I wouldn't call it a skill "tree," but it gets the job done. With explosions. Lots of explosions.
Each online player has their own bank of extra lives, so if player A loses all of their lives, players B, C, and D can keep rolling. Player A can observe like L. B. "Jeff" Jeffries, or leave the game. There is no drop in/drop out, so you’ll have to meet up with your fellow Renegades in a pre-game lobby. You can all play as the same character, if you so choose. Every player's character data, (level, story progression, upgrades, etc.) is saved to their own profile. At the end of the level (if you finish it) you’ll see a scoreboard, where you can all mock the person with the lowest score. Take that, Jeff!
Local co-op is another animal. It supports only two players with two split screen features, so again you won’t be tethered to each other, which is nice (in theory). Once again, there is no drop-in/drop out, so your annoying roommate can’t pick up a controller and start stealing your kills. He can’t jump in to save your butt, either. If one player loses all of their lives, the game changes to full screen for the remaining player.
I mentioned two split screen modes. You have the option of playing with a static split screen, which is exactly what it sounds like. The screen is always split the same way, no matter how close you are to your partner. Then there’s the option of the dynamic split screen. The players’ screens will change between split screen and full screen depending upon their proximity to each other. The way the screen is split is constantly changing, and sometimes a player’s view can be obscured when receiving orders in the middle of a firefight. Also, the HUD doesn’t change, so the player on the right may have to look at the screen on the left screen to see how much health they have or if their special weapon has cooled down. It works, but I wouldn’t say it works incredibly well.
It's like a Corona commercial.
Then there is the odd bit of saving in local co-op. This is hard to explain, so bear with me. The second player doesn’t have their own save data, even if they’re signed in with a Gamertag (profile). The main profile essentially has two rosters of vehicles, one roster for player one, and a separate roster for player two. If a second player joins you they will have no progress on their own profile. But, any progress they make will stay with you profile’s second player vehicles. Understand? How 'bout I break it down for you?
For example: I play solo, as Roxy, and get her to level five. Then I play cooperatively with my wife. We both play as Roxy. I’ll be at level five, and she’ll start at level one. When we finish, I’m at level eight, and she’s at level four. The next time I play with anyone, I’ll have my player one Roxy at level eight, and anyone who plays as the second player will have access to a level four Roxy. Later on, if my wife plays solo on her profile, her Roxy will still be at level one. Weird, I know. Keep in mind, this is only for local co-op.
As far as Achievements and Trophies are concerned, all but one are focused on single player, which is bizarre, since Renegade Ops has been billed as primarily an online co-op game. That's a shame, because the game is so much fun in co-op. It's good solo, but better with friends.
Did I mention the helicopters? Oh. There's helicopters.
Renegade Ops is an excellent twin stick shooter. You’ll drive one of four vehicles armed with machine guns and an assortment of secondary weapons, including rocket launchers, flame throwers, and rail guns. You’ll engage in frantic battles with Inferno’s armies of jeeps, mortar trucks, rocket trucks, and tanks. The nine missions can vary in length from ten to forty minutes, depending on the number of players in your party. There are three difficulty levels, with the easiest offering infinite lives, and the hardest offering a glass of your own salty tears. If you venture into hardcore mode, be sure to bring three friends.
Renegade Ops is out now for the Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network. It should be out later this month on Steam. It will cost you $15.00, or 1200 Microsoft points.
This review is based on the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game.
The Co-Op Experience: Team up online with up to four people for destructive co-op action.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.