Reviewed on PC

COMMAND AND CONQUER: RENEGADE

Reviewed By: Tim Emmerich, Shepherd's Staff
STAFF REVIEWER
GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: Electronic Arts
Price Range: $31-40
Age level: Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: Teen
Patches / Upgrades: at website
System Requirements: PII, 450 MHz +, Windows 95, 98, 2000, or Me, 64 MB RAM, 500 MB hard disk space

Genre: First-Person Shooter (FPS)
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 4 of 5
   (good)
Violence: 2 of 5
   (heavy)
Adult Content: 4 of 5
   (barely present)

Box art for 'Command and Conquer: Renegade'
Rated 'Unacceptable' by Shepherd Staff Shepherd's Staff rates "Command & Conquer: Renegade" as unacceptable.
"Command & Conquer Renegade" is definitely violent! From shooting people to blowing up buildings, you can definitely do a lot of damage. Fighting the experiments of mad scientists may turn your stomach. You play the role of Nick Havoc, and he does his fair share of dying as well. So a reminder to “Save Often” shouldn't go unheeded.

“Renegade” is Westwood's foray of their "Command & Conquer" franchise into the first person realm. Everything looks different up close and personal. In general, it appears to be a success. The single player game is fun but the multiplayer is addicting. Actually being able to enter buildings and vehicles is a different experience from their original series where you are just a global commander. The multiplayer game somewhat accurately translates from the old Real-Time Strategy version although not all of the original units are available.

As Nick Havoc, you must help the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) in their battle against the Brotherhood of Nod forces, a terrorist faction fighting for world dominance. Being the tough commando, you always get the nearly impossible assignments. Your reward for completing them is job satisfaction, a short movie to further the storyline, and then an even more difficult assignment.

Gameplay

Screenshot from 'Command & Conquer: Renegade'
In single player, there are missions, missions and more missions. It would seem your player has no time to sleep! There is a good variety from rescue missions, “disable this building” missions to “escape out of prison” missions. The artificial intelligence could've been better. There seemed to only be a few units that would try to dodge your shots. In reality, the single player is anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of gameplay depending on how fast you want to go (you can take your time and explore everywhere).

The single player offers a look at GDI's ships and even a Nod submarine (which you stowaway on). Also, battling it out on a large cruiser is interesting. You get constant updates and mission information from your communication unit. In general, Westwood has enough elements to make the single player, story/mission-driven game interesting and enjoyable.

Multiplayer Mayhem
You may want to avoid multiplayer as it can be quite addictive! It is nicely balanced with many ways to win the match. You can destroy the enemy's base, successfully place a beacon on one of the platforms in certain buildings, or win by number of points when time runs out. The strategies can be complex as there advantages and disadvantages to both sides. You can alter the enemy's economics by taking out their tiberium harvester (or better yet, destroy their refinery). Or you can focus on your enemy and their vehicles to earn points.

You can pick any character although more powerful characters cost more in credits. Each character is unique with a different weapon or ability. Credits are earned by just playing and destroying your enemy. Everyone on your side gets an extra boost when the tiberium harvester comes in.

The recent 1.03 patch introduces air vehicles. Both sides can choose a transport helicopter or an attack copter (well, VTOL Orca Fighter Crafter where VTOL stands for Vertical Take Off and Land). Perhaps better maps will make having the air vehicles more fun, for now they are an acceptable addition.

Controls
For people familiar with first person shooters, the mouse controlling direction and firing while keyboard controls your movements will be natural. You can switch between weapons by pressing the appropriate number on the keyboard for that weapon. A scroll wheel on your mouse is used to cycle through the available weapons or zoom in/out with the sniper scope.

Design

Screenshot from 'Command & Conquer: Renegade'
Some neat effects with water and waterfalls. Plus lighting is unique although many lights apparently used a ultra-bright tungsten bulb! The weather effects were believably done … nice rain, snow and ash fallout! Good wind sound effects although they seem off in certain locations.

The level design is interesting and represents many different areas. In some areas, you can use stealth and others you feel a bit overexposed.

Deficiencies
The save game process is too slow. Even with the “quick” save, the only thing quick about it is you bypass the save game screen where you give the file a name … it still takes too long. Correspondingly, the start of a new mission takes too long to load.

A C4 explosive tossed on a moving shaft stays stationary while the shaft continues to rotate.

A glass ceiling had some weapons and armor that were desired. So, just shoot out the glass and the items would fall, right? Well, the glass fell, but the items defied gravity! Later on top of the roof with the gravity-defying weapons, if you try to get them you fall through the open roof!

Westwood did a nice effect where your bullets or other weapons damage the items or walls they hit. However, they are self-healing … come back and all that damage is repaired! Or just sit and watch as they heal.

You'll notice the cutscenes do not have live actors like the regular "C&C" games do. The 3-D animated characters are just like those in the game. So good for consistency but the animation didn't look that great. Plus, lip synching was off many times.

Where can players and parents object?
Violence. In order to win this game, you do a lot of shooting and blowing things up. Don't want to be exposed to that, don't buy this game.

Poor jokes. Some may enjoy them, others may think they could have been left out.

Sexual innuendoes … turns out you and Sakura (a major character on the “bad” side) used to be an item.

The scientists are playing “god”. Integrating humans with the deadly tiberium, they are trying to make superior troops.

Summary
Use discernment before playing this violent title. For mature players, be sure to sample the multiplayer version. Use caution, you can quickly get become absorbed into the multiplayer version!

Year of Release—2002



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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

Review supplied by Christian Spotlight Guide2Games, a ministry of Films for Christ. Copyright © Films for Christ. Spotlight's URL: http://ChristianSpotlight.com E-mail usMailing address: PO Box 1167, Marysville WA 98270-1167, USA • “Christian Spotlight’s Guide to Games” and “Guide2Games” are service marks of Films for Christ.

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