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Splat Magazine's Renegade Paintball

Score: 79%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Global Star Software
Developer: Cat Daddy Games
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2 (Xbox Live / System Link - 2 - 14)
Genre: Action/ First Person Shooter/ Sports

Graphics & Sound:

Graphically, Splat Magazine's Renegade Paintball is sub-par compared to higher-budget, first person shooters for the Xbox console. While the environmental elements donít look all that bad for the most part, there is A LOT of popping when objects come into the display. Characters are very basic in design as well, even though based on realistic people. Itís a great start, and if thereís a game next year, it will certainly be better.

The audio present in Global Starís Renegade Paintball is also mediocre. I find that while itís true you have your standard in-game sound effects that sound as good as any, you also have music that gets highly annoying after only a short time. The constant electric guitar and drum beats gets tiring, with the same tracks playing over and over again. Thankfully, you can turn down the volume. Voiceovers are okay, but very basic and to the point.


Gameplay:

Splat Magazine's Renegade Paintball offers a fair number of game modes, with 8 different ways to play. All of your standard first-person shooter modes are present, but this time youíre not killing your opponent, only knocking them out of the game by spattering them full of red and blue paint. Who says you have to have a violent video game to be generally fun?

The physics of Renegade Paintball are actually pretty good. Youíll have to lob the little balls of paint toward your targets as you shoot from further and further away. I also love how you can go into a full sprint by lowering your weapon, then transition into a crawl by sliding across the ground. Using your environment as a shield is the key to your success, and this nifty little move helps you utilize all of your assets. Youíll also be able to crouch and quickly pop up from behind obstacles to try and take out the other team.

In single-player mode, youíll take your team through multiple challenges. These challenges consist of many game modes, and your computer-controlled players are typically pretty even with the opponentís teammatesí abilities, making these challenges fun instead of annoying. Itís not to say that I sometimes didnít feel like I was cheated though, or that the enemy AI wasnít very good. At first, it is quite refreshing to play a shooter that doesnít have blood and guts all over the place. The problem is that you can only get so excited about playing a paintball game. While itís a great concept, the gameplay ended up being a bit on the boring side after a while, depending on the type of game you are playing. In some game types, when you get shot and knocked out of the competition, you will actually transport your inner being into a new character on your team, and continue the competition until all teammates get shot. Other game times have you re-spawn as expected.

On the positive side, Renegade Paintball offers system link and Xbox Live support. In fact, you can even create your own paintball arenas for use both online and offline. Just be careful, as you have to first be signed in to Xbox Live if you want to use your edited area with your buddies over the Internet. This multiplayer support is what saves Renegade Paintball from a relatively boring single player experience.


Difficulty:

Enemy AI varies in its attempt to take you out of the competition. In some cases, youíll easily be able to dispatch them, while in other cases, you may notice that they single you out. At this point, you can clearly see that they all aim for you instead of a teammate who may be an easier target. Thankfully, the controls for Splat Magazine's Renegade Paintball are set up nicely, and youíre able to use these controls to your advantage by jumping, ducking, and crawling into the winnerís circle.

Game Mechanics:

Splat Magazine's Renegade Paintballís game controls work very well. All of the necessary buttons are easy to use and very accessible. You can even transition between different prone positions (standing, kneeling, crawling) quickly, allowing you to be more mobile than some other games in the genre. You will have to be careful, though, as crawling may lower you as a target, but you wonít move fast at all. The camera swings nicely and doesnít hinder the fast-paced action.

If youíre into real-life paintball, then Splat Magazine's Renegade Paintball is probably a game youíd like to check out. If you own a PC, you can actually pick this one up for ten dollars cheaper. But at only $30, fans of the sport may want to check this one out on the Xbox as well. If youíre not into playing paintball on your weekends or after work, you may want to rent this one first. Thereís not a lot of game variety, but with the online modes and stadium editor, the replay value of Renegade Paintball actually improves a lot.


-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

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