with my comrades in arms! Then, once the gods finally deemed it ready for PC launch, I happily started the game up and wham. Black screen of death. Grrr.
I fixed it after a while. The Steam forums led me to a user created fix that let me actually play the game. After reaching the main menu, I hit new game, chose my character, and jumped into a world of fire and steel. Almost instantly I forgot about all of my previous gripes, and for once I just sat back and enjoyed myself. Yes, my friends. Renegade Ops was worth the wait, and every penny spent.
Renegade Ops is kind of a throwback to simpler times. Back in the day, you got a game and you played it. You didn’t question it, you just played and tried to have fun. You didn’t question your character, or his or her reasoning for being there. For me, it was the same way with Renegade Ops. You’re a guy (or gal) in a car, and you blow stuff up with mounted machine guns, rocket launchers, flamethrowers, railguns and whatever else you can get your greasy little wheels on.
You belong to a group called the Renegades and you take orders from your superior, a man who resembles Captain Price from Call of Duty, mixed with Shaft. Your goal is to stop the diabolical madman named “Inferno” who runs a group of Cobra Commando-esque troopers hell bent on world domination. Inferno’s evil plan consists of launching nuclear weapons at random cities across the map until the world gives into his sovereignty. Very basic stuff. Extremely basic stuff. But trust me when I tell you that in the end, this won’t bother you a tad.
Gameplay consists of moving your little car (or APC, or Buggy, or whoever you choose as your main character) and destroying anything that even resembles something evil. In my opinion, this mechanic works well. In the beginning you are only armed with a small, somewhat weak machine gun, but as you traverse whatever war-torn battlefield you happen to be traversing, you’ll upgrade to faster firing, heavier hitting weapons as well as picking up some cool secondaries like Flamethrowers.
Now as you play the game, main objectives will be thrust onto you, causing you to stop what you’re doing and go take care of them. Objectives are marked on your HUD and minimap by Red and Gray arrows. Gray arrows denote secondary objectives, while red denotes primary. Secondary objectives usually cover things like hijacking stolen Inferno weapons, saving prisoners, and recapturing stolen artifacts. Primary objectives advance the “story” and your progress within the level. Although you have infinite time to take care of secondaries, you have rather limited time to complete primaries, causing you to sometimes stop what you are doing and go take care of that tank, or chopper, or mortar, or whatever. Every time you complete one of these objectives, you’re awarded (usually) with an achievement, as well as tons of glorious, delicious experience points. Did I mention this game had RPG elements? Well it does.
You gain levels in Renegade Ops, and once you become significantly leveled, the real fun starts to kick in. Redirecting shields, heavy tank cannons, EMP blasts, and all sorts of power courses through your little vehicle like no tomorrow, causing more havoc then you can shake a stick at. Some circumstances will allow you to pilot attack choppers, with the express goal of killing as much as you can, and surviving.
The game is in no means easy, by the by. I’m making it seem like all you do is drive around South America, Africa, and other worldly places holding down the mouse click and massacring thousands of poor enemy soldiers. Well in some ways, you do. But there is a challenge in all of this. A lot of the time, you’ll be fighting against the primary objective clock. Racing to one objective before the time runs out is often harder than fighting and destroying entire military bases. At a few points I had to restart a level because enemies were so persistent in keeping me from my objective that I ran out of time. It was frustrating, but at the same time, it gave me more time to retry the level a few times and grind out some levels, making me more powerful in the long run.
The multiplayer kicks ass too. Through Steam you can set up a 2-4 player cooperative game, letting you delve into the game’s singleplayer with a bunch of buddies. Since character progression carries over to your multiplayer action, you can stomp through levels with your favorite characters and help them reach level cap at the same time.
Renegade Ops is good, clean, arcade style fun. As I quickly forget all the gripes I had with the game, the only real problems that remain aren’t really problems to begin with. Sometimes playing on a keyboard is a tad wonky, especially if you’re trying to speed up to an objective and you accidentally veer off a road because your fingers are too fat. Playing on an 360 controller, or a similar gamepad, is the best option here. What else, what else… Oh, the price tag might be a little hefty for some. Maybe. It’s $14.99 on Steam, but to me that seems to be pretty appropriate when compared to just how much fun you’ll have.
Renegade Ops kicks ass. It really does. I’m sorry Avalanche Games, for getting all mad about the delays and errors. I forgive you, so please forgive me. If you’re a fan of rip roaring explosions, high speed vehicular chases, and shadow wars with Pseudo Doctor Evil villains running things behind curtains, you’ll love this game. Now excuse me. *Gordon Freeman and his army of controllable Antlions need some attention.
*Yes, that is an actual character in this game. In my confused world I consider this game a Half Life Sequel.
Game Play: 10/10
Replay Value: 7/10
- Steam Store page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/99300/?snr=1_4_4__103_2
- Metascore: http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/renegade-ops