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Renegade Ops: 'We've tried to make it feel like a blockbuster movie'

Pt 1: Avalanche readies its triple-A drop on the digital market

With its frantic, top-down vehicular combat, Renegade Ops looks set to hit the spot for Retro arcaders with fond memories of the likes of Jungle Strike and Desert Strike.

It's simple entertainment injected directly into the pleasure sensors but that doesn't make it a case of all fun and no frills. In fact, when you see Renegade Ops in action you realise it's very frilly indeed.

The fact that Avalanche has basically taken Just Cause 2 and stuck the camera in the sky means that, for a £9.99 download game, Renegade Ops is an absolute beauty.

It's a reminder of the progress developers are making with technology, how big budgets aren't always best and how digital download as a platform is growing more and more important.

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So important in fact, that we sat down with Avalanche game director Axel Lindberg to ask him about all of the above and more.

You must be coming pretty near to the close with the release coming in September...

Well, right now we're just trying to fix all the bugs and all the kinks and polish up the last things in the game. I think it's really nice to just be able to play through the entire game now, you know, all these bugs are getting worked out and it's really nice to get a feel for the whole flow of the game. It feels like we've got a nice pacing and good variation when playing through it as a whole.

The big thing about the game and the message that seems to be out there is that the game is a triple-A experience on a digital download platform at a snip of the price. For anyone who isn't familiar with the game, what kind of aspects of it would you make it a triple-A experience?

I think the first thing that people will notice is the visuals. It is a top down game which in itself makes it look a bit cuter and a bit smaller, but in reality, it's high end technology that we're using and there's a lot of details in there. We're using all the kinds of systems that we use for triple-A projects as well, so I think that's one of the first things you'll notice.

But also, we've tried as much as possible to make the game feel like a blockbuster movie. We take the story very lightly and we hope that people will feel a sense of nostalgia about those old cartoon shows that we used to watch like GI Joe that's very over the top and cheesy.

But at the same time, the way that we do the narrative, and we've put quite a bit of energy into that, and having the voice actors and everything, still makes the game seem like a triple-A blockbuster movie compared to what a normal downloadable game would be like.

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What kind of other downloadable titles already out there would you consider yourself mixing with? Which other download titles out there have the triple-A experience in your opinion?

Well, it's an old classic but Shadow Complex is an extremely good game and has very good gameplay and it still has the very top high-tech, top end visuals. So I think that Shadow Complex has been somewhat of a guideline and inspiration to us doing this project in where our goals were, so that's just the one that pops into my head.

Do you have different objectives when designing something like this compared to something like Just Cause, for example?

Yeah. We think very much about being effective and we need to be effective in catching people's attention. Once people sit down to try the game, we need to allow players to jump very quickly into the action and get a taste for what it's all about.

Some of those decisions that relate to that are things like, making sure the controls are very simple in the beginning and just having a very approachable design visual in terms of HUD and we've actually made a lot of effort to make it look extra cute too because that helps players to quickly latch onto it.

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