Renegade Ops Review
Top down and guns a blazin’!
From the developers of Just Cause, and the video game powerhouse SEGA, comes a top down vehicle based shooter that promises to deliver. Avalanche Studios has done their homework on this genre and it shows. It feels natural and in a good way it keeps the feel of their other titles to make this game distinctly their own.
The story begins with a madman who calls himself Inferno blowing up a city and threatening to blow many more. The guys in charge of course want to negotiate peace terms and are basically living on the hopes and dreams that Inferno will agree and forget the whole thing ever happened. A general by the name of Bryant knows this plan will never see itself through and decides to take matters into his own hands by bringing in a force of four that will stop at no cost to protect the world they live in… they are the Renegade Ops.
You can choose between the four Ops characters as playable characters, each one driving their unique vehicle and comes with their individual skills. As cool as the ground based vehicles are, things get even cooler once you start coming across other forms of vehicles to enforce your fury. Levels are objective based and throughout the levels you have an ongoing objective to rescue survivors by taking them to a safe location. There are loads of little things you`ll see throughout the game that add a perfect touch to the gaming experience; such as survivors in certain areas taking up arms and firing at the enemy.
One thing I really loved as far as the story and single player goes was the character Inferno. Avalanche has created a perfect comic book style villain here. He reminds me of a half crazed Dr. Wiley with the ambitions of Lex Luthor… classic. The graphics are great, the top down view and twin stick controls are really accented by the great textures of the landscape.
There are two options for multiplayer, four player co-op on Xbox Live or two player local. Co-op is the game’s bread and butter. Going through the story co-op is an entire new experience from going it alone. It adds completely new dynamics to your game play as some vehicles/characters can really accent one another. For example, in single player if I choose a character whose vehicle has a heavy gun, slow to fire but as destructive as they come, I’m putting myself in a vulnerable position while trying to aim precisely so I can make up for slow rate of fire.
In co-op you can gather all kinds of assistance from your team to help avoid this scenario. Another player can use his EMP weapon to temporarily disable the enemy while I wipe them out with my slow but monstrous guns. It’s a great trade off and exhibits something you don`t see in most twin stick shooters, required teamwork and strategy. Most games of the genre involve walking with one stick, shooting with the other, and that’s all. Don`t get hit and keep firing, end of tactics. Renegade Ops really set the bar for this genres online play. I`m sure you`ll see more games like this follow their lead and add a little depth to the mechanics of game play.
The achievements are my main complaint about this game. They are good achievements to strive for, challenging, fun, etc. Unfortunately they are all specifically for single player only. When a game has such a great co-op experience it’s hard to want to play it alone. I would much rather be getting these achievements with my friends and having a blast on Xbox Live as opposed to being forced to not play with them in order to obtain them. Not a big issue, doesn`t ruin the gaming experience in any way, but if you’re a player who likes to get achievements and likes to get them while playing co-op it’s just a nuisance . There is an achievement to beat all levels on hardcore mode that may be obtainable through multiplayer. It’s the only one that doesn`t specifically say “single player only.” I haven`t achieved it yet to know, but something tells me I will need to be playing co-op in order to finish it on hardcore so I suppose I will find out soon enough!
With so many great titles coming out during the summer of arcade, this one manages to stay on par with the best. At first I thought Renegade Ops was just another stick shooter game, a really good one. Then after about five to ten minutes I realized I was hooked! The addicting power of this game brought me back to the first time I played Smash TV as a kid at the local convenience store. If there was a quarter- slot on the Xbox, I’d be broke right now. After another few minutes I started realizing how much more was actually going on. This game is a stick shooter of the future and I firmly believe we are going to see lots of improvements to the genre with Renegade Ops being considered a corner stone. It`s safe to say The Controller Online team will be putting down Halo this weekend and getting together on Renegade Ops, well done Avalanche.