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Renegade Ops Review

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Developer: Avalanche Studios Publisher: Sega
Release Date: September 1, 2011 Available On: PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

Renegade Ops is a Sega-published game from Avalanche Studios, the developers of Just Cause and its sequel. Straight from the mouth of Sega, “Renegade Ops puts players in a mobile commando unit sent behind enemy lines to defeat Inferno, a madman intent on global domination.” Is Renegade Ops a late summer gem or just as uninspired as its story’s premise?

The story of Renegade Ops is standard fare: evil madman wants to take over the world and bring chaos to all. The opening cinematic lays on this premise quite thick. The world’s leaders are quick to negotiate, comically so, while a lone general refuses to negotiate with terrorists. He goes on to form a team of renegade ops to defeat the main antagonist and his endless swarms of henchmen. General Bryant assembles a team of renegade ops who all somewhat fall under a stereotype. There is Armand, the big black guy, Diz the sexy Asian-looking operative, Roxy the punk redhead, and Gunnar the dude with long flowing blonde hair. Each character has a special ability that sets them apart, though they generally play quite similarly and the story is not affected whatsoever by your choice of character.

Renegade Ops is an action shooter with an eagle’s eye perspective. Your character of choice drives his or her vehicle across the terrain shooting up bad guys with the unlimited ammo afforded to you by your primary weapon. Each character has a unique secondary weapon. Armand can deploy a shield that makes him invulnerable to enemy fire; Diz can deploy an EMP that disables all nearby enemy weapons; Roxy can call an airstrike that devastates all nearby enemies; Gunnar can use a supped up gun that does excessive damage.

Your character levels up as they disposes of enemies, making your primary weapon stronger and with a wider range, similar to the upgrades in the classic shooter R-Type. If your character should fall in combat, you respawn from a nearby point in the map and must restart your level progress. Good performance through a mission rewards you with “Renegade” points to spend on an upgrade tree. There are three upgrade columns (defense, offense, and tactical) with six consecutive options in each. The defense and offense columns are similar for all characters while the tactical column is reserved for each character’s unique secondary attack.

Renegade Ops has a very simple, arcade feel to it. Every level has a series of primary missions that must be completed before the clock counts down as well as secondary missions that are not tied to the timer. Some missions require commandeering other types of vehicles, most notably an Apache helicopter; though most of the playtime will be spent driving jeeps and trucks. The Apache helicopter experience is quite fun and the upgrade is sorely missed once you revert back to the standard mode of transport.

Renegade Ops can feel repetitive after extended plays as the missions are not particularly varied and the game does not explore a wider range of military equipment. Most of the gameplay consists of shooting bad guys while driving from point A to point B. There are some missions requiring you to retrieve an operative or defend a vehicle from enemies. The enemies are fairly varied ranging from infantry with guns or rockets to tanks and enemy helicopters. There are also larger set pieces like aircraft carriers and trains.

Renegade Ops runs on the Avalanche 2.0 graphics engine, the same that powered last year’s Just Cause 2 and the engine’s graphical prowess is quite apparent. Renegade Ops’ graphics are quite detailed for a downloadable title. The frame rate is smooth and there is never any noticeable slowdown regardless of how frantic the on-screen action becomes. The engine never feels bogged down and the only time loading is in-between levels. The levels themselves feel very large, varied, and creative. Many times they are gorgeous sights. Renegade Ops is perhaps one of the best looking downloadable titles on PSN.

The soundtrack is appropriately arousing when the action picks up and thematic of military type games. Explosions are big and the environment sounds populated by gunfire and conflict. My favorite sound is that of the Apache helicopter you get to pilot intermittently throughout the game. There is something exhilarating in that chopping, thumping, low pitched, deep sound made by a helicopter’s blades.

Renegade Ops’ campaign is spread through nine levels that are each approximately twenty minutes long which makes this a three hour game. There are three difficulty levels. The easiest difficulty grants the player infinite lives but reduces the player’s score, does not allow upgrades or leveling up, and eliminates damage streaks. The medium difficulty restores the aforementioned game mechanics but limits you to only five lives before its game over. The hard difficulty setting limits you to three lives but gives you an increased score.

If you are into multiplayer games, Renegade Ops has you partially covered. There is online co-operative multiplayer but no competitive multiplayer whatsoever. Besides online play, Renegade Ops includes a mode of multiplayer that is rare in this console generation. Renegade Ops has two player offline co-operative multiplayer. You and a friend can play together in the same room. Multiplayer features a dynamic split-screen wherein the screen can be split in half or merge into full-screen depending on the players’ proximity to each other. Of course, there are also leaderboards for those of you who like to brag.

Renegade Ops asks for a $15 dollar admission on Xbox Live Marketplace (currently 1200 Microsoft Points), PlayStation Store, and Steam. There is a demo available for Xbox 360 and PS3 for you weary console owners. Renegade Ops is a short game with some multiplayer draw. Once you play through the campaign, there is not much reason to revisit this game, unless you are really into multiplayer, although Renegade Ops lacks the amount of content required for longevity online. It is really only a weekend game and its content will be exhausted in two or three days. Renegade Ops is a fun game while it lasts.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 7.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 8.1 out of 10
Written by Angel Cortes Write a User Review