PSN Review – Renegade Ops

September 19, 2011Written by Cameron Teague

Growing up, one of my most favorite things to play with were my Hot Wheel cars. Those same cars would be lined up in military formation as my brother and I raced them into battle over and over again. Sega has now taken that same level of miniature excitement and put it into a PlayStation Network package, titled Renegade Ops. With the game being developed by Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios, will the game pack the same level of punch as our imagination and pack of Hot Wheels?

Renegade Ops is a game that right off the bat does not take itself too seriously, putting you in the shoes of a rogue team called Maverick who is out to stop the oh-so insane Inferno, who – just like his name would suggest – likes to blow stuff up. You will then have to fight through nine highly detailed levels to stop this madman who is intent on creating as much chaos as possible.

Renegade Ops is a top-down vehicular shooter that has you driving one of four cars, each with their own ability and style of driving. Each car is given an amazing feeling of weight to them, allowing for players to spin out the back tires and fly around corners or do quick 180’s in no time flat. The game uses dual-joystick controls, with the left stick controlling your car and the right stick letting loose a barrage of bullets. These controls can take a bit of getting used to, especially the driving, but once you master them, you will be able to dart around the map, shooting everything in your path at high speeds. Through the game you can upgrade your car’s machine gun and pick up add-on weapons like the rail-gun or flame thrower, to go along with your car’s special ability, like one that has an EMP or another that can call in an airstrike. The upgrade points can be used in a three-pronged skill tree, with each car having one tree that is unique to them. These upgrades improve defense, secondary fire, and your special ability.

In each mission of the game, you have primary objectives like taking out incoming tanks, and secondary goals, like supplying guns to the locals. Complete each objective to gain points toward your score, with enemies killed also adding on points. Each of these 9 levels can also be played online with 3 other people or in a two-player split screen, with your level on a given car transferring over from the single player to the online. The game is a lot of fun solo but gets even better when you go online to play, especially when you jack the game up to hardcore difficulty, which is the only way to play it with friends as the game does not scale the difficulty with more people playing. The frame rate drops a bit when multiple people are playing as the action gets pretty intense, but it is never anything that hinders your enjoyment or the action. At one point, you can also hop in helicopters to take the fight sky-high, with the copters controlling extremely well.

Avalanche Studios did a great job in making this world look good, with everything from the water to the towns looking incredibly detailed and crisp. Explosions really pop on the screen and, when the action gets heavy, it is like a burst of fireworks on the screen. You will even notice blur effects around the ground as your car races around dirt roads or as the sun beats down on a desert road. The story is told through comic style cut scenes which look pretty good – but be warned if you have kids in the room, make sure they put on their ear muffs, as the language can turn a bit nasty. The voice acting in the game is well done, with the terrorist Inferno sounding exactly like the maniac he is portrayed as. The biggest issue found in Renegade Ops is with replay-ability, as the campaign can be completed in a few hours and you can go online, but you are playing the same exact missions with almost no difficulty hike from the solo campaign.

Renegade Ops is a fast-paced, non-stop downloadable title, that makes sure to leave everything it has on the table. Fantastic environments, explosions, and weapons make for an experience that is fun to play solo but better with friends. However, the game is around 3-4 hours to complete and the online is the same maps from the single player that can become way too easy as the game doesn’t jack up the difficulty for the amount of players that are taking part. For $15, or $12 if you have a PlayStation Plus account, this is a fun game that should afford you a weekend of enjoyment, but for the price could have provided a bit more longevity.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

+ Detail Crazy Environments Give Life to Levels

+ Fast Paced Action and High End Explosions Provide Tons of Fun

– Lack of Difficulty Hike for Online Multiplayer Makes it Too Easy

7 out of 10