“Apocalypse Now” is not just the online alias of some
spotty 12 year-old, but also the title of one of the finest Vietnam films ever
made. It was immortalised by a scene where an armada of Huey gunships launch an
assault on a small beachhead, to the sound “The Ride of the Valkaries”. A
fan of classical music I'm not, but this scene was something special. Alas,
after much waiting, this epic scene can be reproduced on computer; and it's
the patch for renegade that makes it possible. Surely the delight of attacking
an enemy base complete with infantry drop-offs is worth a 17.2 MB download?
Westwood hope you believe so; but they've left us at CNC Series to tell you
The GDI Transport - One of the new flying vehicles.
No matter the amount of bug-fixes, server-side alterations, mod-features and
general programming mumbo-jumbo Westwood threw into the Readme, everyone is
talking about the patch for 1 reason: Flying Vehicles.
But first, a brief run down on the size of the patch itself: at 17.2MB, us lucky broadband users can breeze through this while task
switching to more important duties, like downloading porn. But, for those of you
stuck in the company of trusty Mr. 56k; a wait of just under 2 hours praying
your connection doesn't pop is in store. Alternatively, you could just wait
for the patch to appear in some of next month's computing magazines, PC
Gamer's DVD edition usually runs such patches; and while £6 is a touch steep
for a mere patch, you have my guarantee that it's the best mag in town.
Estimated download speeds are listed below:
ADSL / Cable
Speed T1 / T3
and you'll miss it
56k Download - Can you feel the pain?
After you've got the usual “Download Complete” mince, run the executable
and observe as the Orca flies onto your hard disk. Westwood have come under fire
from angry fans after a hacker (ie. Sad bastard with no life) set up a dummy
download site which uploaded your serial when you attempted to run the fake
patch. To this end, ensure you only download from the Westwood FTP servers or
from a proper magazine cover disk. Promises of “brilliant download
speeds” from remote servers are all very well: But the cost of this could be
your serial: Be smart, and avoid the pirates.
But, that's enough messing around, you just want to
hear whether or not the patch is worth the download: And since A; You'll need
it to play online and B; It has flying vehicles. From the very beginning, it's
a very resounding and emphatic: YES.
The Buy Screen - Complete With The Much Awaited Flying Vehicles
The aerial firepower is only available in two of the
multiplayer maps, yet, in my view, this has proved to be a good thing; it means
that if you don't want, you don't have to use the flying units. The loss
however, will be yours.
A whole new generation of tactics and strategies have
been spawned from this patch: while the Orca does give a nice and deadly touch,
it is the addition of the Transport helicopter that makes the difference. A
flight of these, loaded with engineers and landing in the middle of your base
can present a severe pain to the virtual genitals. This also leads to a whole
new dimension of teamwork; something that is minimal in many of the ladder based
It's Orca time!
Balancing is still maintained however: The GDI “Orca”
is balanced out by the NOD Apache, while both sides get the use of the Transport
helicopter. This means a Yuri's Revenge scale balancing fiasco is avoided.
The actual updates that the patch makes are the usual
bunch of after-thoughts and server tweaks which don't make a particularly
noticeable difference to the game. In conclusion however, it isn't the fixes
that make the patch a must, but instead, as we expected, the Flying Vehicles.