LucasArts Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
- Tons of content and customisation variability
- Game is lacking somewhat in graphics, sound effects and game play
Despite its shortcomings, Renegade Squadron remains an enjoyable third-person shooter. The variety of content and options more than carry its somewhat shallow and repetitive game play and unimpressive visuals. If you don't mind a somewhat simplistic third-person shooter and are a Star Wars fan you could do much worse than Renegade Squadron.
Price$ 59.95 (AUD)
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Renegade Squadron is the second Battlefront game to grace the PSP, this time as an exclusive title. Exclusive titles cater to the strengths of its console, and in this regard Renegade Squadron does a decent job. While Renegade Squadron provides a whole lot of game for your buck, it could have stood for some more polish in key areas.
The Battlefront games can quickly be summed up as a beefy Battlefield 1942 mod with a coat of Star Wars paint over the battlefields of Europe. Unique to the Battlefront games are the space battles, which pit two opposing fleets against each other and offer much TIE fighter vs. X-wing goodness.
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Renegade Squadron's main strength is its treasure trove of features and content. Multiplayer includes local ad-hoc and infrastructure modes, the latter coming complete with dedicated servers and leader boards. Your character class and look is completely customisable, and you have 100 points that can be spent on an impressive variety of weapons and gadgets, from standard blaster rifles to more exotic devices like the carbonite freeze rifle and arc caster lightning gun.
The single-player campaign follows the titular Rogue Squadron and serves as an extended tutorial. Campaign missions have a variety of objectives that offer a decent narrative and offer a nice alternative to the multiplayer focus of Battlefront. A Galactic Conquest mode is also available both on and offline, allowing you to conquer the galaxy planet by planet, manage troop recruitment and upgrades, and hire heroes. The one area where content is slightly lacking is in map variety, although you do get to play across both prequel era and original trilogy maps.
Renegade Squadron is played from a third-person perspective and handles the PSP's lack of a right analogue stick by employing a lock on system a la Metroid Prime for the vast majority of its weapons. This limits the emphasis on twitch reflexes and keeps the action intense and adds more weight to the weapon and accessories you choose.
Classic Star Wars ground vehicles are available depending on the map, and during space battles, each side has several crafts at their disposal as you attempt to destroy the primary systems of the enemy capital ship. A lock on system similar to the one employed in ground combat is executed brilliantly here, making the space game a surprisingly entertaining and enjoyable compliment to the rest of the maps.
Missing the force
While the wealth of content makes Renegade Squadron an appealing option for shooting and Star Wars fans, the graphics, sound, and relatively lacking game play jar incongruously with the rest of the game. Character and vehicle models look great, but the frame rate frequently stutters during intense action, and the environments sport low-res textures, though they do a passable job of setting the battles in familiar Star Wars locales.
We feel it's impossible to botch a Star Wars game's music, and Renegade Squadron's music stays true to form. Unfortunately the sound effects fall short as we experienced the sound cutting out in a notably offensive manner during particularly crowded battles. And while the lock on system is an effective control scheme that reinforces continuous action, it doesn't require enough player input to satisfy the hunger of competitive shooter fans looking to improve their skills.
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