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Renegade III: The Final Chapter

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Released: 1989

Genre: Beat-'em-up

Format reviewed: Amstrad CPC

Publisher: Imagine Software

Developer: Imagine Software

In hindsight I was slightly foolish to ever think Renegade III was going to patch on the brilliance of Target Renegade. I remember it as if it was yesterday, spotting the screenshots of the game in the pages of Amstrad Action, showing its vest-wearing hero punching the stuffing out of mummies, dinosaurs, jesters and knights. Renegade III plays and looks like a children’s version of the popular 8-bit brawler – a direction that is so bad it actually makes a bit of a mockery out of the franchise to be honest.

In typical Renegade fashion, Renegade III finds your hero travelling through various stages to rescue your kidnapped girlfriend. But it calls on a well hackneyed plot gimmick that we really should have seen coming; all of the levels in the game were set in different time zones – and we’re not referring to the GMT variety.

From an opening prehistoric stage, where our burly hero has to face off against confused cavemen and baby T-rexes, to a closing mission set way in a future inhabited by robots and UFOs, it became obvious that the time-travelling plot device was simply a shameful way to put a curious plaster on the game’s gaudy visuals, tetchy gameplay and problematic collision detection; all of which are elements that make the game feel like it was programmed sometime in the dark ages. The fact that the game doesn’t even boast a co-op mode was also a huge oversight by developer Imagine, as it could have made a bad game passable.

Had the graphics, controls and presentation improved during the course of the game – to cleverly coincide with the advances in technology that had occurred in the epoch you were fighting in – we’d probably be telling you that Renegade III was one of the single greatest pieces of post-modernism entertainment ever created. Sadly the game is just a lazy sequel with testing gameplay (although the Speccy version isn’t entirely abysmal, we hasten to add) that proves anything with the subtitle ‘The Final Chapter’ hanging over its neck is worth avoiding – just like the confused cavemen and baby T-rexes.

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