PAX Prime Hands-On: Renegade Ops
Look out! Renegade Ops is the final leg of the PSN Play promotion, and it’s safe to say that they have saved the best for last. Renegade Ops is by the same team who brought you Just Cause 2 (my personal 2010 game of the year), Avalanche Studios. Instead of grappling and parachuting around a massive map, Renegade Ops is a top-down twin-stick vehicular shooter. There are four characters to play as, and each has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Yeah, there are stats, skill points, and other such character progression.
As you can see, each character has his/her own unique skill trees to fill out with skill points you’ll gain along the ride. The game features 2-player local dynamic co-op (think Bionic Commando, when you get too far away from each other, the screen splits. When you come back into proximity, the screen melds back together) and 4-player online co-op. Unfortunately, the demo I played was single player only, but I imagine the co-op is going to take this game to the most unbelievable level ever. I cannot express my excitement for this game in words. Its twin-stick control scheme makes it easy to pick up and play, but its impressive destructive elements and constant framerate keep you glued to the screen for a long while. I was ramming my way into compounds and mowing down troops left and right, blowing up barrels to gain secondary fire ammo and health, and just having a blast in all senses of the word. Every once in a while, a square in the corner of the screen would appear and some comic (comic book frame and humorous) mini-scene would appear. What’s great about these cutscenes is that they’re funny without being tacky, a balance that few games achieve. The PR person showing me the game said the storyline was A-Team meets G.I. Joe, which is probably precise. I got a strong Cobra Commander vibe from the game’s main antagonist, Inferno.
During the demo, I was constantly working on completing primary and secondary objectives. The primary objectives seemed to be on a timer; if I didn’t complete them in a certain amount of time, a two minute countdown timer started which pretty much forced me to get going. Secondary objectives seem to focus on collection aspects that anyone who played Just Cause 2 will feel comfortable with. By that, of course, I mean the game will be extremely addictive in a “one more item” kind of way. I’m not sure what else to write about the game besides for the fact that I’m happy it’s out soon. The graphics are smooth and I didn’t notice and framerate drops, so as long as the online components don’t lag, this game will possess everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a twin-stick shooter. Seriously, do not let this game go AWOL.