Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron Review for the PlayStation Portable (PSP)

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron Review for the PlayStation Portable (PSP)

There are many reasons to own a PSP, and here’s another one to add to the list

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron is the follow-up to Star Wars Battlefront 2. It eclipses its predecessor like a good sequel should. Loaded with gameplay variety, it features a good assortment of modes that lets you play it as a shooter, turn-based strategy, space shooter, and as a huge multiplayer blood fest. The Star Wars license is done proud in Renegade Squadron. It’s mechanically solid and void of any major technical issues with the exception of the constant loading that occurs every few minutes causing the sound to cut out intermittently. And if that’s the only major problem, then you know you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron screenshot

As I mentioned, there is a huge multiplayer component that accommodates 16 players. Bots will take the place of players if there aren’t enough people partaking in a particular match. They aren’t as good as a skilled player, but you don’t always get to play against such skilled players anyway, so it all evens out. The single-player modes are definitely worthwhile. If anything, they will get you familiar with the controls, characters, environments, and weapons. The Galactic Conquest mode is a turn-based strategy game that gives you all kinds of micromanagement options such as purchasing units, vehicles, and weapons to do battle with the rival factions. It’s not the deepest of strategy games, but considering that Renegade Squadron is primarily a third-person action shooter, I don’t think that this is the audience for such a game. It’s a great introduction into the genre, and while it’s fun to play, you can’t help but feel that you’re missing out on the real action in the other modes.

As a team-based unit, your missions are to capture enemy territory while defending your own. Conceptually, the gameplay is an amalgam of Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. Star Wars nerds can try to read as much into the story as possible, but there is precious little revealed that hasn’t already been divulged in the movies and other games. While you will take part in famous battles on different planets, you are playing as innocuous Star Wars characters. The storyline was written exclusively for this game and features generic, no-name soldiers. Okay, they do have names, but they are largely forgettable in the Star Wars universe. These characters are just thrust into an already existing scenario, like a ten-dollar mailbox on a $500,000 home. In other words, they are inconsequential to the Star Wars legacy. It’s the action that counts in this game, and you can expect a lot of that.

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron screenshot

To get you started, there are plenty of character customizations to choose from. You’ll have your choice of four factions: The Confederacy, Rebel Alliance, The Empire, and The Republic. Customizable features include race, heads, helmets, armor, costumes, and insignias. Beginning with an allotment of 100 credits, you can further personalize your character with the purchases of weapons, gadgets, armor, power-ups, and other upgrades. Just about everything has multiple uses, so you’ll get a lot of mileage out of your purchases. It’s not necessary to get the most powerful weapons, but there’s tremendous satisfaction in blowing apart a hovertank with a rocket launcher. Once you capture an enemy base, you can swap your weapons and other items for more useful ones. The points have to be distributed among other attributes such as health, speed and capture rates, so you have to make decisions based on your method of play. Are you risky or conservative? That will determine if you want to put more points into weapons systems or if you prefer to play a more methodical and strategic game, using special gadgets such as the jet pack.

Some of the environments that were featured in the prequel are back, but that’s not a drawback. There are 15 different ground maps in all, and while some may be familiar, they all mean action. The controls are easy enough to learn. You move your character with the stick, and the L button allows you to run. Turning around is slow, and that can cost you if you’re being targeting. The R button lets you target enemies. It works well for most situations but when facing multiple enemies it can be slow going to toggle through them until you reach the one that you want to shoot at. If at all possible, you will want to avoid getting flanked by multiple enemies. The lock-on is automatically disengaged in the multiplayer mode, and at higher difficulty settings on the single-player modes. Instead, the camera will lock onto the enemy, forcing you to aim the reticle while the camera is moving independently. Not always an easy task.

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron screenshot

You don’t have to walk or run everywhere. Vehicles such as the hovercrafts, speederbikes, and AT-STs are available for you to drive. If you want to head off into space, the TIE Fighters and X-Wings await your piloting prowess. All of the various vehicles respond nicely. They have different weapons systems such as lasers and missiles and employ the lock-on camera system, which is a little difficult to master, but at least the pace isn’t too fast. You get time to aim, but after a while the general lack of speed makes you feel as though you’re coasting in space instead of blazing through it.

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron screenshot

There are some graphic tradeoffs which I suppose are necessary to keep the pace flowing. The environments aren’t particularly inspiring, but the characters, weapons, vehicles, and explosions certainly surpass PSP standards. As expected, the audio is brilliant. Sound effects from the LucasArts library and a soundtrack from the genius of John Williams absolutely demand headphones to appreciate all of the audio nuances. It just doesn’t get much better than this.

I have to say that this is definitely a game for everyone, even if you could care less about Star Wars. From the single-player campaign to the eight-player ad hoc to the 16-player multiplayer modes, there is more than enough to keep any gamer busy for weeks on end.

The gameplay variety is second to none with a good cross referencing of gameplay genres. You can also expect some surprises, as some famous playable Star Wars characters make an appearance. May this game be with you.


  • Beginning with the evacuation of Yavin 4 (end of A New Hope) and ending with the Battle of Endor (Return of the Jedi), the original story features 11 battles as seen through the eyes of a clandestine Rebel team personally selected by Han Solo.
  • Millions of possible customizations directly affect gameplay to an even greater degree than the predetermined character classes of previous Star Wars Battlefront games.
  • Earn credits to upgrade and customize soldiers’ attributes (health, speed, agility), equipment (weapons, items) and appearance (species, body, insignia, uniform colors).
  • New maps include Ord Mantell, Boz Pity, Korriban, Sullust, and Saleucami, plus new space battles at Kessel, Hoth, Bespin, and the remnants of Alderaan.
  • Renegade Squadron also adds a second Hoth map, plus a new interpretation of Endor.
  • For the first time, fly as heroes in space aboard the Millennium Falcon, Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced, Jango and Boba Fett’s Slave I, and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi starfighter.
  • New land-based heroes include Admiral Ackbar, Ben Kenobi (Episode IV), IG-88, Asajj Ventress and Kit Fisto.
  • Fourteen heroes return from Star Wars Battlefront II. Renegade Squadron debuts B-wings and TIE defenders in space, plus A5-R Juggernauts, T4-B heavy tanks and mountable carrion spats on land.
  • Enhanced space combat features a refined control scheme. For the first time on the PSP system, players can also enter capital ships as they did in the console versions of Star Wars Battlefront II.
  • Expanded multiplayer allows for up to 16 players via Infrastructure and eight via Ad Hoc. (Star Wars Battlefront II for the PSP system featured four-player Ad Hoc only.)
  • Also returning are Star Wars Battlefront staples Conquest and Capture the Flag (one- and two-flag varieties, plus new Hero Capture the Flag where the flag bearer plays as a hero).
  • Infrastructure mode embraces community through leaderboards and profile pages, where players can display medals they’ve earned, their battle statistics and more.

  • Rating out of 5 Rating Description


    Uninspired environments. Includes old maps from the previous game. Characters and vehicles are nicely detailed.


    There are some issues with the lock-on system. Some commands can be slow to execute. Otherwise comfortable layout.


    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Excellent music and sound effects. The audio is occasionally interrupted by loads.


    Play Value
    This game is all about replay value. Tons of modes and gameplay variety. Up to 16 players online.


    Overall Rating Must Buy
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

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