After playing the recent multiplayer beta of ĎCommand & Conquer: Renegadeí from Westwood Studios, I can say that itís a brand new kind of funk. Weíre all used to multiplayer first person shooters by now, and Renegade promises to be the next evolutionary step in the online gaming revolution. The simple concept behind Renegade is to take the RTS (Real Time Strategy) Command & Conquer world that weíve all played in and put the player ON the map in a first person environment.
This is the first game that Iím aware of to successfully take a RTS game and transform it into a first person shooter, which is pretty evolutionary AND revolutionary! The best part is that I felt right at home playing since I was already familiar with most of the troop and vehicle types which are the same as in the previous Command & Conquer games. The install program has to get a mention as it was super clean and had a slow paced techno track with some deep bass to set the mood. I was getting fidgety to play just watching the installer (youíll see what I mean when you get it).
If youíve played any of the Command & Conquer games, then youíve probably already guessed that the overall goal is to destroy the enemy base while defending your base. The online ranking system automatically keeps track of your character stats such as kills and points so you can see how well you match up against your enemies and teammates. One of my favorite Command & Conquer strategies in the RTS games is to take out the enemy harvesters to stop their cash flow. Youíll find yourself doing the same thing in Renegade but in first person! Remember not to go running through the tiberium fields as they will cause some serious health damage to you if youíre a soldier.
The game looks and plays great so far in its final testing stages. As fans would expect, youíll be playing on one of two teams, either the good guys, GDI, or the bad guys, NOD. All of the vehicles and troop types are available and at your disposal. You wonít be playing as just a soldier, but thatís what you start out as initially. After your team has harvested enough tiberium (Tiberium is the currency of the Command & Conquer world) youíll be able to go to a purchase terminal on your base to pick up new gear. Of course you will need to make sure your base is intact. For instance, if your weapons factory is destroyed you wonít be able to purchase any of the units it produces until it is rebuilt.
The amount of troop types and vehicles is very impressive and you can even purchase weapons of mass destruction like ion cannons and nuclear missile beacons. Itís certainly sweet to see a nuclear missile strike the enemy base. In the first person view you can see the missile coming out of the sky and the massive explosion is just what you would expect. Youíll also find it challenging to get past automated base defenses such as the NOD laser obelisks, which can fry you in a second! Even harder sometimes is an enemy player who is an expert sniper.
Troop types vary from snipers, engineers, to grenadiers, and more. As fun as being a soldier can be, piloting the vehicles is just as much fun. Look forward to being the driver, gunner, or both for vehicles such as the mammoth tank, armored personnel carriers, flame tank, stealth tank, and all the rest.
Renegade is highly anticipated and looks like one hell of a kick ass hit. Itís scheduled to ship on February 26th, but in the meantime check out our screenshots and drool.
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