Repair Facility: Three Hours With Renegade-X

By Graham Smith on February 28th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the mere existence of Renegade-X. It’s a fan-made re-make and successor to Command & Conquer: Renegade, the short-lived first-person spin-off from Westwood’s real-time strategy series. It was released first as an Unreal Tournament 3 mod in 2009, and on Wednesday it was re-born as a free, standalone, open beta, made with the blessing of Electronic Arts. I’ve spent a few hours fighting for the GDI and Nod, and it’s crazy how much game is here. It’s a delightful thing that it was all made by a group of volunteers, as an expression of love for a nearly forgotten game from twelve years ago.

Right. Moment over. Now let’s talk about why I haven’t had any fun with it in those hours I’ve spent playing.

The original Renegade was a clunky, ugly thing, hamstrung by 2002′s slow internet connections and Westwood’s inexperience at making first-person shooters. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a compelling experience at its core. It had large scale combat with infantry and vehicles, which almost no one else was doing at the time. If you were a fan of the Command & Conquer series – and I was and am – it was also exciting to interact with its distinct units and buildings in a first-person world.

Time has dulled my interest in the C&C universe, but I’ve still enough leftover love to still get a kick out of fighting as the GDI and Nod. In Renegade-X, both sides begin with a base of equivalent buildings, each familiarly modelled after the RTS originals: a Hand of Nod, a refinery, a power station and so on. The C&C game mode is ultimately about destroying all your enemy’s buildings while protecting your own.

This, theoretically, is what makes Renegade-X a shooter/strategy hybrid. There is no commander to place buildings or drop vehicles – despite what idiots like me sleepily write in news posts – but strategy lies in how your team approaches defeating those enemy buildings, and how that hinders the functionality of your opponent’s base.

For example, there’s an in-game credits economy underpinning player actions in the game. So when you spawn, you always start as a generic soldier, and then use computer terminals around your base to spend credits and outfit yourself with a different class, weapons and items, and to spawn vehicles like Orcas and so on. You can earn those credits by killing enemies, and destroying enemy equipment or repairing your own, but the larger bulk of it comes from the machinery at your team’s base. Every couple of minutes, a Harvester will dimly trundle out to the nearest Tiberium field, gobble up as many of the poisonous green crystals as it can, and then poop them into your refinery. The credits gained are then shared equally among your players.

Therefore, if you want to take out the enemy team, a good place to start is by attacking and destroying their Harvester or refinery. Credits can ultimately be used to unlock especially powerful bombardment weapons, like air strikes, ion cannons and nuclear bombs; the sorts of tools which can turn the tide of a battle or end a fight early. Both team’s economy, then, is a meta-layer fight happening alongside the shootery-gunnery. In a lot of the matches I played, my team lost because our enemy maintained control over mid-map Tiberium silos which provided them with extra boosts and put them ahead of us in the economic arms race.

I like all these ideas. I like layering an economy on top of a first-person shooter and using that to motivate interesting strategic decisions from organised teams. I like that bases are automatically defended by various turrets, so that taking down an enemy power station is another high-value target, as it disables those buildings. I like that one of those turrets is the laser-spewing Nod Obelisk, a name which is spoken aloud repeatedly in the game until it starts to sound like “Nobelisk.”

But of the 12 or so matches I played, I’m not sure I ever felt meaningfully connected with those strategic decisions. Partly, I think the problem is that the classes don’t provide specific enough roles for players to perform. As a sniper, I spent time upon battlements and in the middle of the map, aiming and striking enemy troops. It would take four or five shots to kill someone, which was unsatisfying, and that single kill made little difference to the overall battle in a 25 vs. 25 player fight. It’s the same if you’re a soldier armed with a machinegun or a shotgun. What should I be doing? What am I for?

Of the basic classes, there’s only one which feels purposeful. You need to continually repair the buildings in your base to stop them being destroyed. Who does that? The engineer and his healing-hose. You need to keep your Harvester on the battlefield, or your tanks and missile platforms active outside the enemy base? So make sure an engineer is travelling with each of them. You need to capture that middle-of-the-map Tiberium silo? Only an engineer can do that, by firing that same, feel-nothing beam at a computer terminal. Engineers aren’t much good in combat against infantry, but even against vehicles or enemy buildings their explosives can make them deadly.

Most of my matches of Renegade-X would go the same way. The round would start and I’d grab an engineer class. There’d be nothing in my base to repair, so I’d start the long walk to the enemy side of the map. I’d coo at how nice it looked for something fan-made, and eventually arrive at the gates of the enemy base. I’d sneak inside without anyone seeing me, but once within its walls I’d soon be spotted.

I’d dash inside a building to place a quick C4 on its Main Control Terminal, the computer which, when attacked, proportionally damages the building it’s within. I’d maybe do some damage – taking the building from 100% to 68% – and then I’d be shot and killed. This would take around three minutes, and would be as unsatisfying as marginally depleting a percentage sounds. I’d try to repeat the process during the next few lives, to see if I could actually destroy something, but I’d keep getting killed on the journey.

To try a different tact, I’d buy a vehicle, maybe a Mammoth tank. I’d blow up an enemy vehicle – hooray! – but then be immediately blown up myself. This wouldn’t feel very useful either. By this point, most of the buildings in my base would be on fire, so I’d switch to the engineer class again and run around healing things. This does feel useful, and is how I would score most of my points and climb near the top of the scoreboards.

But healing a building, as an action unto itself, does not feel good. It feels like wafting an endless torrent of magical nothing into a static object until a number stops increasing, or until you grow restless and wander off.

Eventually all my buildings would explode and my team would lose, at which point the game would most likely crash me back to desktop. It crashed me back to desktop after, I’d say, about 75% of the matches I played. It’s still in open beta, so I can forgive that. During the matches themselves, everything worked fine.

I think the issue with re-making, even with changes, a game from 2002, is that multiplayer shooter design has moved on a lot in those intervening years. We have a better sense now of how to shape player experience by providing them with distinct, defined classes, and balancing those classes so they interlock in interesting ways. We know more about how to make your moment-to-moment interactions with that world feel impactful and rewarding, by making movement fun or by quickly getting you into the action or by making really loud shotguns. We have plenty of examples of multiplayer games with systems which coalesce to create regular moments of drama and action and heroism.

Put it another way: Renegade-X might have control of the past, but I don’t think it commands the future. It’s Nod a good game. Even if it doesn’t quite deserve to be Kaned… ORCAstrated.

I’ll stop. Even if Yuri-eally would be better off playing Tribes: Ascend. Alright, that’s a Red Alert reference, that’s cheating.

Of course, you can always try Renegade-X for yourself for free and explain what I’m missing.

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52 Comments »

  1. Cloudiest Nights says:

    With all things its still in beta, and I sadly haven’t gotten the chance to play it yet. Hopefully the character classes can be tweaked to make each original. Something like TF2′s variety would be quite wonderful when paired with this overarching economy and base-based combat.

  2. Hezzy says:

    It seems as if they’ve just remade a copy of Renegade with some new maps on a new engine. All of the dynamics and classes are the same. Maybe some work can be done to improve those classes and bring them up to modern gameplay standards? It’d be cool if they beefed up the guns too!

    • Moraven says:

      I liked the advancements Natural Selection 2 made from its mod days. Even more so after they have continually patched and added more content. Just need more maps!

    • LionsPhil says:

      I sincerely hope not, since most attempts at making things “meaningful” seems to translate into “grindy”.

      • OfficerMeatbeef says:

        Yeah, the way the weapons work is absolutely essential to the entire design of the game. They’re all unique to each unit (besides the standard backup silenced pistol and a timed C4) in both design and utility, and you get “beefed up” weapons by spending the credits on the higher-level units.

    • Corb says:

      The game is “new” at the moment and most people are approaching it at a battlefield/NS2 mentality. You gotta play it like a C&C game, aka everyone mobs up, tank/infantry rushes, many will but you’ll gain a stronghold with what”s left of the mob. Those that die then have to hurry up to reinforce (hopefully in time) to overrun the base. So, yeah it’s C&C except you are one of the 1000′s of spawned riflemen meant to run to your death. =D

  3. CookPassBabtridge says:

    It would have been good to see an educational vido.
    And yes I do mean vido, as it is Absolutely the best word

  4. Davioware says:

    d-d-d-d-defend the refinery. BOINK.

  5. Pich says:

    but Tribes is ded

  6. Alphadrop says:

    Yea base class guns are a tiny bit incredibly crap, marksman rifle takes best part of a mag to kill someone, shotgun has low damage compared to it’s long reload and the assault rifle works fine as long as the enemy runs in a straight line.
    Found the flamethrower to be quite a good anti vehicle weapon in a pinch though, near useless against infantry as it requires pinpoint aiming and has no burn effect of note.
    A lot of vehicles have the same issue as well, not sure what the point of the light tank is when the cheaper apc does about the same dps with it’s machine gun.

    Saying that still having fun, once you get into the groove of it the game is quite enjoyable especially when teamplay is involved. Seeing engineers helicoptering in to place beacons and c4 and combined arms/vehicles defending a harvester were pretty fun experiences.

    • OfficerMeatbeef says:

      Well, yeah, the base classes are the freebies for early game and emergency stopgaps when you’re short on credits. They’re the fodder you play to weaken/slow down the higher tier stuff while you’re waiting for the creds to pull out that Raveshaw or Gunner to really start turning back the tide.

      DPS is not everything. The Light Tank’s cannon has more range than the APC, does splash damage, and is probably also more effective against Heavy armor as well.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Yeah, I’m pretty sure weapon/armour types and effectiveness from the RTS game translate across somewhat.

        • OfficerMeatbeef says:

          Indeed, I’m not sure if there’s different infantry armor types (well, Chem Throwers are immune to tiberium exposure and Flamethrowers are apparently stronger against explosives if it’s carried through from the original) but there is certainly a “Light” and “Heavy” armour designation for vehicles to limit the effectiveness of a weapon that would otherwise just shred it.

          Rather untuitively, the “Light Tank” actually does have “Heavy” class armor for just this purpose; it is simply Light compared to the Medium and Mammoth Tanks of the GDI.

      • Alphadrop says:

        Oh yea I agree with that, I quite like playing the basic mook types for the challenge of bringing down the one shot machine known as Havoc and his chums. My issue is the mook guns aren’t that good against mooks, lacking a certain heft and punch to them that would make them feel effective as a weapon and make the actual characters even more impressive by contrast.
        I suppose you have a point on the armour thing, though I’ve so far killed 2 (albeit very badly player piloted) mammoth tanks using an apc, a friendly engineer and a lot of time to kill though those are exceptions rather than the rule. :P

        • OfficerMeatbeef says:

          I think the lack of punch suits them well as being the low-rank disposable RTS units they essentially are and the general arcadey nature of the game, but that’s really a personal preference thing.

          I’m not sure I follow how making them beefier would make the better units “more impressive” though. There is a big, noticeable difference between one Ramjet shot/very short burst of Volt Gun electricity taking down someone versus several Marksman rounds/a good portion of a 100-round Soldier Assault Rifle mag, and it allows space for areas in between with the middle-tier stuff. Narrow that any more and you shut out all of that dynamic range, and you’re into the realm of modern “realistic” CoD-style shooters where sure you have single-shot bolt action rifles which kill in one hit, but everything else kills in only 2 or 3 more so every gun feels virtually identical.

          That’s fine for that specific design, but it just doesn’t suit the range of units here.

  7. OfficerMeatbeef says:

    It sounds like you might not have been using anything but the free base units? Judging from the statement that you sniped people and it took 4 or 5 shots to kill. Some of the biggest fun of the game is trying out all the very different weapon capabilities each unit has.

    It’s perhaps helpful to remember the game’s RTS roots here to get it. Essentially the units/characters are tiered based on credit cost, and generally higher tiered units have much more health and become more and more specialized for a specific combat role (anti-infantry, anti-vehicle, anti-building) while still having a bit of effectiveness outside that role. In other words, classes are defined based on their primary weapon, with higher-tier units getting stronger/more multi-use weapons.

    For example, the Marksman is your base free longer-range infantry, with a fairly weak scope and a 10 round mag semi-auto rifle that does decent damage (especially with a headshot) to infantry and can plink away light armor a bit too outside the range of the other base classes. Then there isn’t really a 1st-tier sniper role, 2nd-tier is Deadeye/Black Hand for 500 cred with a much harder hitting bolt-action rifle, more powerful zoomable scope and a 4 round mag that can kill pretty much anything in a headshot though other higher tiers will require 2 or 3 body shots. Does better damage against light armor too, and 200 base health.

    Finally, you have Havok/Sakura as the 1000 cred, 250-health top-tier sniper, with a Ramjet rifle that’s very similar to the tier 2 sniper except that it reloads a round at a time. Oh, and it can one-hit pretty much any infantry anywhere, though you might need a headshot for the other top-tier units with full armour. Plus it absolutely decimates light armour, though heavy is still a job for other classes.

    This is just the sniper units by the by, which are pretty similar tier-to-tier as the nature of the class. Most of the other different tier weapons are much more unique. Like Moebius/Mendoza, the third-tier infantry character with a “volt gun” that has somewhat short range but absolutely decimates anything but a building within that range. And turns infantry into skeletons.

    And below the top tiers, there are even units unique units between the two factions that have no direct analogue to one another, like the Nod Chemical Thrower (also the best because it turns guys into skeletons) or GDI’s McFarland, who has a straight up UT Flak Cannon. But better. I love the Flak Cannon.

    I’m having a lot of fun with this game and working on throwing a little video together to illustrate each class’s weapon so that people can see what their role is and why they’re fun to play.

    • rockman29 says:

      This post is already my best response. I don’t care if it’s not “as balanced as BF.” I really don’t care if it “doesn’t use today’s sensibilities.”

      Do we want all games to just be like every other game? Every game should follow a BF4 minimalist class system? Why can’t we have a credit system?

      Really could not care less. I want a fun and different feeling game. Renegade was that in the time.

      Natural Selection 2 is another game I am so, so very happy is not like other FPS MP games.

      Maybe there is some truth, or a lot of truth, that the game may benefit from some class system or additional work Renegade was always primitive, I can agree with the article author on that.

      But the other story is that it doesn’t need to be a game like all the other games. Some of us want to play Renegade, and some of us loved how Renegade played.

      I actually enjoyed that infantry were like cannon fodder almost, unless used very smartly, just as they were in the original RTS games.

      Renegade is not fun when it’s easy for an engineer to destroy the opponent’s base singlehandedly or in a small group just based on whatever. It’s fun because doing that is almost impossible and the achievement in doing so is legendary. Those are the sensibilities in FPS MP games we have lost outside of games like Natural Selection 2.

      Almost all current MP FPS games are hand-holders, everyone is a winner, everything is handed to you on a plate immediately. Not all of us want to play games like that! We want more Renegade, Rainbow Six Raven Shield, Swat 4, Natural Selection… Did I mention… more Renegade!?

      Anyway, I didn’t write this up well, but the point was that… I don’t want to play a game that’s simply more like whatever next game… I want to play the game that is Renegade and uses all the sensibilities of fun and hilarity and craziness that we got from the early 2000s!

      • LionsPhil says:

        There are one or two things they probably could have dared to change, like how buildings are never really destroyed, but just textured all broken. That seems a pretty evident limitation of Westwood’s naff 3D engine in the original, and while losing/changing the routes/cover/terminal accessibility would have some gameplay impact, I’m not sure it’d be a killer.

        Also the point system is still kind of odd. You can wipe out half the enemy base without losing your own and still lose if your team has been gifting the enemy points in the form of nuke/ion beacons which they successfully defuse.

      • Graham Smith says:

        I wouldn’t want Renegade to be more like other games. I say in the post more than once that I like the ideas at its core. I say that I like the credit system, even.

        It’s the execution – as another poster says, the way things are balanced and how they feel – that puts me off. Criticising Renegade-X is not the same thing as pushing for all games to be Battlefield 4.

        (I may be pushing for all games to be Tribes: Ascend though. That game is secret best game).

        • nopol10 says:

          I think the problem with you not gaining much enjoyment out of your time spent in the game could be due to the lack of coordination with other teammates. Right now the UI isn’t exactly chat friendly what with the text disappearing extremely quickly and also possibly because there is no ingame VOIP system (something that would be a debatable addition).
          I usually play with friends (in both Renegade & Renegade-X) and that way we can decide to do a rush with infantry or with tanks and group up to buy stuff and move out together. That usually works well and if it failed, it means that the enemy team could be better and we would have to think of another way to attack.
          In that sense you could say that the presence of teamplay really makes or breaks the fun for players.
          Some have said that introducing squads could force people to be more aware of a group’s actions and I would like to see that since new players thrown into the game without looking at some tutorial videos (or even if they did) would be somewhat lost.
          As for the character classes it seemed that you were using the free markman (which wasn’t present in original Renegade). There are other sniper classes like Deadeye (with a better sniper rifle) or Havoc/Sakura (with Renegade’s equivalent of the AWP).
          You are right in saying that most people will get bored of repairing a building/tank and that is something they could think about changing.
          I’d say that a game played with a good coordinated team is really satisfying and if you want to experience some Renegade-X in a team-playing environment I’ll be more than happy to welcome you (or anyone who has been disenchanted thus far) to play with us.

          • sukumei says:

            Nopol10 knows what he’s talking about. He’s an okay player but I kill him easily =P. You were doing a lot wrong OP and that comes from not knowing how the game works and not playing with at least 1 other person. Technician/Hotwire is the only class that can instantly kill a building because they’re the only class that has 2 TIMED C4. You place 2 on the Master Control Terminal and put on your remotes. When the timed blows up you detonate the remotes. No more building. As for getting killed along the way, you have to load out with a carbine/Flechette. This will give you a better chance if you have competent aiming skills.

            The game is about pulling off moves inbetween the monotone bullshit. It pretty much plays like a match of Starcraft. There are crucial timings for rushes and of course battlefield awareness. A classic opening is an engi APC rush when the first harvester dumps its load. NOD has some mean Stealth Tank and Flame Tank rushes but only if there isn’t a huge block of Mammoth Tanks in the way.

            If you really want to give it a go, you’ve just got to work at it.

  8. LionsPhil says:

    If you don’t get a thrill from being part of a GDI tank assault, I don’t know what to say to you.

    Or driving a Flame Tank. Because Flame Tank.

    • Alphadrop says:

      I loves me that Flame tank, seems to be sidelined by a lot of players despite being the premier Nod bunker buster. Park it in front of a barracks and burn baby burn

  9. BobbyFizz says:

    Had a good time playing this last night, but I couldn’t help hankering for a game of that HL2 mod that was essentially the same game. Now that had some brilliant gameplay. Anyone remember what it was called?

    • hunsnotdead says:

      Empires
      It was actually better with teching, base building, different maps and gamemodes, in-game VOIP, leadership role, Steam integration, and Headshotmaster. ^^

  10. killmachine says:

    well, they have a lot of potential there, a good baseline. but some things really have to be done or this game will just disappear.

    - balance: it seemed to me that there are some inconsistencies with damage output and player health. like, some weapons need multiple clips to kill an enemy and a sniper rifle seems to kill in one headshot. this is bad but it’s relatively easy to fix.

    - oomph factor: everything, from weapon effects/feel, vehicle weapons/effects needs to get a sense of more POWER. guns not only feel weak because it takes so long to kill other players but because effects, both visual and acoustic, as well as animations, screenshake and recoil. all these aspects need to get improved.

    there are also some technical issues. the air vehicles wobble strangely while flying. but that’s maybe the only weird thing that i noticed. poor player animations i can excuse because i know that this is just a fan project.

    • OfficerMeatbeef says:

      Again, some weapons need multiple clips to kill an enemy because they are free-to-spawn weapons. A proper sniper rifle kills in one headshot because spawning a class that has that costs you minimum 500 credits, or almost the cost of a Light Tank. If you die, that unit, its weapon, and most importantly those 500 credits you spent on him are GONE.

      The balance system here is simple: more expensive units are simply better at their defined roles. At the same time, even the highest tier units have exploitable weaknesses (can’t hurt Heavy Armor, poor accuracy and rate of fire against infantry, hurts everything but with very short range) that you can defeat with either appropriate credit cost counter units, or simply overwhelm with free base-level units.

  11. LionsPhil says:

    All said, I’m getting real tired of the frequent lock-ups. Not even something I can usefully report as a bug. “Your game locks up quite a lot”. Hope they fix that soon.

    And every time I have to restart it, I have to sit through that little unskippable splash video.

    If anyone here’s already done the forum sign-up dance, though, and somehow this hasn’t been reported yet: dying while in the loadout purchase screen locks you with a broken camera, unable to spawn. Also seems to affect end-of-round.

    • OfficerMeatbeef says:

      Hottest tip of the game: if you go into your RenegadeX/UDKGame/Movies folder and delete/move/rename the two .bik files (The ones not titled “Default”) you get to skip those vids.

  12. Davioware says:

    This game brings me back. The feeling of the original was kept so perfectly in tact, but the gameplay was improved ever so slightly with minor tweaks to gunplay and equipment. I’m really impressed by the graphics as well, great job art team. This a near perfect recreation of the original game, and you aren’t supposed to be doing heavy damage as a base class. I found the machine guns to be very satisfying tbh, they didn’t go overboard with useless recoil effects and screen shake, and it allows you to play the game like you did in the original: drilling round after round of weak fire, with precise aim, on a target with moderate amounts of hp. This is not COD. Don’t aim down your sights then expect to kill someone in a few hits. This is a hp based shooter/rts hybrid. If you were a fan of the original renegade, you will love this game. If you think it’s another COD/BF; it’s not. Fights are longer, and there’s strategy involved. This is NOT a twitch shooter. For what it’s supposed to be, a remake of the original renegade, I think the execution is amazing. If only more games were remade in this true to the original fashion. Conker’s BFD multiplayer remade faithfully like this? I’d buy it at a high price.

  13. David Bliff says:

    I think it’s reasonably fun, but at this point it seems very mindless or at least low-tension. It’s more Unreal Tournament 2004 than Battlefield. To me it highlights how, despite the complaints we lob at BF3 and BF4 of being samey or generic modern military shooters, DICE have certainly found a great formula balancing quick death with lots of cover to scurry between.

    Renegade X is fun but the maps take some getting used to because they’re fairly small and symmetrical. Anti-tank infantry don’t get to sneak up behind the awkward lumbering tank to take it out – they have to stick with a group of teammates to gradually wear one down.

    • unkind says:

      What’s wrong with low tension shooters? You realize there hasnt been a decent low tension shooter since 2k4 or maybe tf2 too then? lol

      • David Bliff says:

        I didn’t say there was anything wrong with it. It’s just different from what we’ve been seeing recently.

  14. HumpX says:

    …and yet the game is still highly entertaining.

    It seems like the author is criticizing RenX for not having modern game sensibilities. Much like Elvis Presley is to modern music…you need to take the game in the context of its heyday. At release, Battlefield 1942 had yet to see the light of day, so combined arms multiplayer was such a novelty that that aspect of the game was more than reason enough to heap praise on an otherwise forgettable title.

    Totem Arts have already started including little bits here and there that were not present in the original. My guess would be that they will probably continue to improve RenX to bring it up to modern gameplay standards. For the time being, theyve gotten off to a solid start (IMO). Give it a little time.

    EDIT: It seems,. as an earlier post suggested, that the author hasn’t discovered the “Characters” menu with the large amount of more powerful weapons. There are 3 levels of sniper rifle in the game. The highest level is essentially a one-shot-kill deal. It costs $1000. Try it

  15. Lemming says:

    The economy/base attack sounds exactly like Tribes, yet most of this article is dedicated to explaining it like it’s a brand new concept. Weird.

    However, it doesn’t seem to have the pace of Tribes. Why it would be wrong to speed things up and have people take only 1-2 shots with a sniper rifle, or have the engineer do more crippling damage to a building I couldn’t say.

    • LionsPhil says:

      In Renegade, once a building is gone, it’s gone. It’s out, it’s not coming back, none of the bases have a Construction Yard*. And that’s a big deal, because it will lock out advanced infantry classes, or vehicles, or the major source of income, etc. IIRC in Tribes, buildings were both always repairable and not so essential.

      So it needs to take some fairly significant doing to destroy one. It can be a sudden one-man job for a technician, a $350 role, which is half a harvester-load of income, but that requires them to get there and not be stopped. You can of course do it the brute force way with tanks too, but damage-over-time can be countered with engineers on the inside repairing it unless the enemy team is asleep at the wheel. Balancing repairing and fighting back is part of the emergent team strategy there.

      (* A Path Beyond had one, and it autorepaired buildings slowly. I don’t know/can’t remember if that was in original Renegade and they just haven’t added it to X yet, or even if I’ve just yet to see a map with one. Early days. But it still never rebuilt stuff in APB.)

  16. Bobtree says:

    I’m having a great time with Renegade X, despite some bugs and crashes. Not having played the original, its design and play has rather surprised me, but I appreciate that it’s not a Battlefield clone.

    Three hours is really not enough time to learn what’s going on in this game. You don’t need to start as engineer when there’s nothing that needs repairing at the start of a match. Go blow up the enemy Harvester instead. Then you can support a vehicle push or repair something or plant mines to defend your base.

    There are several known bugs messing with the balance and playability at the moment, but it’s definitely worth a spin, and a few patches will do it wonders.

    • Lemming says:

      “Three hours is really not enough time to learn what’s going on in this game. “

      Oh come on. 3 hours is more than enough to get to grips with a multiplayer shooter.

      • Bobtree says:

        You just admitted to not having played it, and the footage and descriptions really are deceptive.

        This game has kept a dedicated playerbase going for 10 years. There’s a long learning curve.

        • Lemming says:

          it’s got an almost identical set up to Tribes: Ascend, and I figured out all there was to know about that in 10 minutes. A guy can get a lot of research done in the 3-hour gaps between his comments, you know.

  17. Uncompetative says:

    Any attempt to make a hybrid RTSFPS should recognise the unrealistic pace at which raw materials are mined and processed so that buildings and units may be swiftly constructed. Just-In-Time delivery of military hardware barely even works in actual militaries around the world, leading to undesirable shortfalls of body-armor for those deployed to the field, so I would advocate having all mining and construction happen happen in uncontested regions of high security situated deep within a player’s territory well away from the frontlines, so that those in the FPS aspect of the game just destroyed stuff and each other on the way to securing objectives that redrew the territorial map – shrinking or expanding the safe zones within which the RTS player could gather resources, (re-)build and recruit and make their strategic choices for the next collection of desirable objectives for the next multiplayer matches to fight over.

    As a result there would be no Engineer restoring equipment, vehicles and buildings with a “magic raygun” within the FPS and it would probably be better if the RTS commander was a bunch of scripts collectively agreed upon to act for a particular clan rather than an actual player who was required to be available for a couple of minutes between each match to decide on the locations the next set of matches would take place and set up their supply lines 24/7.

    Indeed, the difficulties of doing this well prompt me to think this fusion may be better suited to cooperative play, or a single-player mode in which time can be paused for the only person particiipating in the experience, so a dynamic change of scope can occur where they zoom out of the head of their individual soldier to see the entire battlefield from the perspective of a drone, or an orbiting spy satellite.

    • HumpX says:

      Im having a difficult time telling whether you are being glib or are serious.

      Ren is just a fast paced, fun, MP game….No need to overthink it. There are more than enough more realistic tactical shooters already.

  18. newprince says:

    I think you need to look to the RTS to get context. The solider/minigunner from C&C is pisspoor, and in RenegadeX, guess what?

    The advanced characters are extremely powerful, but to maintain access to them, you need to defend your structures and have a competent Engineer/Technician squad.

    There’s not one mention in the article about the advanced solider classes, so I’m guessing a major part of the game was missed.

  19. OfficerMeatbeef says:

    So I think this game is neat enough, I actually followed through and made a video guide to the GDI infantry units. (1080p might still be processing) It was actually fun to get some video editing done again, and I honestly think it came out pretty well! I do believe people will be more likely to find out how much fun it can be if they get to see how all the cool infantry weapons work.

    Hopefully people enjoy it, and I can get vids for Nod/Vehicles/Special Weapons going soon.

  20. hideinlight says:

    Problem with these remakes is they simply lack innovation, and there’s normally to many “fans” stopping any attempt at it.

    For instance the engineer. Instead of standing for a long time there pointing a gun at a structure healing it for x-hp per second; You could make the building auto heal, and let that auto heal amount be determined by the gun.

    For instance, lets say it takes 20 seconds to heal a structure currently, you’d only have to point at it for 5 seconds, then the auto heal kicks in which takes an additional 30 secs (15×2). Of course if you continued healing it, it would of still taken 20 seconds.

    This way you give an additional choice to the player, in which they can do something else more “meaningful”.

    • OfficerMeatbeef says:

      An interesting idea, but the whole point of needing to stand there repairing structures is that an engineer doing so is doing their job and is tied down to it, and thus unable to otherwise directly repel the attack. There is already a mechanic for repairing more effectively: repairing the Master Control Terminal directly.

      Further, I think you may be misunderstanding how fast repairs happen in this game. The speed of repairing a structure is already such that a lone Tech/Engineer can bring a building back from 1% to 100% in around 20 seconds. More superficial damage is topped off by even a base Engineer in just a few seconds. There IS no non-”meaningful” repairing, unless you’re absolutely outclassed and doomed already, because if that building DOES get destroyed, it is gone for the match forever.

      Basically, I can’t see a situation in which such auto-healing would be useful, because you either have all hands on deck because the building is getting pounded and you need to mitigate the damage while your teammates organize the counterattack, or it’s taking a little stray fire you can easily heal up in a second or two anyway.

  21. jutetrea says:

    This is a fun fun game. Very faithful to the original, but slightly better.

    Lots of newbies though. I can see how its a bit overwhelming, and the biggest issue is probably communication – messages cruise way to fast to be noticed. In a game about coordination, it makes it very difficult to start a rush of any kind.

    On the other hand… its somewhat easy to nuke a building if no one is willing to do base defense.

    Other than communication – with a bunch of people that aren’t familiar with the game, its easy for the game to snowball. No more tanks, but I LIKED tanks… and then nothing happens till the eventual defeat. Once people figure it out a bit they’ll be able to organize the hottie rush or sbh rushes that can still win a no vehicle game.