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Review: Renegade Ops

Name : Renegade Ops
Developer : Avalanche Studios
Publisher : SEGA
Platform(s) : Xbox 360 (XBLA), PlayStation 3 (PSN), PC
Genre : Shooter
Release Date : September 2011
Homepage : www.sega.com/games/renegade-ops
Read more about Renegade Ops
Boxart

If you like to blow stuff up, then Renegade Ops is the game you need to play. It throws you into the driver’s seat of 4 different commando units armed with a big freakin’ machine gun, a secondary weapon of destruction, and a special unique ability/attack all their own. Renegade Ops is over the top, twin stick shooting action with a side of 80’s action movie cheese. Read on to find out more.

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General Bryant left the military in disgust. He was furious over the lack of action taken by the world’s leaders over the terroristic onslaught of madman, Inferno. Bryant is a doer, so he created a super team of mercenary specialists known as the Renegade Ops. His sole purpose is to hunt down Inferno and stop him before he destroys the world. The story isn’t anything unique, you’ve heard it before, but you don’t play Renegade Ops for the story, you play it for the gameplay.

Where Renegade Ops really shines is in its gameplay. It’s smooth, fast, and responsive, just like an action game should be. There are 9 missions loaded with objectives that range from rescuing civvies, fighting a giant battleship, and even trying to stop a nuclear bomb explosion. There are also side missions to work on. They are mostly collectible type quests and they will net you some extra experience and achievements. Throw in 4 player co-op to all of this and you’ll have an excellent multiplayer experience.

You can choose from 4 different commando vehicles at the start of the game. Each one comes with its own unique ability/attack. One grants you an EMP blast that will disable nearby enemy machinery (my personal favorite), while another will throw up heavy plated armor that makes you invincible. Each of the 4 vehicles also come equipped with a hefty machine gun that can be upgraded by picking up enemy drops. You can also equip a secondary weapon by the same means. There’s a flame thrower, a rocket launcher, and a rail gun to choose from, and if that isn’t enough, you gain experience from your kills. As you level up, you will get points that you can spend on adding “perks” to your death wagon. The perks come in 3 categories; defensive, offensive, and special ability. The defensive perks can grant you extra health and even a health regen, just to name a few. Offensive perks will boost your machine guns and secondaries weapons. Finally, the special ability perks will power up your special ability. For example, with the EMP, I can get a perk that boosts the range of effectiveness, one that will make it do damage along with disabling the enemy, and another one that can lower the cool-down time it takes to use the EMP blast again. The biggest downfall to the perk system is that you can only pick any 4 at one time. I would have liked to have been able to equip more than 4. Heck, even if I could have picked two from each category, it would have made me happier. It’s a minor gripe though, so don’t let this discourage you from buying/playing the game. 

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As for leveling up, it falls short in the grand scheme of things. All you get out of leveling up is more points to spend on unlocking the perks. I really would have liked to have seen an RPG approach to it, like increasing my health. Sadly though, your health stays the same throughout the entire game. This makes the later missions tougher if you are going solo, as Inferno throws more enemies with bigger and badder guns at you. I found myself redoing the final mission multiple times before I was able to finish it. This brings me on to the next point of the game.

Depending on the difficulty you are playing on, you only get so many lives to complete each mission with. Easy is unlimited, but you don’t really get a lot out of playing on it. Perks are not allowed on easy and you don’t get any score multipliers either, which boosts your score for the leaderboards. Normal and Hardcore enable perks and score multipliers, and give you 5 and 3 continues respectively. If you would happen to die – and you most definitely will – you will restart just a ways back from where your vehicle blew up. But, if you fail an objective, you have to restart the entire mission all over again, even if you have continues left. This sucks. By far, the worst part of the game. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen very often, but it still would have been nice to be able to use one of your continues and restart the objective instead of the whole mission. Oh well, I guess there’s always next time. And let’s hope so. Despite the complaints I’ve made, I would totally be down for Renegade Ops 2. All Avalanche Studios needs to do is fine tune the original and they’ll have a stellar product on their hands.

A few other quick notes that need mentioning: First, the game looks beautiful. The 9 maps have a lot of variety to them, and the top notch graphics really help showcase this. Second, the voice acting isn’t that good and the goofy dialog doesn’t help the matter. The voice just doesn’t fit with General Bryant, in my opinion. They would have done better if they had had an Arnold impersonator yelling “Get to da choppahhhh.” And finally, speaking of choppahs, you gotta try out the helicopters. At different points throughout the game, you’ll have to switch from land fighting to air warfare. The helicopter will bring it on like nothing else and is a major blast to play with – a most enjoyable experience if I do say so myself. 

You can’t go wrong with Renegade Ops. I know I pointed out a couple of gripes, but what game doesn’t have them? The good thing is that they don’t really take away the fun factor of Renegade Ops, and that’s what this boils down to, Renegade Ops Is A Fun Game. You owe it to yourself to check this game out. It will provide you with a great action experience that shouldn’t be missed by any fan of the genre. Go download it now!

For more information and to grab the demo, please visit the Xbox.com Marketplace.

Rating
Description
10Gameplay
Blowing stuff up is what it's all about, and the silky smooth controls makes it even more fun.
9.0Graphics
Gorgeous environments and effects. You can't get much better than this for an arcade game.
7.0Sound
The weakest link of the game. The voice acting doesn't fit right and the dialog is cheesier than a 70's fondue party in Wisconsin.
8.5Final Score
0

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