Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Want to shoot at something for twenty minutes and blow up a building while driving a truck and then throw your gamepad away and forget it ever happened? Here’s Renegade Ops.
In Renegade Ops you drive a little vehicle. It could be a Humvee, it could be a dune buggy. It will have a gun. Shoot the bad things, blow them up. Get that power up. Explode. Start again. It’s about as classical and arcadey as a shmup can get, with Micro Machines style driving, limited lives and special powers, including, for some reason, the ability to summon ant-lions as Half-Life’s Gordon Freeman. It has also got some nice dust.
It’s reminiscent of those old SNES games, Jungle Strike and Desert Strike. Simple muckabouts consisting of moving, shooting and having a bit of a militaristic jolly. Here, that tone is indulged in over-the-top comic book style, which does the game a lot of favours. If it had tried to include even one ounce of seriousness, you would throw it down the nearest manhole. As such, it resists that, resulting in a steadfast, decent, reliable action game where you know exactly what you’re getting. A few hours later, you’ll forget all about it. But that’s fine, you had a good time.