Review: Renegade Ops (Xbox Live)

By Wayne Webb

From very early on I felt a real sense of nostalgia when playing Renegade Ops. It took me back to the days of the 20c top down jeep or army shooters like Commando or plane-based games like 1941. That’s pretty much what the game is – an updated version of the old arcade games I played as a teen.

On the surface, the game is straightforward enough – pick one of four archetypal characters and take over their style of play – nimble and fast with similar weapons, or heavy and defensive with slow yet powerful guns. You can complete the game with any of the four – it depends on your style and what kind of game you want to play. The bad guys are the maniacal Inferno – who represents every tin pot genocidal dictator ever known to Hollywood. You get dropped on the beach in your vehicle and you drive with the left and shoot with the right to play. Secondary weapons or special powers add some spice to your arsenal, and the longer you play without dying, the better your upgrades get.

Levels and stories progress predictably and you get a real sense of speed, agility and power as you level up your weapons to gun your way through the stages. The colours are bright and attractive, and the bad guys are plentiful and satisfying to kill as they commit atrocity after atrocity in the cut scenes to keep you wanting to kill the enemy.

Then there are the downsides. The file size for what you are getting is too large. At 2GB of Xbox Live download I expected more rendered environments, more maps and more complex gameplay. You have to complete an entire level to get to your save point and the levels can take 15-20 minutes to complete even on the easiest setting on replay sessions. Plus it just does not feel original, and the feeling of nostalgia only lasts so long before it gets repetitive and the levels are more of the same. The first level is pretty good, with a helicopter section and a huge carrier boat to destroy like in the old game 1941. Unfortunately the appeal dies quickly and for the 2 gigabytes of file size I expected more variety.

Pros: Loads of action, a trip down memory lane, good weapon upgrades, nice design
Cons: 2GB download, infrequent save points, nothing new to see.

2.5 Shacks out of 5