Command & Conquer: Renegade adds a whole new perspective to the series and story. No longer bound by real-time strategy limits, Renegade is a first person 3D shooter that puts you in control of a commando named Havoc in the forces of the GDI (sorry, no NOD gameplay for you evil gamers). Impressive graphics, decent playability, some depth, and story sequences featuring Havoc make playing for the good guys a righteous endeavor.
Havoc is a quasi-renegade commando who decides to take the law into his own hands. From the outset when he attacks and kills NOD soldiers, the action never stops. Missions are long and difficult at times since each has several main and secondary objectives, often varying in complexity. For example, the first mission requires you to take out a Hand of NOD facility by placing C4 in the basement, but the next objective has you hacking into a database to unlock a gate to free prisoners of war and blow up a NOD communications building. Fortunately, you can save your progress during the long missions, which becomes a necessity.
An impressive arsenal of weapons is yours for the taking during missions; you start with a pistol but quickly obtain the machine gun and sniper rifle. C4 explosives can be placed and remotely detonated to destroy missile turrets, ammunition for the rocket launcher comes in handy when destroying helicopters and tanks, and eventually you acquire items like the chain gun. Jumping into tanks and other vehicles like Humvees give you even more firepower, but due to their size, you can't maneuver them in certain areas.
Although the missions vary a bit with always changing objectives and new weapons, your main objective is still simply blowing things up. It would have been nice if some levels had variations instead of always playing as a war-hungry, butt-kicking commando. Havoc isn't the type of guy to plant bugs or perform surveillance to catch the bad guys, nor will he stop to ask a NOD soldier a question.
Renegade uses a typical combination keyboard-mouse setup for controls, and offers the feature of allowing weapon scrolling with the mouse wheel, making combat easier and more manageable with less memorization. The interface allows ease of movement and provides a large number of indicators for ammunition amounts and health. The latter isn't affected until you lose your armor, which can be replenished, but expect to die quickly without it. Usually these items are picked up from bodies of fallen NOD soldiers, but can also be found in towers and throughout the environment.
Command & Conquer veterans will find Renegade gameplay totally different than previous series' titles. If you're a war strategy lover, but don't like action games like Doom or Half-Life, you may want to stay away from Renegade. However, the design provides a unique perspective on the fighting by changing your role from godlike controller to a soldier on the battlefield.
Between levels, you're treated to interesting movie segments about Havoc, his general, and the trouble he gets into, but the entertainment is purely in Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone movie style. Havoc uses macho-man catch phrases that verge on the hilarity of "I'll be back" or "Hasta la vista, baby." The storyline is weak, but the emphasis is on challenging action with little room for plot development.
Graphics: Far away objects have as much detail as those close up. It's an all-encompassing 3D world with good colors and a variety of terrain features.
Sound: Explosions are nicely done and resonate, especially with good speakers. NOD officers call for more troops, which allows you to find and kill them, and helicopter and tank noises alert you to their presence. Ambient sounds enhance gameplay.
Enjoyment: Missions end with a movie where Havoc explains what to do next. The missions are fun, but extremely long and can nibble on your nerves and patience. A good arsenal and the ability to drive vehicles and utilize their weapons are great touches in preventing boredom.
Replay Value: The replay factor found in RTS Command & Conquer games is sadly missing. The multiplayer aspect allows for some extended gameplay, assuming all participants have solid connections.
People who downloaded Command & Conquer: Renegade have also downloaded:
Command & Conquer, Command & Conquer: Generals, Command & Conquer: Red Alert, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, Command & Conquer: Red Alert: The Aftermath, Command & Conquer: Sole Survivor, DOOM³
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