Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron is an impressive technical accomplishment for the PSP. It's certainly has its flaws, but bringing massive online battles such as these exclusively to the handheld certainly deserves some applause. Without a doubt, Renegade Squadron is the Warhawk or Halo of the PSP: the definitive online game for our system.
The included single player mode is brief, easy, but nonetheless well executed. When viewed as a primer for the game's primary mode, the online multiplayer, the single player campaign more than delivers. Instead of being destroyed by the competitive online field, this gives a chance for players to learn the nuances of the control, giving each player a fair chance of mastering the game before heading online. The Conquest Mode was a stand-up hit for many on the PSP Fanboy team -- and for good reason. The addition of "Instant Action" against bots is also a huge plus -- something that's missing in many modern console shooters.
The removal of character classes from the Battlefront series was a fantastic decision and makes Renegade Squadron the most accessible of the games so far. Without character classes, players are free to adapt their character at whim: you can be a heavy gunner at one moment, then become a regenerating base capturer. With the allocated character points at your disposal, you have access to quite a number of abilities. However, thanks to some excellent point distribution, no character you create will ever feel truly overpowering. Instead, it's up to careful strategy to make sure your character is appropriately equipped for each battle.
Many of the gameplay modes are quite entertaining. You'll have the staples of the genre: deathmatch and capture the flag. However, there are some unique twists. Capture the Flag has each side controlling one famous "star" from the franchise, such as Darth Vader. This "star" has a radically different move set, extended health, and will defend the flag. Playing as these heroes is a refreshing change, but even more enjoyable is taking down a hero and taking their flag. Sorry Chewbacca, but I needed your flag.
Although there are tons of vehicles and space battles, it's clear that the game's strengths come from its ground combat. Vehicles feel sluggish and don't control intuitively. Aiming within vehicles is difficult, giving players a significant disadvantage for being inside a vehicle. Space battles simply don't work with the default controls, and don't offer the visceral thrill offered by other modes of the game.
Supporting 16 players via Infrastructure is impressive, but the graphics clearly suffer due to Rebellion's ambition. Modern PSP games look far better than this, usually sporting better draw distance, better textures and better character models. The framerate holds up fairly well, but in crowded areas, expect to count the number of frames rendered on your hands.
In spite of its flaws, the online battles really shine when there's a healthy amount of competition. If you're looking for the most epic online multiplayer on PSP, it's clear that Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron is a must.
PSP Fanboy Score: 7.5
Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)
10-20-2007 @ 7:22PM
Who won the final star wars psp?
10-20-2007 @ 7:40PM
I knew there were going to be a few problems with this game when I first saw it, but I'm glad they didn't screw up the most important part of the game: online.
10-20-2007 @ 11:24PM
Good. If I were to get it, it would be just to have Warhawk: Portable. I already have the original SWBFII for PSP, so I don't know why I would NEED this now. Ay well.
10-21-2007 @ 10:49AM
you really changed your tune from a couple of months back... just goes to show you that it is best to at least wait until the game is finished before slamming as it was slammed here. I really enjoyed this game! The single player was short but it was a really neat take on the story we all know so we regarding Episode IV-VI. The game is a blast and plays great!
10-21-2007 @ 11:15AM
This was my most anticipated game of 2007... but I've been playing it for a few days now, and I have to say, as far as gameplay & graphics, I don't think it's much better than the PSP port of SW Battlefront II.
That's not to say it's a terrible PSP game by any means, but it doesn't improve too much on the previous port. I haven't played multiplayer but I could see how that'd be its strongest point.
Using either default or alternate controls, the space combat is really.... well, almost broken. It's messed up; if an enemy's shot a missle at you, there's almost no way to dodge it. You get hit, end of story. Space combat is surprisingly WORSE than in the PSP port of SWBF II.
The Campaign mode is also disappointinly short (think 2-3 hours), but at least there is one, when that was left out of the PSP version of SWBF II.
The PSPFanboy score is about in line with most reviews, and I'd add that if you're looking for vast improvements over the PSP version of Star Wars Battlefront II (in terms of controls & gameplay) you might be disappointed. But if you want multiplayer (infrastructure wasn't available in the PSP port) then this is the version to get.
10-22-2007 @ 10:39AM
I got this game with the new PSP-2000 and I either love it or hate it. However, I could not stop playing the game.
First, the good things. Graphics is good, very clear and detail. Controls are works well and responsive. Frame rate is spectacular even in online space battles. (By the way, Don, you CAN dodge missles in space battles!) Getting to playing the Rabels, Imperials, Republic, and CIS is fun. Customization is a bonus to the game.
Now, the disappointments. Finishing the story mode don't unlock anything new except a medal and some cut sences from the story. Collecting the medals don't unlock anything either. Also, having a lot of weapons to choose from is cool but some of them are quite useless. The most disappointing thing is, the Conquest mode is lacking flexibility. Besides what was mentions in the reviews, we can only use the Rebels and Imperials. It would be great if we can use CIS and the Clones too! Also, why can't we have a mix game modes for the Conquest games? Why do we HAVE to use the conquest game modes rather than a mix of flag captures and conquest?
Either way, if you are a Star Wars fan or enjoy multiplayer games on your PSP, I would definately pick up this game. It's great fun.