Giant Bomb Review

113 Comments

Renegade Ops Review

5
  • XBGS
  • PS3N

Top-down vehicle shooting hasn't been this much fun in ages.

Blow all that shit up! Now!

Renegade Ops is a pedestrian name for such an absurdly explosive game as this new overhead downloadable shooter from Sega and Avalanche Studios, the Just Cause guys. It's like someone played a whole lot of Jackal back in the '80s and then, sometime recently, figured out the only way that game could be improved is with experience points, a skill tree, physics, and four-player co-op. Luckily for us, whoever had that idea was right on the money. This game is a blast.

It's probably not a surprise that Renegade Ops is so much fun purely because of the way it plays. The cars have low traction and an almost perfect feeling of weight to them, allowing you to kick out your back end as you skid around corners, spin a quick 180, or just do donuts forever if that's your thing. The game uses dual-joystick controls, so while you're sliding around every which way, you can shoot every which other way at the same time, allowing you to dodge around the smaller vehicular enemies and run circles around the larger tanks, blasting them constantly. Everything about the feel of the combat, particularly the fully upgraded regular machine gun and add-on weapons like rockets and a railgun, is solid and hard-hitting and really satisfying.

The game looks darn good, considering it's downloadable and uses an overhead perspective. There's so much height to some of the maps, as you drive through canyons and over hills and such, that the terrain closer to the camera blurs out with a depth-of-field effect. More importantly, everything explodes real nice. This is a game about nonstop, total destruction of everything around you, so it's a good thing Avalanche knows how to do fire and explosions with such style. All the carnage is rendered by the same technology that powered Just Cause 2, which somehow makes it all the more ridiculous since here it takes place amid ant-sized soldiers and armored vehicles the size of Matchbox cars.

Every image in this review will feature an explosion. My promise to you.

Renegade Ops sure doesn't take itself very seriously, casting you as a team of maverick operators who go rogue to stop a sinister army led by the cackling bald psychopath Inferno. The game makes its over-the-top tone evident right upfront, when your hard-nosed CO literally hurls his fistful of medals at a room of lily-livered UN diplomats and declares his intention to get this mess taken care of himself. It's all guitar riffs and incendiaries from there. One mission objective that sticks out in my memory is simply, "Get out of there." Another one urges you to outrun the blast from a nuclear warhead and basically just has you driving in a straight line as fast as you can. It's that kind of game.

Proving that just about any style of game can accommodate RPG mechanics, there's persistent leveling and a talent tree used to good effect here. You can pick from four playable characters, each with a different-looking vehicle that handles more or less the same. They have different special abilities, though, and a unique skill tree that just distributes the same set of useful abilities in a different order. At first I couldn't figure out a reason anyone would play a character other than the spunky girl with the giant airstrike, but as the game gets tougher there are cases where other abilities, like the heavy guy's thick armored shield, certainly come in handy too. Each character has discrete experience so you level them separately, and you can mix and match them throughout a playthrough on each mission, or even take them into co-op that goes up to four players online. The frame rate can bog down a bit in two-player splitscreen or when four players are just going crazy with their weapons online, but them's the breaks.

Oh yeah, sometimes you fly a helicopter. That's badass too!

You could plow through the nine-mission campaign here in three or four hours if you just barreled through it, but there's a number of side objectives in each mission that you might not finish off the first time, given that the main objectives are timed. Also, if you're into achievements and trophies, there's one for going back and beating every level on the considerably more difficult Hardcore mode, which you can do either alone or with friends. I'm not usually big on going back and replaying games for that sort of reason, but the core action is so much fun here that I'll take any excuse to play through this one again. The difficulty doesn't scale to the number of players, making the normal setting feel like a breeze for a team of four, so in that sense, Hardcore is probably the best way to play in a group anyway.

Renegade Ops feels like the model of a fantastic downloadable game designed to the strengths of digital distribution. It's big, loud, sort of dumb, and a ton of fun because it focuses on one thing, and does that one thing exceedingly well. For $15, what more do you want?

113 Comments
  • 113 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Posted by rjayb89

Wow, impressed.

Posted by Absolute_Zero

Now they just need to make a sequel, and then the third game can be a third-person (or first) game ala Syndicate. :P

Or they can just make Just Cause 3 with 4-player co-op. I'm not picky.

Posted by MrJorOwe

5 stars all up in this yo

Posted by wrathofconn

I think I'm going to wait on the Steam release to get this, but it looks pretty awesome.

Posted by RecSpec

Wow really? A lot of games flying under the radar here.

Posted by Napalm

Oh, this game is already out. I feel dumb.

Posted by Absolute_Zero

@wrathofconn: Rhaknar made a thread where he's got an extra Steam copy. (link)

Posted by Meltbrain

Totally need to get this! :D

Posted by Warchief

awesome review.

why is this not out on steam yet!?

Posted by csl316

oh damn

Online
Posted by GaspoweR

Hot damn! That's a great surprise.

Posted by maxB

Just got it loads of funs

Posted by ghostNPC

Got it last night. I agree with everything that Brad said. Split screen Co-Op is a blast.

Posted by chilibean_3

Didn't even expect a review for this. Looks like a ton of fun though.

Posted by Redbullet685

Why does Brad review every downloadable game?

Good review anyway, and I really want to buy this game.

Posted by l3illyl3ob

How much you want to bet that half of this game's purpose is to prototype online co-op in their engine, so Just Cause 3 can have it?

Posted by beard_of_zeus

Agreed. This game is hella fun. I just finished the campaign, and I'm already going back for more to level up my characters and play Hardcore mode.

Edited by Elusionar

Brad is too easly impressed in my opinion.

Posted by QKT

personally, i would give it 4/5 because there isnt much else to do after you've completed it, and hardcore mode is the same but with the numbers tipped on a scale.

Posted by jkuc316

@Redbullet685 said:

Why does Brad review every downloadable game?

Yeah Brad deserves better than downloadables! (Not that there's anything bad about them)

Posted by PrioritySeven

@Absolute_Zero said:

Now they just need to make a sequel, and then the third game can be a third-person (or first) game ala Syndicate. :P

Or they can just make Just Cause 3 with 4-player co-op. I'm not picky.

Oh man, Just Cause 3 with 4 player co-op. I'm thinking how awesome TNT was with Dead Island, imagine the mayhem to be had with JC!

Posted by DostoyevskysShamblingCorpse

@Elusionar said:

Brad is to easly impressed in my opinion.

And some of you just are pretty jaded. Oh, yeah...in my opinion.

Posted by mosdl

Wait, the PC version isn't out yet? Odd.

Posted by DancingJesus

Hmm, I think this game is really overrated. Based on the quick look I honestly don't see what is so special about it.

Edited by Elusionar

@DostoyevskysShamblingCorpse said:

@Elusionar said:

Brad is to easly impressed in my opinion.

And some of you just are pretty jaded. Oh, yeah...in my opinion.

True. I might just be getting too old for most games.

Posted by Edmundus

The quick look made this game look incredible; I can't wait till the steam version's released.

Posted by spilledmilkfactory

I played through this and really enjoyed it too. But 5 stars still seems like a bit much for what is ultimately such a brain dead game

Posted by boxing_hobo

this game is the tits

Posted by bybeach

Pc version will have controller functionality, so waiting for that.

Posted by Solh0und

Since PSN gets two exclusive(I think) things of DLC, I'll be picking it up on PSN for 11.99.

Posted by Bumbuliuz

Been having a blast playing the game, well worth the money.

Posted by RazeEverything

Anyone know if there is any sort of performance difference between the versions?

Posted by Schiavini

I'll give it a play!

Posted by project343

@Elusionar said:

Brad is to easly impressed in my opinion.

That's a far better thing than a bunch of cynics. In either case, Giantbomb only has a 5-point system. Renegade Ops seems unfit for an 80%.

Posted by beefmotron

I'm surprised this game is getting so little attention (at least by other game sites and such)

Posted by prestonhedges

@DostoyevskysShamblingCorpse said:

@Elusionar said:

Brad is to easly impressed in my opinion.

And some of you just are pretty jaded. Oh, yeah...in my opinion.

You get that way when you play through lots of terrible games based on someone else's review.

Posted by murgen

I just downloaded this tonight. Lots of fun solo, and the online co-op works great. I was looking forward to this game, and I am so glad it is fun.

Posted by Fistfulofmetal
@murgen

I just downloaded this tonight. Lots of fun solo, and the online co-op works great. I was looking forward to this game, and I am so glad it is fun.

I bought this on STEAM. Now just waiting for it to come out. "September 2011" is a fairly vague time frame...
Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam

Looked like it was leaning this way when I saw the quick look. Good thing I come to Giant Bomb, because dude - Renegade Ops is a generic fucking name and I would not have given it a second glance if I hadn't seen it here.

Posted by tourgen
@Elusionar said:

@DostoyevskysShamblingCorpse said:

@Elusionar said:

Brad is to easly impressed in my opinion.

And some of you just are pretty jaded. Oh, yeah...in my opinion.

True. I might just be getting to old for most games.

oh man.  are you kidding me?  The word you are looking for is TOO.  aggh the second time I just couldn't take it
Posted by Korwin

Can't wait to play it, just wish they would get their ass into gear an put out the PC version.

Posted by jaks

@spilledmilkfactory said:

I played through this and really enjoyed it too. But 5 stars still seems like a bit much for what is ultimately such a brain dead game

It really depends on your perspective. Some people look at reviews and say "Well this game is 5 stars and you gave Gears of War 3 five stars so that means you are saying Renegade Ops is as good as Gears of War 3"

Renegade Ops does exactly what it is intended to do and it does it pretty flawlessly, and costs 15 bucks. I might rate it 4.5 stars just because the co-op online doesn't scale at all and that is a flaw worth remarking about. Other than that, for what kind of game it is, you couldn't really do any better.

Posted by AlbinoJerk

Wow. I didn't think I would see such a well reviewed vehicular shooter anytime soon.  Maybe I do have to watch that quicklook now. 

Posted by YoungBuck

It's a 2 gig download. *clears hd space*

Posted by vacancy

Yes!!!

Posted by Enigma777

Love that game but I wish I had someone to play co-op with (PS3).

Online
Posted by phrali

just played the trial version. boring as hell.

this is a 5/5? really?

Posted by Czarpyotr

Just got this to play with my buddy. You can't get any of the progression achievements in co-op... really really lame.

Posted by jjacobsson
@vacancy

Yes!!!

Grats!
Posted by kennybaese

I may have to give this a download.

  • 113 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3