Last weekend we spent our time festering at Multiplay’s i44, not sleeping and eating a horiffic number of doughnuts. While we were there, we blasted our way through Renegade Ops with our two mates Jon and Sam. Made by the same team who gave us Just Cause 2, and built in that very same engine, we expected mindless carnage and plenty of explosions. It certainly didn’t disappoint.
Paul: I like the parts where you get to blow something up.
Simwill: Thankfully, that made up around 98%. The other 2% being racing to get there before the other, slower chumps.
Matt: There really wasn’t much those guys couldn’t solve by blowing shit up…even rescuing prisoners.
Paul: Especially considering all of the upgrades and high scores at the end of each round were based on who made more things explode.
Simwill: You know, I thought each vehicle would have distinctions that REALLY set it apart in terms of playstyle – they didn’t. The specials were the distinction it seemed.
Paul: Particularly when you get stuck in a ditch and there’s NO way out.
Simwill: Or flew off a cliff.
Jon: Yea I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be a coop game, but arriving at an objective last was more of a failure than losing a round of Street Fighter to a cat.
Matt: I loved how we were fighting over who got to carry out the QTE’s. Can’t say that about many games.
Jon: Also, game, having helicopters is great, but only dishing them out to the person lucky enough to be skidding in their general direction is a dick move.
Paul: The elitism that comes with a helicopter is a treat.
Simwill: Which is what I think is actually a pro about that game.
Paul: How about those boss fights eh? Were they fun? I mean, I was in the same game, but I only saw one out of the five or so boss fights in it…
Matt: The whole competitive-co-op thing worked nicely. You could always tell who was doing well by who had the biggest spray of bullets filling up the screen.
Simwill: Actually Matt I could NEVER tell what was going on, or more or less where i was. It was all about seeing my colour be the one racking it up.
Jon: Yea to be fair, the game was cheap so I was very forgiving.
Matt: We paid what, 5 quid for it?
Jon: But running out of lives during a boss and watching your team mates take it down in blaze of glory whilst your sitting scratching your anus and slugging Red Bull is a pretty lame design decision.
Simwill: You didn’t HAVE to scratch your butte.
Jon: I would have liked to have seen some kind of respawn timer or maybe you can just fly about dropping bombs or something.
Simwill: Trollmode. The ability to harass either teammates or an enemy.
Jon: Yea, trollmode would have been fairly decent.
Matt: To be fair, I thought the difficulty was spot on. None of us lost all our lives until the final boss.
Jon: Yea and in truth the only reason I died was because I was rushing in to get the QTEs.
Paul: I think there was plenty of potential for trolling mid-game, particularly when driving at breakneck speeds around the cliffsides of huge mountains, ramming eachother into rocks and/or off the side.
Simwill: Actually paul, on that point, collision was absolute whack.
Jon: No one says whack on the internet.
Simwill: I just did.
Paul: This isn’t China, Jon.
Simwill: (BCR proudly supports all chinese and ethnic groups).
Matt: Behave yourselves. You’re guests here. What did you think of the graphics? We played on PC with Xbox gamepads, and I thought every location was pretty damn nice. And the explosions were gorgeous.
Jon: Lovely effects, nice use of depth of field. I can’t say the different locations felt very different though.
Matt: I’d have liked to see a snowy region. We know that engine is capable of it, after all.
Paul: I really loved the trail of smoke behind the vehicles as you kicked in the boosters, that was a glorious sight.
Jon: Like, even though the textures changed and such, the gameplay was pretty much the same throughout… At one point I thought the game was going to have us duking out on aircraft carriers as we crossed the African ocean, but it didn’t. I would have liked a moon level too. Like Blast Corps on the N64.
Matt: Can’t argue with that.
Jon: Although I don’t think there is a game in existance where a moon level wouldn’t go some way towards making it 100x better.
Simwill: I enjoyed the dust kick up and smaller details, though I think most of it is lost at the speed you are doing on average. The more players, the more you miss out on as you frantically claw your way to top of the desctructometer. They needed more ramps though.
Jon: Yea more ramps. I agree with that.
Simwill: And sure as hell more “escape” moments.
Jon: More death ramps.
Paul: The moon wouldn’t have been too far fetched, considering the content of the rest of the game. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a cheesy storyline since the last Just Cause game. These guys know how to do cheese.
Jon: Ramps to space.
Simwill: Do you think he puts Inferno on his legal documents?
Jon: Actually yea that is great point, if anyone is reading this, buy this game, no matter what the cost. The ending is probably the greatest cutscene in video game history.
Matt: “I’m back!” Oh, it was glorious.
Paul: This is a story that cares not for plotholes or sense-making. In fact, we skipped an entire cutscene TWICE and were basically no worse off in knowing what was going on.
Matt: Don’t play this game for the story, but if you have 3 mates around and want some arcade action, I can’t fault it.
Jon: For me it was all about the game design meetings where the team sat around a table and decided “Unless something is blowing up, you are doing it wrong.”
Simwill: Haha yes Jon.
Paul: Well I drew the short straw in terms of special abilities then. My guy ‘Armaund’ had a shield. Something designed specifically to PREVENT explosions. Whoever designed that guy should be demoted.
Simwill: I can see it now: all the ideas for intricacy just being met by shaking heads of disapproval, until they pull up the mushroom cloud slide, turning them to slow nods.
Paul: How long did it take us to beat? Was it about 3 hours?
Matt: 3 hours of utter carnage. I guess we stopped for a brief rest in the middle.
Simwill: Most of us hadn’t even figured out how the specials worked. As in, the assigning of skills. And the fact that you could only have 3.
Paul: There were quite a few skills, which means replayability is there, but the lack of particularly exciting skills means it won’t be too strong a desire to play it again.
Matt: So, we don’t like ratings here, but if you had to sum the game up in 3 words…?
Simwill: Don’t play alone.
Paul: Reach helicopter first.
Jon: I’m back! *whammo*
Matt: Job done, I’d say. You can buy Renegade Ops over on Steam, and we’d recommend getting the 4-pack as it works out cheaper for all involved. We had fun.