Westwoods Command & Conquer was one of the first and most influential real-time strategy titles ever in 1995. A universe was created that pitted two futuristic warring factions: the GDI (Global Defense Initiative or ‘the good guys’) and the Brotherhood of Nod (the bad guys), in an unrelenting military-technological war for dominance / world peace and the precious tiberium. In Renegade you return to that same C&C setting, but in the person of the most hardened GDI unit in the RTS games: Havoc, the commando - a stubborn, unobedient but remarkably versatile version of Duke Nukem.
Normally it is best to discuss the gameplay first, but because it is not ‘good’ to always do the same (“look at your own!” Ed.) We will start this time about the graphics of this game. Everyone knows by now that Renegade is westwood’s first 3D game. The developers put their cautious feet in dangerous territory that nearly kills each other in competition, which they should not do. That’s why they don’t expect much from the graphics, but this time Westwood has pleasantly surprised us: the graphics are not that bad at all … Of course you should not expect an RTCW or MOHAA level, far from by the way, but still … For the first time … Without any doubt, it is okay. Havoc’s mouth looks a lot like a barn door or rather a * cough * afin you know ;-), but still. The buildings are beautiful from afar. The closer you get, the more angular everything gets quite angular, but that’s normal, and doesn’t just happen here.
Euuh what the breeding is it RTS or FPS?
How stupid you can be, but just a little bit of explanation for the people who don’t know anything about C&C in the field of FPS. Command & Conquer: Everyone knows Red Alert, I think, one of the most successful RTS-sen of the previous years. The series was very successful, but we don’t like to repeat it, so that briefly. Well, Renegade is an FPS but with just the same playing style as Westwood’s RTS games. It is not without reason that it is still the same developer. As an RTS freak you will immediately recognize the ‘hand of nod’, the ‘soldiers’ and other units and all vehicles, etc. etc. Everything, but then also everything comes from the strategy series. But we did not say that this is negative, far from because that is how you experience all the action involved in the skin of Havoc, an elite soldier with a good heart but hard head. It is now as if you are not just playing, but everything around you moves with you, a great war. Exactly Operation Flashpoint, but much better :-) There is no more explanation, surely? Who wants action, and action ALL AROUND, buy this game vrdoeme !!
* Yawn * Disable Hand of NOD - again
As you can see in the score, this game doesn’t really get that much for addiction. There is of course also an explanation behind this, namely that it starts to get boring after a while ;-) I mean: The buildings inside are always the same, once you know what to do inside such a building, there is nothing left at all On. Take out officers, shoot black hand guyz, plant some C4, rescue some jacks and it’s in the pocket. On the other hand, the missions themselves are quite varied (9 on gameplay is not for nothing). It’s always nice to use a big tank to blow those rotten NOD transport helicopters out of the air before those extra men can drop to make you one cup smaller. Another funny thing: you can ALWAYS reload! Even if you still have all the bullets, when you hit that Reload button, reload Havoc obediently … This may not be a big deal for other people, but I find it quite annoying, because I always reload as much as possible with every game. Also a pity that the weapons were not more extensive. That standard machinegun starts to get you seriously on your alarm clock after a while, always that same sound and that moth-eaten run …
Weapons & Tools
Little more information about the weapons. You start with a standard pistol, endless bullets. But if you have to fight someone with that, you need about 50 bullets, so better watch out for another gun … Then there is also a machinegun & chaingun. The latter is also effective against SAM Sites (which you will undoubtedly know from Red Alert etc) and other lighter vehicles. Then of course no sniper or bazooka or something like that should be missing and fortunately there is not … Unfortunately, you don’t find many bazooka bullets in the game, because you need them quite a lot for enemy vehicles and buildings. It is best to first snipe the entire environment and then go to it, because there are still troops coming (who help you and who want to kill you ;-)). that provide your enemy with green holes (see screenshot 8).
AI and cutscenesis
Another small mistake Westwood made: there is no mention of the word ‘AI’ at all. I don’t think anyone in the entire editorial team knows that, because you won’t find half a trace of it in the game itself … Which is a bit unfortunate. That makes the game even more boring, always beating loads of NOD guests with a chain gun or something, without those dicks hiding or calling for help or something. They actually do, but that is just a soundtrack - ‘to arms brothers’ - before it has spoken everything, it lies in the sand like a pathetic heap.
This does not mean that the game is really linear - it is not that bad - The commentary you get in-game through your microphone is quite funny and the cutscenes make up for a lot due to the high level of humor. Are we glad that Havoc is a stubborn little man; otherwise he did what his big boss said and that would only ruin the game more.
HOW but the multi part makes up for almost the whole game! This rocks dirty people - right in the middle of the action that comes out even fiercer than the single player part. You really have to work as a team here to reduce the NOD or GDI base to scrap together … You can buy new rifles & stuff at terminals in your base (standard a machine gun - grenade or shotgun costs nothing). You get money through the tiberium refinery so no tiberium = no money = no tanks = no victory … If you have enough money you can buy one of the main characters (Deadly six) who are much stronger and each have a specific ability. For example, you have Havoc with a ramjet rifle, quite deadly. Here you have the feeling that you have to achieve everything together, which is also the case, in contrast to the Red Alert series where you as “god” also planted the buildings that are already there in the beginning of a multiplayer session.
C&C Renegade is a first tentative attempt for Westwood to make a successful FPS game, and it succeeded! This is largely due to the cutscenes and the multiplayer part, but that is normal when you suddenly go from RTS to FPS completely. Are you here for action for AND around you, buy this game! If you are a fan of the Red Alert series, buy that game! Are you here for a very special gaming experience, buy this game! are you … * sigh * :-)
- Gameplay: 9
- Graphics: 7
- Sound: 8
- Addiction level: 7
- Total: 78/100
Minimum requirements: PII 233 or equal, 64 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM, 3D Accelerator, 16MB VRAM, 600 MB disk space, mouse, soundcard, DirectX 8.1.
(This review is originally written in Dutch, in 2002)