Renegade Ops is a new top down shooter from Sega, and utilizes dual analog sticks for both movement and firing like some arcade hits from the eighties such as Smash TV. I used to play games like Renegade Ops with my dad as a kid; simple shooters where the only objective was to ruin everything in sight. In a year full of big name titles, there may not be room for a straightforward action game in the mass market. But for those of us who remember another time where all we needed was a few machine guns, a paper thin plot about terrorists, and an objective list full of destructible targets, how does Renegade Ops stack up?
Trigger Happy - This game is about as simple as it gets. You drive a truck around, fire a machine gun, shoot other trucks, and that's about it. Sometimes you helm other vehicles such as a helicopter, but the game plays almost exactly the same either way. It's actually refreshing to see a game throw modern conventions aside to embrace some serious ass kicking, and Renegade Ops is no slouch in that regard. The environments are extremely dense, packed with little villages, telephone poles, and all kinds of foliage, nearly all of which is destructible. Throw in a few hundred enemies per stage and a machine gun with infinite ammo, and there is almost always something falling to bits in front of you.
Plenty of Ammo - Renegade Opsis long enough for the type of game it is, with nine decently sized missions and a fair bit of challenge packed beneath the hood. Even on the easiest difficulty, with so much going on all the time it can be a bit of a struggle to stay alive, and the challenge is by no means a bad thing. Luckily, multiplayer options abound, from split-screen to online play. There is even a leveling system in place if you don't get bored of the mindless action, so there is plenty of reason to continue on if you enjoy the game.
See Bad Guy, Shoot Bad Guy - The presentation for Renegade Ops is about as straightfoward as the gameplay. I found the comic book style cutscenes and supervillain oriented storyline to be quite charming, and the added character selection was a good bonus as well. Renegade Ops knows exactly what kind of game it is, and doesn't try to bog itself down with bloated fluff or unnecessary nonsense. It's actually a breath of fresh air to see an arcade-styled title such as this where you can just hop in and get into it.
THE BAD AND THE UGLY
An Endless War of Tedium - The negatives of Renegade Ops are almost the same as the positives. Quite frankly, how long you plan to play this game depends on how tolerant you are of repetition. The objectives are nothing less than an excuse to simply drive somewhere on the map and blow up something else, so I can imagine this game getting quite tiring for some. Multiplayer becomes an asset here, as it is always enjoyable to blow stuff up with a friend, but as a single player experience I found myself playing the game in chunks.
Renegade Ops is a pitch-perfect arcade throw back: a game where the longevity depends entirely on the player’s tolerance for simplicity and scorekeeping. I found it in enjoyable in shorter bursts in between other, longer, game experiences. Fully functioning leaderboards will be a good incentive to stay for some, but will likely not be enough to keep the attention of most players. That being said, it is very hard to fault this title because what it does, it does extremely well. The action arcade experience it delivers is one that is top notch, and it throws in just enough modern touches to co-exist with other games in this generation.
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