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» Renegade Patch Prognosis


“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 truth.



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:

56k Modem

1 Hour, 40 Minutes

128 k ISDN

35 Minutes

512k ADSL / Cable

6 Minutes

High Speed T1 / T3

Blink and you'll miss it


56k Download
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 games.



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.

Overall: Download!

» Jim

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