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Published on June 14th, 2011 | by Ken Yarbrough, Editor

E3 2011: Renegade Ops Hands-On Impressions

Among all the lights and sounds and spectacle that is E3, if one looks hard enough, they can find some real hidden gems. Renegade Ops is one such title.

Hidden in the middle of all the madness was a quaint little booth of SEGA’s, which housed four demos of Renegade Ops. Renegade Ops is a co-op experience, so it was a great setup. As is usually the case at E3, communication was difficult, simply because of the roar of the show floor, but that didn’t stop me from having a blast.

Renegade Ops is a top-down twin-stick shooter that is very reminiscent of Assault Heroes. I made the same comment to the developers who were guiding us through the process, and they looked a little offended, but they shouldn’t be. That’s high praise. I loved Assault Heroes, and it’s sequel. Thusly, I very much enjoyed Renegade Ops.

While the gameplay has been done before, RenOps does have a few tricks up it’s sleeve to keep it feeling fresh. First and foremost is that it’s four player co-op. While it’s not necessary to play with three of your friends, it’s definitely more fun. You have a choice between any of the four vehicles, and all four of them have a different “special attack”. I played as the armored truck which had a giant tank-like cannon that it could deploy as it’s special. The other three vehicles had access to an infantry scorching flamethrower, a vehicle-disabling EMP bomb and a massive screen clearing airstrike. I was also told that the game features helicopters, though they were not available in our demo.

Another area of the game that outdoes it’s predecessors is in the mission structure. Most games of this ilk are “go from point A to point B. Kill everything.” While there is plenty of that, there were also missions that ranged from having us rescue hostages, to destroying a tank battalion. There were also points scattered around the map (which was huge, and “open-world-esque” that allowed for ramping your vehicle off cliffs, or just launching through the air. It appeared that bonus’ were awarded for pulling off stunts while airborne as well.

There are plenty of power-ups to be found as well. From health pick-ups to upgrading your primary weapon (which is the standard-fare machine gun) I felt rewarded with each explosion I created.

Speaking of the explosions, this game is gorgeous. I actually had to confirm that it was an XBLA/PSN title. The lush jungles that we were driving over reacted accordingly when cutting through brush, buildings crumbled at our fingertips, and explosions lit up the screen in a blaze of glory. Your vehicle even kicks up dust at it blows along the off roads.

Control is spot on. Though, I will admit it took a moment to get used to it, it felt natural once I was acclimated. All of your abilities were mapped well enough, with special attacks being mapped to the triggers, and turbo being mapped to the “A” button on 360, “X” on PS3.

While I was unable to confirm the release date or pricing, I was told that the game would be out near the end of summer, and that 1200 MSP ($15) was probably going to be the price. For that price, this game is a steal. For all the glamour that games like Battlefield, Modern Warfare, Mass Effect have, this game is truly a diamond in the rough. Well developed and fun as hell; this should be a pick-up for any fan of twin-stick shooters.

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