Renegade Ops Review

By Jeffrey Matulef - Posted Sep 20, 2011

Renegade Ops as uninspired as its title. Its twin-stick vehicle-based shooting is reasonably refined and stupid fun for a little while, but its repetitive gameplay, bland story, and plodding pace sap these scenarios of their excitement.

The Pros
  • Impressive graphics
  • Skill tree adds depth
  • Co-op is still good fun
The Cons
  • Levels are repetitive and long
  • Poor story takes up too much time
  • Not enough weapon types
  • Arbitrary time limits

Renegade Ops Review:

"Switch your brain off" is a popular qualification to enjoy many a blockbuster these days. Think about the average car chase for one second and you'll realize it does more harm than good. Perhaps the stick-in-the-mud police chief who chews out the heroes for their reckless endangerment has a point.

Renegade Ops is an interactive rendition of this well worn scenario. Rugged heroes drive into a third world country, blow sh*t up, leave the land in ruins... But hey, they get rid of the bad guys, so it's all good. If you don't think about it too hard and play it in short spurts it can cathartic, but its generic machismo is too brain dead to provide any long-lasting sense of satisfaction.


"I'm too old for this sh*t!"

The story is so bare bones it's hardly worth mentioning. An unknown superpower named Inferno has suddenly sprung up with aspirations of world domination, so it's up to a rag-tag crew of renegades to put a stop to it. The script doesn't take itself seriously, but it's rarely tongue-in-cheek enough to be entertaining either.

You play as one of four renegades driving around in a vehicle from a top-down perspective setting terrorists and villages ablaze with traditional twin-stick controls. Each one has their unique ability ranging from an invulnerability granting shield, an EMP burst, the ability to call in air strikes, to a powerful Gatling gun. There's a fair difference between the characters, though chances are you'll want to stick to one at a time as they each have their own experience points and skill tree.

Renegade Ops

Regardless of who you pick, each of the game's nine missions sees you carrying out a series of objectives across sprawling maps, but they're almost always variants of "blow X target up." At one point someone advises that you sneak around some patrols, which got me exited that there might be a stealth element to break up the monotony, but no dice. This idea is shot down instantly just to show how badass these mofos are.

It's a shame there's not more variety as stages drag on at least twice as long as they need to. Each level took approximately 20 minutes. Run out of lives in the final stretch and you'll be back to square one and subjected to the same unskippable cutscenes.

Disappointingly your primary objectives are timed, though a counter doesn't show up until you're down to your last three minutes. This makes it difficult to tell when you have spare time to rack up a high score vs when you need to hustle. Spend too long dallying with side quests and you'll find yourself without time to complete the necessary objectives.

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"I love the smell of napalm in the morning."

At least your rampages are initially gratifying and everything blows up well. This is a good looking game with diverse and detailed environments. It's A-Team-esque aesthetic is well realized, though controls are a little loose and its too easy for your vehicle to flip over or get stuck in a corner.

While the core combat remains much the same throughout with only one primary weapon and three sub-weapons, each character has a unique skill tree that ensures the next go-round will prove more fruitful. Perks like a second chance to grab health after you'd ordinarily die, a shield that deflects enemy projectiles, and faster recharge time for your special abilities allow a fair amount of customization that adds depth to the endless circling around foes inherent in the campaign.

Unsurprisingly, co-op (online or split-screen) is a lot more enjoyable. Twice the manpower means twice the explosions, and this also alleviates the time pressure when one player can focus on side quests while another on the main objective.

Renegade Ops

I pity the fool. . .who buys this game

Renegade Ops is a big, dumb car chase though its rudimentary mayhem is more Bad Boys 2 than the French Connection. Explosive setpieces and co-op action are thrilling in brief bursts, but the poorly-paced levels are long in the tooth. If you're in the right mood for some mindless action Renegade Ops is totally serviceable, but sooner or later your gray matter will flicker on and seek more substance.