There’s a new mayor in stick shooterville, and its name is Renegade Ops. This game is amazingly fun to play from beginning to end. More than just your average stick shooter the game features, an RPG style upgrade system, awesome weapons, four playable characters, customizable vehicles, multiplayer, and lots of explosive action.. Who doesn’t like explosions?
The story of the game feels like that of an action movie, and as I was playing the game I was quickly reminded of films like The Expendables. The plot and story are presented to you in the form of well made comic book style cut scenes, which just seemed to go well with the atmosphere of the game. As the story kicks off you are placed in the role of one of four operators led by General Bryant, a character who just wasn’t satisfied with the passive stance against Inferno ( the token bad guy) and his terrorist actions. Each of the four characters has their own unique combat ability, Gunnar for instance has a heavy turret that plays like high-stakes roulette, there’s a lot of risk and great potential for reward in the form of raw destruction. Using your unique skills, your ultimate objective is to put an end to Inferno’s reign of terror and destroy his army.
During my 8 hour quest to plant my boot in Inferno’s ass, I encountered a fair amount of objectives across multiple environments. Everything from saving villages to taking out strategic targets like SAMs, and everything in between. As you are in a war zone, your objectives can change on the fly and what was originally a simple rescue mission can quickly evolve into something completely different. Upon playing the game for the first time, I was kind of turned off that so many objectives had time limits, but as I quickly learned, not every mission is built with timers, and with that I happily went back to blowing stuff up.
I found the HUD to be sufficient and effective, but very plain Jane. One feature I really like about the HUD though, is that your health is displayed directly over your vehicle as well as in the upper left hand corner of the screen, with everything that’s happening on the screen, this feature really helps out. The game also features a mini-map that can be toggled on and off, but I found its placement to be in my way, so I never got much use out of it. You don’t really need the map though as you will always have an onscreen arrow leading you to your closest objective, and a second arrow pointing you to any secondary objective you may have at that time.
Hammering away at your enemies with awesome weapons like rockets, rail guns, flame throwers, and machine guns is undeniably satisfying. As you tear through enemy lines you will be constantly surrounded by explosions, rockets, machine gun fire, mortar strikes and all kinds of cool visuals. At times, all the explosive action almost has a comical value, considering your driving a vehicle scaled down to the size of a hot wheels toy. While I’m on the topic of explosive visuals, considering Renegade Ops has an overhead view and is a downloadable game for under 15 bucks, I must say the graphics aren’t bad, not bad at all.
Not only is the combat fun, I had a blast just driving around. The physics work pretty nicely and it’s very easy to break the traction on your rear wheels and go for a 180 degree spin, do donuts, and other fun stunts. The terrain is also layered allowing you to do jumps, or go off-road down hills and such, just don’t flip your ride. Everything I mentioned up to this point can be done with just your two analog sticks and two shoulder buttons. That said, even though the controls are relatively simple, they are adequate for the game, feel natural, are easy to learn, and because of its simplicity makes the game all the more fun to play, especially for the casual gamer.
The online multiplayer supports up to four people, and I’m happy to say that the matchmaking works pretty well on this game. A lot of games that have come out in the past couple of years have made it so that the number or difficulty of the enemies you fight while playing multiplayer will scale to the number of players you have, however this is not the case in Renegade Ops. If you get a group of four people you can completely devastate the opposition, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but either way I still had fun playing online. If you find that the game is too easy for you with the help of 3 of your chums, there’s always hardcore mode too. One minor gripe about my online experience was that when I had tons of explosions going on at the same time my frame rate suffered ever so slightly. It wasn’t terribly bad, and definitely isn’t a reason not to get the game. Also please note the game has a split screen Co-op as well.
Renegade Ops is the most enjoyable downloadable game I’ve played on my PS3 in quite some time, and I’m impressed with the quality of the content, all things considered. Sporting simple yet excellent gameplay, respectable graphics, multi-player, split screen co-op, and offering hours of fun, all for under $15 I would recommend this game to anyone. Renegade Ops sets the bar for stick shooters, and because of this we’re giving it a 9 out of 10.