Developer: Avalanche Studios
Release Date: 10/26/2011
For Fans Of: Dual Stick Shooters, Cheesy Comics, Repetition
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The Good: Excellent visuals, great controls with lots of action, nice variety of challenging enemies, fun four player co-op
The Bad: Gets repetitive quick, can be very hard, levels are too long, can only equip four upgrades, very short with only 7 levels
Twin stick shooters are running amok on mobile devices, but the best tend to be on consoles. Renegade Ops lets you choose from a variety of characters with a special weapon each. You can level up and unlock new upgrades while trying to mow down as many enemies to rack up a high score. The story is actually really cliché and stupid with a commando leader named Bryant trying to stop the evil Inferno from taking over the world. The cut scenes are drawn in nice comic book style stills, but the dialog is as cheesy as it can get. No matter how you try to kill Inferno he always seems to survive and it’s just one of those “You’ll never kill me, Bryant! MWAHAHA!” type stories.
Besides the cheesy story, the action is really fun with some great graphics and physics. You drive your vehicle using the right stick to shoot with your machine gun. Along the way, you can get pickups to make your machine gun stronger as well as secondary ammo pickups like rocket launchers, rail guns, and flamethrowers. There aren’t many pickups which are a real bummer, but this is just the start of what else there isn’t much of. The enemy variety is interesting with varying degrees of difficulty, but it leads to the game being very difficult most of the time. You start off with 5 lives per level and if you lose them all it’s game over. The levels are very long and you will be infuriated if you have to go through all that effort again.
My main concern about the game is that it gets very repetitive very quickly because all you do is drive around and shoot. The graphics are excellent so you could get some cinematic scripted scenes going, but instead, you just follow an objective arrow around all over the place and kill everything in front of you. There are secondary objectives that lead to achievements, but they span the entire level and take way too long to complete. You are also timed on primary objective so if you don’t get it done fast enough a 3-minute timer ticks down and if you don’t complete it by then it’s game over. This means you have to abandon the secondary and makes things just more frustrating. When you die you lose your machine gun pickups so you start with the weakest form and can die easier that way because it takes longer to kill enemies.
There is a lot of fun to be had here with destructible environments, and four player co-op which makes the game easier and more fun. The upgrades are disappointing because you can only equip four at a time and this leaves a lot of useful upgrades unused. There are only 7 missions so you will beat the game in less than 5 hours, but most people probably won’t go through again due to the difficulty and repetitive nature of the whole game. Twin stick shooters should pick this up and rejoice, but don’t expect it to change the genre.