Black Dawn

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Renegade X: Operation Black Dawn (abbreviated as "Black Dawn") is a short single-player campaign released on February 28th, 2012. Black Dawn was released before the Renegade X multi-player version; several reasons for such decision were to test certain aspects of the game which could already be developed in the new engine, such as models, props and weapon handling; and considering an expansions of the game into the standalone territory, one being remastering the origninal Renegade campaign.

The game is separated from Renegade X and it can be downloaded here.

Black Dawn offers 10 campaign levels and 4 levels of difficulty that the player can choose from. Due to the short duration of the campaign, save and load function is not present in the game. After completion of the level, the player will be fully healed and usually given new weapons. Players can choose any campaign level from the level selection screen; for instance, should they get stuck on a level, they can skip it by going back to the menu and select the next level.

Plot

After discovering the base where the missing scientists Mobius and Sydney are being held by the Brotherhood of Nod, the Global Defense Initiative mounts a rescue operation, codenamed "Operation Black Dawn", where they will attack the Nod island base under the cover of the night, only few hours before dawn.

In the game, the player will take control of captain Nick Parker - codename Havoc - and blast through waves of Nod Soldiers, destroy defensive Turrets and SAM Sites, drive GDI Vehicles and face Nod Vehicles, hold important positions, infiltrate a building, and lastly rescue the missing scientists.

Game Controls

  • W/Up: Move forward
  • A: Strafe left/ Turn vehicle left
  • S/Down: Move backward
  • D: Strafe right/ Turn vehicle right

Double tap any directional key to perform an evasive maneuver in the designated direction (consumes stamina)

  • MouseMovement Turn around/ Turn vehicle turret
  • Left Turn left/ Turn vehicle turret left
  • Right Turn Right/ Turn vehicle turret right
  • Space: Jump
  • C: Duck (double tap to assume a permanent crouching position until the key is pressed again)
  • LeftAlt: Walk
  • Shift: Sprint (consumes stamina, cannot sprint without it or while firing)/ Boost (Vehicles will move faster)
  • LeftMouseButton: Primary Fire
  • RightMouseButton: Secondary Fire (only applicable on weapons and Vehicles with alternate fire)
  • R: Reload
  • N: Nightvision (only applicable on the Sniper Rifle)
  • G: Swap weapon (can only switch primary weapons, and the player can only carry two of them)
  • MouseScrollUp: Switch to the previous weapon
  • MouseScrollDown: Switch to the next weapon
  • E: Use (used to enter/exit Vehicles, place C4, take keys)


Campaign Walkthrough

Intro cutscene

The screen pans towards GDI's Ion Cannon satellite, which displays 2 squadrons of gunboats moving towards a Nod base on a island in the Black Sea.

The focus shifts inside a gunboat in the Delta squadron, where Havoc is getting ready for the mission. He meets captain McFarland, along with his past Dead Six buddies Gunner and Hotwire. While Havoc points out that he is a lone wolf, he is given the new addition to the GDI Arsenal - the Cobra Eight Mark Twelve Tactical Rifle, which proprieties are explained by Gunner. After the preparations are done, Havoc and company depart on a Hovercraft directed to the shore of the Nod installation.

The cutscene ends with a view of a Nod Officer, who calls GDI as "Poor souls that are realizing about their need for faith" and alarms the base.

Objective 0: Operation Black Dawn

Starting cutscene

A view of the three Hovercrafts is shown before the camera focuses on the one with Havoc aboard.

Level Walkthrough

As soon the Hovercrafts approach the shore, everyone will start firing. This level is more of an introductory one, since you are not required to do anything, especially considering that you cannot move. Just wait for the Hovercraft to reach the shore and the mission will be accomplished. You may take out your Sniper Rifle and try to snipe some enemy soldiers (press N to switch to nightvision scope), but it is not really necessary.

Objective 1: Invasion

Level Walkthrough

When the mission begins, you want to avoid being in the crossfire; in order to do that, go towards the direction indicated by the green objective marker, which is to your left. After going up, you will reach the upper plateau which hosts the Nod shore Turrets. Take care of the enemy soldiers and destroy the first Turret by planting C4 on it (press E when you are near it). You can clear the soldiers in the first bunker and swap weapons with the ones on the table, but this is optional.

After the first Turret is down, move up and destroy the second one as well, while mopping up the enemy resistance you may encounter. After the two Turrets are down, proceed towards the second bunker and clear any opposition in there. You have to go inside this one since a crashed Chinook is blocking the way.

The mission will be accomplished after you exit from the other side of the bunker.

Ending cutscene

The camera shifts towards the Nod Officer in the tower that appeared in the intro, as Locke orders Havoc to eliminate the officer and occupy the tower.

Objective 2: Sand in my Boots

Level Walkthrough

Make your way towards the tower, and you will find enemy soldiers behind the bunkers; kill them directly or flank their position if you think you will get too much damage from them. There are some explosive barrels scattered around, which you can use to your advantage if you destroy them while enemies are nearby; just make sure they do not blow them up when you are close, otherwise you will take a lot of damage.

There is also a couple of Buggies on the right and eventually a Chinook will land and bring reinforcements, but those are engaged in a brawl with other GDI forces and the latter can easily take care of the former.

After clearing all the opposition around, climb the stairs towards the tower. A cutscene will start and the mission will be accomplished when going towards the top of the tower.

Ending cutscene

As Havoc slowly creeps up the stairs, the Officer calls for help and Nod soldiers fire at Havoc, denying him the opportunity to reach the Officer. Still, McFarland has the situation under control and swings a grenade with his Shotgun as an improvised golf club; nevertheless, the grenade lands on top of the tower and kills the Officer, while forcing Havoc to jump down.

After that, McFarland and Havoc are considering about driving Humvees to cross a Tiberium field that is in front of them, but as the armored battalion is slowly advancing towards the field, a volley of Mobile Artillery fire raining from the skies destroys the battalion.

GDI Eagle HQ decides to send three A-10 Warthog to clear the Artilleries holding the field, but as the A-10 fly towards the island, Nod SAM Sites emerge and fire towards them, downing the planes before they can deliver their payload.

Objective 3: Not according to Plan

Starting cutscene

McFarland briefs about the new mission and assigns two privates that were complaining to cleanup duty. His squad will go destroy the SAM Sites on the west, while Havoc and his team is tasked to destroy the ones on the east.

Level Walkthrough

Make you way towards the green marker. On the way, a Humvee will be blasted apart from a rocket, and the impact will knock down you: this is purely a cutscene; you will not take any damage from the fall. After getting back up, move inside the path between the trees, kill any enemy soldier in the way, and destroy the Gun Emplacement near the SAM Site. Note that if you flank the emplacement and kill the operator from behind, you can use it against Nod forces (press E to use it), but it is easier just to blast the emplacement from afar. SAM Sites can be destroyed by placing C4 on them, akin to the Turrets in the second mission.

After the first is destroyed, proceed to the second one. You may seek cover behind the trees against enemy gunfire.

After the second is destroyed, proceed towards the green marker up the hill and near another tower, while eliminating any opposition that may be around. The mission will be accomplished when you reach the destination. An A-10 Warthog will destroy the shore Turrets nearby.

Ending cutscene

Without the SAM Sites, the Mobile Artilleries are pulverized by a strafing A-10 Warthog. Also, Chinooks bring more vehicle reinforcements onto the island.

Objective 4: Baby Sitter

Starting cutscene

McFarland asks Havoc to escort some Mobile Rocket Launcher Systems to their designated location. Much to Havoc's disdain, he does not have a choice and has to agree.

Level Walkthrough

Before jumping inside the Medium Tank, you may want to check the tables around the camp since they have weapons on them; you may switch weapons with the G button, but you can only carry two at time. After you feel comfortable with your armament, is time to enter inside the tank.

A Humvee and another Medium Tank will assist you, but your forces are outnumbered and they will not last long against two Buggies and four Light Tanks. Focus on the tanks first, especially those already damaged by your allied vehicles; but you have to be quick or the Mobile Rocket Launcher Systems will advance too far from you. Do not worry if you lose your tank, your Tactical Rifle or Flamethrower can deal with tanks just fine.

After you clear the Nod forces, rendezvous with the Mobile Rocket Launcher Systems and destroy any opposition in front of them, starting from another two Buggies that will rush towards them; then kill the soldiers that are firing rockets first than the ones that are firing guns. There is also an enemy Gun Emplacement on top of the tower.

Ending cutscene

As Havoc hops from his Medium Tank, the vehicle blows up. He humorously comments about "job hazard" while requesting reinforcements from Locke.

Objective 5: Twisted Metal

Level Walkthrough

A Chinook will deliver a new Medium Tank for you to drive. Before hopping in, you might want to check the tables to find weapons that suit you, albeit in this mission it is not really necessary, since you will not be hopping out from your tank.

After you are inside the tank, drive forward until you reach the GDI battalion that requested for support. Assist them by firing at the incoming Nod forces. They keep spawning, so you have to hold the line. After a specific period of time, three A-10 Warthog will perform a strafing run and clear all the Nod forces in front of you, and the mission will be accomplished.

Objective 6: Flying Coffins

Level Walkthrough

This is considered the most difficult mission in the campaign. Your objective is to hold the line (against Nod soldiers this time) and protect the Mobile Rocket Launcher Systems. There are two tables with various weapons and pickups that can prove useful, albeit your main weapon will be the Gun Emplacement mounted on the blockade. Mow down every soldier that tries to overtake your position; make sure they do not cross the line (in this case the beaten path) since the emplacement cannot rotate around at 360 degrees. Lastly, prioritize soldiers armed with rockets, since they can do serious damage to Mobile Rocket Launcher Systems.

In between the second and the third wave, two Buggies will appear from the flank and harass the Mobile Rocket Launcher Systems. Quickly hop off from the emplacement to destroy them before they can do severe damage; Chaingun or Tactical Rifle will make short work of them.

In the fourth wave, this time two APCs will appear from the flank and harass the Mobile Rocket Launcher Systems. Same deal as for the Buggies, hop off and destroy them before they cause too much trouble; Rocket Launcher or Tactical Rifle are able to deal with them.

In the fifth and last wave, a couple of Apache Helicopters will appear, so look towards the sky to spot them. Gun them down with the emplacement before they can cause too much damage, then finish all the remaining Nod forces. After the timer reaches zero, the mission will be accomplished.

Objective 7: Time to Rock 'n Roll

Starting cutscene

A Chinook delivers a Mammoth Tank for Havoc, which is also his tank of choice. As Havoc goes to support Gunner and Hotwire, McFarland stays nearby to guard the Mobile Rocket Launcher Systems.

Level Walkthrough

Same deal as several levels before, there are weapons on the tables that you might want to check before hopping into the Mammoth. After done with such, make your way towards the other shore. It is not advised to cut the road via shortcuts, since it may trigger the "Return to Battlefield" countdown, which will kill you if you do not return in the battlefield in time.

Wipe out enemy resistance along the way. As you reach the shore, several Apaches will fly towards the GDI forces, while some may start firing on you. Shoot your cannons only when Apaches are still to maximize chances to hit them; use lock-on rockets to strike at them while they are moving. Prioritize Nod vehicles that are firing on you first before shooting on those focused against the GDI forces.

After clearing up the assault force of mostly Apaches and Light Tanks, another Nod battalion composed by Apaches and four Mobile Artilleries will move forward. To accomplish the mission, you are only required to destroy the Artilleries.

Should you lose your Mammoth, there is a vacant Medium Tank on the shore with the GDI forces that you can drive.

Ending cutscene

After the preparations for the Mobile Rocket Launcher Systems are done, McFarland jumps into a Humvee and rendezvous with Havoc, Gunner, and Hotwire, to watch the fireworks, which is composed of the MRLS firing their rockets over the sea and towards the Nod base. The rocket barrage demolishes two Nod Power Plants, but both Obelisks of Light are still functional.

Just as McFarland is suggesting to reposition the Mobile Rocket Launcher Systems to another spot, an AC-130 Gunship bombards and pulverizes them from the sky. GDI Eagle HQ sends an A-10 Warthog to neutralize the plane before it can cause too much trouble; the A-10 successfully downs the AC-130 with a rocket, but he is also shot down a short moment after from a SAM Site missile.

Locke, not willing to risk any more pilots, orders an Ion Cannon strike on the Nod installation. The cutscene ends with the satellite charging up and firing its Ion Cannon.

Objective 8: Roasted and Toasted

Starting cutscene

As two Light Tanks and one APC are driving forward, the preliminary magnetic field caused by the Ion Cannon lifts them up before the ion blast comes down, annihilating them and the Nod base's defenses.

Since McFarland has to prepare the EVAC, he gives a Volt Automatic Rifle to Havoc as a gift. An Engineer announces that Havoc's Mammoth Tank is fully repaired. Lastly, Havoc humorously comments that convincing the scientists to not get captured again is his toughest challenge.

Level Walkthrough

Get inside your Mammoth by going towards it. Take out any enemy opposition, prioritizing on enemies that are firing against you. Use rockets against moving Apaches, and save your cannon shots when they are still.

When you arrive to the Hand of Nod, leave your Mammoth and enter inside it. Prepare to engage Nod infantry; this is the only time to make use of the Volt rifle. You can either take the left or right path, it does not matter much since they both lead towards the same spot.

Traverse the corridors, zapping any Nod soldier in the way. Like in the third mission, there are some explosive barrels scattered around the halls, which you can destroy to blow up nearby enemies; just make sure they do not blow them up when you are close, otherwise you will take a lot of damage.

Next, go down the ramp and take a right turn. Clear all the enemy resistance in there and pick up the red-hologram looking security card (with E button). There are also weapons on the tables you might want to switch, especially the Flamethrower: strangely, in Black Dawn, it deals more damage per second than the Volt rifle, albeit having less range than the latter.

With the security card, go back to the ramp and take a left turn instead: now the door that was locked before will open up. Mop up any enemy you encounter in there. The mission will be accomplished when you reach the large blast doors on the back side of the Hand of Nod.

Objective 9: Desperate Measures

Starting cutscene

Sydney and Mobius are attempting to contact GDI forces, just when Havoc shows up. He is criticized by a GDI private, but he quickly shuts him up, also reiterating how he gets criticism every day from Locke. However, EVA warns about an imminent Nuclear strike; Havoc complains how his companions are bad luck and asks Locke to move the EVAC south side because of the nuke.

Level Walkthrough

There is a time limit, but is not that strict. Begin by moving towards the wall that has a red holographic indicator and place C4 on it (with E button); after blowing it up, make your way to the AC-130 Cargo Plane docked on the Airstrip. Take down anyone who decides to stand in your way, but do not waste too much time in killing every single Nod soldier around. Reach the back of the plane and enter into its cargo hold (you have to jump to reach the ramp) to steal a Nod APC.

After you obtain the APC, drive it towards the direction indicated by the green marker. You may kill Nod soldiers in the way by ramming into them or shooting at them. A couple of Buggies will attempt to block your way; either circumvent or destroy them. After crossing a Tiberium field, there will be one last Nod blockade settled before a bridge, and they will have the support of a Chinook and a couple of Apaches, but you do not have to worry about them: three A-10 Warthog will strafe by and shot down the helicopters without you needing to do anything.

Cross the bridge, take down any obstacle, be it a Buggy or Nod infantry, and the mission will be accomplished when you arrive on the other side of the bridge.

Ending cutscene

The APC drifts right into explosive barrels and blows up; its passengers evacuate and rush towards the EVAC Chinook, which immediately takes off after everyone gets in. The Chinook's backdoor is left open to show the nuclear warhead fall and release a huge explosion, before the camera pans from the explosion to the other side, showing the three gunboats of Delta squad and the Chinook flying away in distance.

Video playthroughs

Here are several YouTube video playthroughs of Black Dawn.

Kenz3001's Black Dawn Let's Play (with commentary)

Black Dawn playthrough with TheGunrun and developer FobbyGen's commentary

Trivia

  • The main menu screen of Renegade X (the multiplayer release) features a similar gunboat docking bay seen in the intro cutscene in Black Dawn. There is a Hovercraft carrying a Mammoth Tank in the docking bay.
  • According to documents seen in the intro cutscene, Captain McFarland's first name is revealed to be "Angus".

External Links