Just Cause dev announces Renegade Ops

Avalanche talks exclusively to Eurogamer.

Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios has signed a publishing deal with SEGA for a new digital download PC, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade game called Renegade Ops.

The twin-stick "vehicle shooter" is built using the Just Cause 2 game engine, Avalanche Engine 2.0, but shifts the camera to an arcade style top-down perspective.

It features single-player, two-player local multiplayer with split-screen, and online multiplayer for up to four-players. Avalanche calls the experience "competitive co-op" – you play together but you still compete with each other for the highest score.

Speaking exclusively to Eurogamer, senior producer Andreas Thorsén said Avalanche began work on the game as it wrapped up work on the Square Enix-published Just Cause 2 last year, and took inspiration from the way Epic updated old school Metroid mechanics with modern visuals for superb XBLA-exclusive hit Shadow Complex.

"We were finishing up Just Cause 2 and playing around with the engine and we thought, what would happen if we moved the camera up a bit to a top-down perspective?" Thorsén said.

"We tried that and realised, wow, this is going to be an awesome game we want to play ourselves. We started creating a concept around that and at the same time we found out SEGA wanted to do something similar. So we did this.

"A lot of inspiration came from looking at Shadow Complex and what they did to the Super Metroid mechanics. We wanted to do something similar, using old school mechanics created with the looks of today."

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The newly announced Renegade Ops' logo.

Avalanche wouldn't say much about the game's campaign. Players assume the role of characters in a mobile commando unit sent behind enemy lines to defeat terrorist madman Inferno. You play across various environments one of a number of characters in different vehicles, each with their own weapons, such as electro magnetic shock waves and Gatling guns. There are upgrades and power-ups, too.

"I would say it will be quite a big campaign," Thorsén teased. "It will take some to complete it, but I don't want to mention an exact figure at the moment. We're still tweaking it."

There is "lots" of replayability, however, tied into points scoring.

Avalanche also refused to divulge gameplay mechanic details, but said Renegade Ops takes its cues in this regard from Konami's 1983 cult classic Jackal, and 1993 hits Cannon Fodder and Jungle Strike.

Renegade Ops is due out in the autumn, with pricing yet to be announced. A trailer is expected to launch in the next couple of weeks.

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