Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron

Sept 13, 2007

Hoth... shit; we're still only on Hoth. Excuse our paraphrasing quotage, but what we're trying to get across is that we've played enough Star Wars games to choke a sarlacc pit, so we weren't exactly clamoring to toil through yet another iteration of the snowy planet. But we're happy to report that many of the quibbles we all had with the PSP's Battlefront II have been addressed in Renegade Squadron. Or, to put it less diplomatically: You bitched, LucasArts listened. And after our recent sitdown with the game, we gotta say: We're impressed.

For starters, ad hoc multiplayer has doubled its maximum to 8 players. Playing in a roomful of people, the framerate remained consistent while the base capturing and body count rose to dizzying galactic heights. The server rounded out the team with score padding bots, but once you hop on the Wi-Fi infrastructure (via a GameSpy account?) you can play with up to 16 aspiring Jedis online with the bare minimum of load times.

You'll blast through many of your favorite Lucascapes, such as the familiar Endor and Kashyyyk (and yes, a pleasantly new version of Hoth), as well as some brand new places like Korriban and Boz Pity. There's 11 vehicle-packed maps in all, with aerial space variants, including the remains of Alderan, perfect for laser happy dogfighting. If you're not content to stay aboard the likes of Obi-Wan's TIE Fighter or Boba Fett's Slave 1, developer Rebellion has appeased your gripes from Battlefront II. Capitol ships now have fully accessible interiors, so feel free to park your vessel in the hangar and blast your way around the inside.

Renegade also boasts a solid single player campaign with a legitimately kick ass story. Taking place between the original Star Wars through Return of the Jedi, Col Serra sings the untold tale of the Renegade Squadron, a motley crew of rebels assembled by one Han Solo. The familiar faces that litter the plot will bring joy to any fan's heart, whether you're covering Han while he tinkers with the Millennium Falcon or rescuing the fishy-faced Admiral Ackbar (playable!!).