Q: So, why an action game in the Command & Conquer universe, home to your strategy games?
A: When we were building the first Command & Conquer, we said to ourselves, "Wouldn't it be great to be down there in the action, experiencing the battle firsthand?" The action was fast and furious, the back-story fascinating, and the setting, full of exotic locales and technology, perfect for an action game.
The more we thought about it, the more the Commando character came to mind. In C&C, he's about six pixels tall, but he made a huge impression with his sarcastic comments delivered just before blowing up a building. The more we thought about the Commando, the more the idea for the action game came into focus.
Through him, we're able to bring players down to ground zero in the war between GDI and Nod. They are able to live it first hand as they plant an ion cannon beacon on the Temple of Nod front steps or drive a Mammoth Tank into an enemy base.
Q: What's the Commando's story?
A: Without revealing too much, I can say that the Commando, codename Havoc, is GDI's secret weapon, the guy they call when things look the most desperate. He's unpredictable, a rouge element, and GDI is never happy about having to use him - but he gets the job done.
He's sent into enemy territory on a dangerous mission, for which the odds of survival are almost nil. He'll have to use every weapon in his arsenal, several vehicles, and his wits to get out of there alive.
Q: How does Renegade change the Command & Conquer universe?
A: It doesn't really. The heart of the C&C line will always be the real-time strategy games. There will be a few more of those in the series.
Renegade is in addition to the strategy games. It gives fans of the series a new way to experience the C&C world, and it gives action gamers an experience unlike anything else they've encountered.
Q: What are you adding to make sure Renegade looks and feels like C&C?
A: It's always the little things. As you go through the missions you'll see vintage C&C elements - Orcas flying overhead, SAM Sites shooting at passing Ground Support Aircraft, Gunboats bombarding from offshore positions. But it's really the weapons, vehicles and buildings at Havoc's disposal that will give you the feeling that you're truly in the C&C universe. You'll be able to enter the Hand of Nod, blow up a Tiberium Harvester, waste Nod officers, use Ion Cannons to strike buildings, and much more.
Q: What makes Renegade different from all the other first-person-shooters out there?
A: Many things set Renegade apart from the other FPS games out there, and the ones scheduled to come out in the near future. Primarily, it's the deep, rich Command & Conquer universe and the unique tactical situations that this universe allows. It's also a sense that you're part of a meaningful epic war going on and a never-before-seen multiplay mode that will take the online world by storm.
Q: Tell us a little about the bad guys.
A: Players will have plenty of Nod forces to contend with when playing Renegade. Our primary goal was to make the player feel as though he is smack in the middle of a C&C war and that he alone is the catalyst that will determine the outcome. Along the way, he will have plenty of obstacles to overcome to achieve his objectives and accomplish his goals. Nod soldiers and weapons are everywhere, and it is up to Havoc to either confront them directly or use the covert approach to get around them. Specifically, we have added Nod officers and a new class to the Nod forces known as the Black Hand. These Special Forces units are the elite killers of Nod, and are represented by various units.
Q: Can we expect to see Kane at all in the game?
A: Kane is a key element in the C&C universe and his presence will be felt throughout Renegade. Havoc will have a running commentary with him throughout the game.
Q: What types of missions will Renegade players be able to look forward to?
A: You play out the single-player campaign as GDI. In one mission you'll have to enter a Nod base and download important information from the Nod communications mainframe. There's a mission where you must sneak aboard a Nod cargo ship and rescue some hostages. Not to mention a flashback to the Commando mission of C&C in which you'll head out on foot with an order to destroy Nod SAM Sites to provide safety for GDI air-support.
Q: What about multiplay?
A: We're going to have some awesome C&C style variations on the popular multiplayer games. For instance, instead of capture the flag, we'll have capture Dr. Mobius. Dr. Mobius was an eccentric scientist from the first Command & Conquer, the man who first declared Tiberium to be a dangerous substance. In Capture Dr. Mobius, he's basically a moving flag that you'll have to escort into your base. We'll also have the traditional death match, king of the hill, and cooperative play through the single-player campaign.
The most exciting multiplayer mode we have in store is C&C mode. In it, two teams of players - GDI vs. Nod - attempt to destroy the other's base. Each base functions in a fashion similar to a typical C&C base: Harvesters gather Tiberium and take it to the refinery for processing, power plants supply power to other base structures, etc. As part of the game, you can 'purchase' different character classes (Engineer, Rocket Soldier, etc.) and vehicles (Tanks, Buggies, etc.) with credits earned from kills or from Tiberium processed from your refinery. To win, you must destroy all of your enemy's base buildings, or place the 'end game' beacon (Ion Cannon or Nuke) in the enemy base.
Q: Can the player play Nod in multiplayer mode?
A: You can play Nod only in C&C mode.
Q: Will the missions be focused on reconnaissance and stealth, or more "shoot 'em up based" activity?
A: One of the great things about Renegade is that the player can decide for himself how best to complete the missions - go in guns a-blazin' or use the covert approach. Both have benefits and drawbacks, and each scenario will be different. The tactics also depend on any secondary objectives the player wishes to accomplish. For example, one secondary objective might call for Havoc to take out SAM Sites so GDI can bring in reinforcements. Havoc will get help that way, but the explosion will also alert the Nod base to his presence. Stealth can be quite important at times - in fact, Havoc's sniper scope is equipped with a special microphone that allows for him to overhear conversations being held a long distance away.
Q: Will Havoc make comments on the battlefield? Can he talk to his superiors on the battlefield?
A: True to C&C form, Havoc will make comments on the battlefield, and it will also be possible to speak to other characters on the battlefield via an action key. There will be communication devices that can be accessed via an action key as well. Who knows? Havoc could even be talking to Kane himself.
Q: Will there be any of the live-action cut scenes that Westwood is famous for, or will it all be CG?
A: The game will feature both pre-rendered (using in-game assets) and in-game animations. We wanted to focus on the Havoc character and the ongoing story line so we opted for cinematics that would maintain the continuity with the in-game action.
Q: What are the minimum system specs?
A: We won't know that until closer to launch.
Q: What is the projected release date for Renegade?
A: We don't have a specific date yet, but it will be on store shelves Fall 2001.
Q: Will gamers be able to customize their own maps and skins? Will Westwood offer a level editor?
A: Ah yes, we can't forget support for our fans. We are in the process of trying to find time to incorporate an editor to modify and build skins. We won't know for sure until later in the year when the code is in a more stable state