Co-Optimus: We've seen you support both split-screen and online play for Renegade Ops. Was this something you felt was a necessity?
Axel: We wanted to make sure that as many people as possible could play Renegade Ops in multiplayer. Split-screen and online are very different types of experiences as well, and cater to different gamers.
Co-Optimus: Do the characters and vehicles in the game promote cooperative play with class like strengths and weaknesses?
Axel: Definitely! Each of the four characters has unique strengths and weaknesses derived from their vehicles size, handling, and most importantly: special ability. On top of that each character has access to a bunch of upgrades that can be used to further emphasize a certain role. Depending on what upgrades you equip, you can either build a character to be very helpful in a friendly co-op context, or you could build that same character to be the biggest and badest competitively, stealing kill-bonuses and racking up the highest scores. It’s up to each player to find their favorite setup.
Co-Optimus: How many different vehicles are there in the game? Are there any upgrades or tweaks that players can make to these?
Axel: There are 4 playable characters in the game and a few special vehicles that players can find in some missions, like a helicopter in the first mission. Once again, each of the 4 playable characters has a unique vehicle with its own handling, special ability, and upgrades. We’ve worked very hard trying to make each of the upgrades in Renegade Ops meaningful. Instead of just adding a percentage of damage to your machine gun, we’ve got upgrades that fundamentally change the way your vehicle or special ability works. We’ve also made each upgrade stackable, which means that there are lots of cool synergies you can find depending on how you combine the upgrades with each other.
Co-Optimus: Renegade Ops has been touted to have that big hollywood blockbuster type feel to the action. What's one of the craziest or most intense moments you've had in the game?
Axel: I’ve got one that happened just yesterday when I was playing. I was playing as the character Armand, who drives a heavy, armored truck with the ability to extend an indestructible shield. I was doing a play-through of mission 7, where the Renegades have come to a very hostile place that is basically like a full-on warzone. I needed to get to the top of a hill to take out a bunkered mortar. On my way up, an enemy chopper with rocket launchers started chasing me, so I used my turbo to try to shake him. I got to the top of the hill where I managed to clear out some enemy jeeps and a tank before finally getting to the mortar. I was pretty low on health from taking a shot head-on from the tank. The enemy chopper from earlier caught up to me and fired a few homing missiles after me.
So I destroyed the mortar truck, pushed my turbo, and went flying off a cliff while the homing rockets were still after me. I would’ve been dead if I didn’t have Armands shield. I activated it in mid-air and watched the homing missiles hit me. BOING! I had equipped Armands “Rebound” upgrade which makes his shield bounce rockets back at the enemy, so the homing missiles bounced off my shield back at the chopper, who was still chasing me, blowing him up while I was still spinning in mid-air. I released the shield, landed, got a stunt bonus for the 360 spin I did while in the air and continued to the next mortar. It looked like it was something I had planned all along. The guys who were watching my screen when it happened spontaneously burst out in awe. Those types of moments are a defining factor of the Renegade Ops experience.
Co-Optimus: In one interview, you mention Cannon Fodder as part of the inspiration for Renegade Ops. Jools, Jops, Stu or RJ? And will there be cuddly toys in the jungle?
Axel: Good question! RJ gets the job done everytime! Haha. The Cannon Fodder inspiration is definitely there. Especially in the visuals. The jungles, the trees, the little soldiers. We didn’t think that people would pick up on it, but lots of people who saw the game for the first time instantly got it. “I don’t know why, but it reminds me of Cannon Fodder! I loved that game!”
In regards to the toys: they shouldn’t be cuddly! They should be made of the hardest, thickest, and sharpest plastic known to mankind. They should be toys that hurt to play with… Toys that make you swear and bleed… Because that’s how tough the Renegades are...
Thanks to Axel for taking the time to answer our questions and Sega for setting up the interview!