Renegade Ops; The PS3 Attitude Preview
Renegade Ops is a new PSN title, published by SEGA and developed by Avalanche Studios, that will make its way to your hard drive in the next few days.
PS3 Attitude were invited to HMS Belfast in London to experience the game and give you the low-down whether this twin-stick shooter has a chance of earning a place in your heart.
Renegade Ops is Avalanche’s first digital download IP. Built on the Just Cause engine, but played as a top down twin-stick shooter, Renegade Ops has a lot going for it.
Here’s the back story, which is illustrated by some inFamous-style comic-book cut-scenes.
A rather unpleasant chap going by the name of Inferno has detonated a devastating bomb in the middle of a major European city to demonstrate the power of his new explosive material. Why it had to be a European city, we don’t know, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Running scared, the World’s leaders allow Inferno to build an empire. Furious at this course of events, a certain General Bryant resigns and takes matters into his own hands, recruiting a team of four military specialists from around the globe. The team? Renegade Ops of course, tasked with bringing Inferno to justice. Or just killing him – but we didn’t get a chance to play through yet, so we can’t say what the end-game might be.
Each of these four playable characters have different traits and skills. Gunnar’s secondary weapon, for example, is a huge calibre gun that deals massive damage. Of course, this comes at a price – you can’t move while firing it, turning you into a sitting duck. A dangerous duck, but a sitting one nonetheless.
Other secondary weapons include an EMP that can disable your opponents for a short time, a rocket strike from the air or a shield that covers the car – Batman-style – in an armadillo-like case of steel.
When playing in single-player mode your choice of character is an important one. Choose Gunnar, and you may find the game a little difficult on your own. It is when you tie in a friend, either with local two-player split-screen or via online co-op, that things become interesting.
Giving the game instant extra depth, two-player co-op allows you to wield the big gun while your compatriot disables the enemy with the EMP to ward off the threat of becoming the aforementioned duck. Since four-player co-op is available online, the combination of skills and team-mates becomes even more important and strategies will begin to form.
You don’t just get to muck around in ground-based vehicles either. The level we played through ended in a boss battle that took place in the air, as General Bryant was nice enough to dropship in a case or two of helicopters for our disposal. We only wish Bryant was smoking a cigar and had grey hair, but you can’t have everything in life.
If you discuss twin-stick shooters with fellow PS3 gamers, the conversation would normally end up leading towards a comparison with Super Stardust HD. While that title is nothing like Renegade Ops in terms of style, it is held up as the best twin-stick title out there. But there’s a problem with Super Stardust HD that doesn’t exist in Renegade Ops.
Unless you are super-human, SSHD has a ridiculous difficulty spike that means every game ends after 15 minutes. Renegade Ops is not that game at all.
We were playing Level 1 for a good 30 minutes before even getting into the boss battle with the helicopters. We expect that there may not be too many levels in total because of this, but when one level is this big in the first place and the price point is on the low side, who cares?!
In addition to shooting everything in site, you also are rewarded for vehicle stunts and general mayhem, with point multipliers available as your weapons get upgraded. That means each time you play through, you’ll want to find new and interesting ways to leverage the scenery and tactics to gain more points.
The other thing we noticed is the sheer level of polish. In watching or playing the game for over 2 hours, we didn’t notice a single glitch. The graphics look slick and detailed, the controls are excellent and the action is furious. The audio treatment is good too. As well as a mixture of cinematic score and Avalanche’s home-grown heavy metal, you’ll be treated to a raft of ricochets, explosions and other sound effects that illustrate what is going on perfectly.
We particular like the little touches, such as when you are attacking the enemy close to the church, and the ‘resistance’ that are holed up in the building assist by shooting from the windows with their little pea guns. We also like the comic-book style split screen – a thick black line at a slight angle across the screen, instead of the usual unimaginative split.
In all, we reckon Renegade Ops is a solid addition to your PS3 HDD, and one that you should definitely think about getting when available on the PSN. In fact, if we ever revisit our ‘20 Days of PSN‘ feature in the future, it might make it on to the list.
Price is expected to be $15.00/ £9.99/ €12.99.