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Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron

Author: Geoff Larsen
Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Once you start down this dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny; consume you it will… that is, if you are a Star Wars fan with access to WiFi.
Renegade Squadron is the third title in the Star Wars Battlefront series and the first to be exclusively on the PSP. The single player portion of the game pits you as a companion of Col Serra, a mercenary under orders from Han Solo to bust a cap in the empires vast ass. Col travels all around the Star Wars galaxy finding reasons to engage the Empire in dogfights and reasons to play games of Capture The Flag.
If you’ve played Battlefront II most of the gameplay will seem the same. The land missions are composed of capturing enemy checkpoints and blasting the Bantha fodder out of the empire. Though there are several new units, vehicles and redesigned maps, the gameplay is still the same as those from the previous installments in the games. That being said, Renegade Squadron is easily the most polished title from the series that appears on the PSP.
The single player campaign is quite short, only allowing for a couple of hours of gameplay. Single player game time can be increased by attempting to complete all the bonus achievements but really the campaign mode is short-lived. Other than this there is an Instant Action mode that allows the player to create faux multiplayer games using AI controlled bots though while the bots do a serviceable job they are no substitute for online competitors.
Online play should provide players with a lot more game time. LucasArts have made the bold claim that over one million customisable options are available and, while I didn’t count, there sure were a lot of them there. Online games allow you to take control of characters outside the Renegade Squadron storyline such as Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu and even Yoda. Each online game has a maximum capacity of 16 players and the PSP handles the rendering of these quite easily.
Unfortunately the controls of this Battlefront game aren’t quite as accurate as the equivalents on the PC and consoles. The limitations of the PSP control scheme have forced the developers to implement a lock-on system which really begins to take the fun out of hunting an enemy. After a while the control scheme turns what could be a challenging game into awkward repetition: lock on to an enemy, mash ‘shoot’, then repeat.
As far as the graphics go there is a little too much brown but on the whole they are serviceable compared to the consoles contemporaries.
If you are a Star Wars fan or someone who is looking for a multiplayer shooter with a lot of depth then you could do worse than Renegade Squadron. If you are only buying this for the single player I’d suggest you wait until next year’s Force Unleashed. Letting other people see your big lightsaber is a lot more fun than playing Han Solo.
At the end of the day the choice is yours.
Do or do not, there is no try.