Part 22: Commentary Corner - Mission 2
So I got back from the gym and saw that there were several replies since I left. "Oh, there must have been an update! "
Update 02: Rescue and Retribution
Intro Movie: YouTube DailyMotion
Mission: YouTube DailyMotion Part 1 DailyMotion Part 2
In this episode we encountered Kane. He's one of the two main antagonists of the Tiberium series. (The other one is Tiberium itself, but I'm saving that talk for next time.)
So extra commentary here, since people seem interested in a closer look at callbacks and cut content.
The intro video itself has a few interesting pieces to it. The mousy girl in the white is Maus (see what they did there?), and both her and Locke are available as "extra" multiplayer characters. Maus is a grenadier, and Locke fires rockets. A few of these NPCs are available like that, usually with a slightly increased cost and health.
About a minute into the video, you learn about the Black Hand. If you played Tiberian Sun, that might sound familiar; the Nod protagonist there was the commander of the Black hand. The quick chirpy white text that displays right after is a callback to the old C&C installer.
In this mission, we get to encounter ladders. Ladders were funny in Renegade. Due to a glitch, they completely block and "stick" vehicles that pass directly above or below them. This meant they didn't really appear in multiplayer. You can also shoot while on a ladder although your perspective makes it difficult due to how aiming is determined, limiting you to mostly shooting up at people above. Ladders themselves are handled as zones for the top and bottom, though. Because of this, you can often put your back to a ladder and climb it the wrong way, allowing you more shooting possibilities.
You might also notice that Havoc more or less "snaps" to a ladder. There are decent animations used for things like getting on or off ladders (or in and out of vehicles) but their use was cut. The animations themselves still exist.
We also get to encounter a Nod transport plane, something that dropped off freshly-ordered tanks in the original game. It does a slight pause before dropping troops; this is because the flight path animations are often shared between the planes and helicopters, if you were wondering.
Deeper in the Hand of Nod, which we didn't see this time, there's actually another special NPC for Nod who shows up as an "extra" character. I won't spoil it here since he might come up later.
Rockin' snipes and Rocket snipes. It turns out, rockets have no deviation, allowing you to line up improbable headshot kills, albeit delayed by travel. This is good against enemy rocket soldiers, or snipers, in single player but also great against oblivious snipers in multiplayer since you can launch and run away.
Something not shown in the playthrough, those GDI soldiers at the church can be "poked" with "E" to make them follow you towards the Hand of Nod. It's a neat little thing that shows up in a few missions.
At the Nod comm center, several monitors on the walls show images of bases, vehicles, etc. And there's the obvious propaganda projector in this level, showing images of ion cannons and such. Lots of little things like these were taken from original cutscenes in the first game, which is a nice touch. You can actually climb up to where the projector is and the troops held in the prison will say hi to you when they see you blow it up.
You might notice, as the OP mentioned, some vehicle designs for Nod were made more super-villainy. Such as that Nod Buggy. You can see some more cut content in this old video (not mine) featuring the church from this level in the first half, and the original "framework" Nod Buggy FAV. It's a hell of a lot closer to what the first game depicted. The lighting engine was a little different then, and you can see the dramatic run animations Logan (the original Renegade commando from all pre-release materials, and your tutorial guest) has. Check out the bit where he hops into the buggy. All vehicles were going to have these Halo-esque entry/exit animations, much like ladders, but things like this got chucked out although the remnant animations and portions of the logic to enable them are still present and viewable in the game's SDK.
Logan was written to be Logan Shepard, related to the original C&C briefing general. You'll notice in the tutorial that he's lower-poly, closer to a GTA 3 character in design, with a slightly different 2D texture aesthetic that shows up on a few objects. Definitely more of a gritty punk look, which was turned into more of a macho action hero style in Havoc. He, like Locke and Maus, are available as an "Extra" multiplayer character as a slightly different GDI sniper.