Mean, lean eating machine, Phil South took to the streets to beat his way through Imagine's Renegade.
Are you a rebel without a cause? Well, here's one that'll keep you on a knife edge for months to come. Imagine's Renegade is a new breed of game, a type of gutsy, streetfighting action movie set in the gangland ghettoes in which you play the starring role - a tough martial arts expert called Renegade. Based on the chart topping coin-op by Taito, its pure violence in graphic detail is a must for all closet reprobates.
The action takes place in bazzy Brooklyn, where else?, where our hero has to meet his girlfriend, Juicy Lucy, in the seediest part of town. As he steps out of the local subway station, he soon realises what a plonker he is to venture onto this turf. Greasy gangs of vigilantes have control of the neighbourhood, and armed thugs roam around, killing, maiming, butchering, pressing wild flowers and dribbling bits of probation officer all over the shop. Fortunately, Renegade isn't over-bothered about these baddies, 'cos he's a black belt in jitsu, karate, and just about every make of Japanese motorcycle ever made.
So he can bop his way through them, a kick in the teeth here, a knee to he wedding tackle there. If someone grabs him from behind he butts 'em in the gob, if they race motorbikes at him he does a flying kick, knocking them to the ground in a pool of their own ribena.
You, as the Renegade, must first fight off the gang who inhabit the subway station, then the motorcycle maniacs who hang out at the nearby docks, then a few of the working girls down a dark alley, to enable you to get to the street where Lucy lives. And if you think that sounds heavy, you've then got to carve up the gang chief who's holding Lucy captive in her house and this mean dude's armed with a gun! What's more he's posted four of his goons outside armed with razors!
The controls in Renegade are simple to handle, with up, down, left and right moving you around the screen and the same keys in combination with the fire button activating your various kicks, chops, butts and punches. One of the best bits about the game is it's so easy to play. Once you've got the hang of the few simple moves, you can wade into a crowd of thugs and come out smiling. A really skillful Renegade can negotiate the first five levels without any weirdos laying a glove on him! The graphics are so slick you really feel you're part of an action movie rather than just playing a game. Renegade is a must! Be a rebel with a cause and go out and buy it right now! It's hot, it's dangerous and it's yours for the beating!
We may now have seen every conceivable permutation of the Renegade legend (Renegade 12: Chelsea v Millwall is in preparation, I understand) but the original remains highly playable and a bit of a laff basically. You are the usual tough-on-the-streets superhero, and you re on your way to meet your luscious young lovely/noxious boiler (delete as appropriate) of a girlfriend. Only problem - thugs, yobs, villains, and men with large scars and chainsaws stand in your way. To fight them, or to run? Well, I know what to do, but this is a computer game, so you fight them. Control is simple and effective, you are always given a chance (which probably has more to do with the game's initial success than anything else) and the graphics are excellent. Anyone who's played the later games may find it a little easy, but everyone else will have a ball. Another excellent release from Ocean's Hit Squad label.
Designer violence on yer Speccy. Punch, flying-kick and knee your way through five villain-packed levels. People have complained it's too easy, but it's a splendid way to pass an afternoon without bothering your brain. If only it had a two-player option, he mused impishly.
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