Sega are absolutely mental most of the time. I think this is established by now isn’t it? From Blast Processing to Sonic being part hedgehog part werewolf to Shadow the EDGEhog. They published Typing of the Dead: Overkill, park zombie game, part typing tutor. Have you seen the official Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account? It’s glorious. And terrifying. I don’t care if it’s associated directly with Sega or not, the company clearly allows this to happen.
Anyway, a little while ago they gave away a big load of free games to anyone who would take them on Steam. Some were actually good, like Golden Axe and Gunstar Heroes. Even Hell Yeah! wasn’t that bad. Then there was Renegade Ops, a game that I’m sure was meant to be a parody of or homage to 80s action films. But here’s the thing, 80s action films were mostly about fun. This is all about being bored and slogging through it because I don’t want to add another damn game to my list of shame. So you get to pick a character and follow the commands of Macho McBeardman who wants to stop a terrorist with a nuke named Inferno and he’ll do it by any mean necessary! So long as those means involve driving a car around following an arrow until you blow up the thing it’s pointing at. I know I shouldn’t expect much in the way of story, so I’ll let that slide because it’s going for the silly vibe, but that’s about as much praise as this game’s getting.
The game boils down to you driving around the map to different targets, which need to either be destroyed, driven into, or collected. For the first half an hour it’s fairly good fun, as the Avalanche engine (of Just Cause 2 fame) does a good job of letting you blow up nearly everything. But before long you realise that you’re doing the same thing over and over again. It’s a small mercy that the game is only 4 hours or so long. The game plays like a twin stick shooter, but as you’re in a car you can’t just turn instantly around due to your turning circle. This makes sense, but does occasionally lead to you getting stuck on the scenery which is a huge pain, often leading to losing a life.
Having lives is something of a saving grace until the super secret hidden time limit kicks in! Yes, you have a time limit, but you won’t be told what it is until you’re about to run out. No number of lives can save you here, if you run out of time it’s back to the start! Enjoy rolling through another 20 plus minutes to get back to where you were. I suppose traveling around the environments would be enjoyable if they were different and interesting to look at, but after the first stage showcasing desert, forests and water, get ready for grey tracks, grey concrete and grey metal to drive your grey truck on. Dull. On the plus side, the different characters (including Gordon Freeman!) are all unique, with their own vehicle, special ability, and skill tree to unlock as you
suffer play through. You’ll want to stick to the same one throughout your game though, as you’ll probably need those skill unlocks to stand a chance later on.
Now here’s your final positive. There’s 4 player online co-op, which can actually be pretty fun, albeit messy. There is so much going on when all the players together in the same area that it can be hard to see what’s going on, but it can have moments of entertainment here. The real problem with this game is that the developers seem to have taken the idea of Just Cause 2, which was enjoyable and over the top as a third person action game, removed the fun movement system and the beautiful world to explore and replaced it with a dull world and a bunch of cars. Cars can be fun! But this isn’t.
Renegade Ops was developed by Avalanche Studios and published by Sega. I played the game on PC (via Steam) and I don’t recommend you try this. It’s barely worth it in co-op. But your time is worth something to you surely! I don’t care how free this game seems to be, don’t waste it.