If you are a Star Wars fan and you own a PSP... then you should be playing this game right now!
This game tells the story of Renegade Squadron, a group of highly skilled soldiers, smugglers, gunslingers and others, who were willing to fight for the Rebel Alliance. Renegade Squadron was assembled by Han Solo and led by Col Serra. They were responsible for many victories during the war with Darth Sidious' Galactic Empire. You play as Renegade Squadron and fight your way through to the battle of Endor, right from the battle of Yavin 4. The story here isn't anything amazing at all, but it has a strong narrator and is interesting enough to keep you going.
Most of the missions, not unlike in any other Battlefront game, revolve around capturing strategic locations throughout the battlefield - known as command posts. These 'command posts' also serve as spawn points for you and your enemies. There is usually around four or five command posts on each map. Once you reach an enemy command post, you must secure it from any hostiles and stand near the point. Wait until it becomes yours, while fighting off enemies. However, if an enemy gets near the point, the process of it being taken over by your faction is stopped and you must kill the hostile for it to continue. Once you control all of the command posts, victory is achieved within 60 seconds unless the opposing faction can take back any strategic locations.
You can also win by killing all of the enemy's military units. The story missions of the singleplayer campaign however, do not usually end in any of these ways. Developer Rebellion has created a very short but also very entertaining singleplayer campaign, by giving the player simple but varied objectives in each of the missions. This means that instead of having to kill all hostiles on the map, you may be tasked with several objectives, such as: save someone, carry an object back to your base (like 'Capture The Flag' in multiplayer), retrieve an important item, escort a group of starfighters etc.
Of course your adventure in the Star Wars universe doesn't just end in the singleplayer campaign. There are three other major gameplay modes to try out. One is multiplayer, where you can test your abilities in battle as you pit your armies against that of your friends. Then there's Instant Action, which is best for anyone who wants a quick battle against CPU, with various battle modes. And last but definitely not least, Galactic Conquest, my favourite of the three by far.
Galactic Conquest allows you to pick a side, be it Galactic Empire or Rebel Alliance and then, just as the name of this gameplay mode suggests; conquer the galaxy! There is a total of 16 planets displayed on the map of the galaxy in this mode, each of them is controlled by either you, the opposing faction or nobody. Your job is to take over all of the planets in the system. Galactic Conquest is a mix of strategy and normal, Battlefront style, third person shooter gameplay. Between on ground and space battles; you can purchase troops, bonuses, hero units and upgrades or move troops from planet to planet and conquer worlds, but your enemy can do the same.
When one of your planets is attacked, or you attack someone else, you can even out the odds by playing the battle that takes place yourself. This is a normal conquest fight, where all you have to do to win is either capture all of the command posts on the map, or slaughter all of the opponent's troopers.
While playing, you will most likely hear some familiar music. The things you will be hearing are the soundtracks from the Star Wars movies, both the prequel and original trilogies. This helps to make the battles feel very epic and immerse the player in the universe of Star Wars, to some extent. Some variety in the environments also helps to strengthen that immersion.
An addition to the addictive gameplay formula, which wasn't included in any of the previous Battlefront games, is customization. Every time you spawn at a command post during battle, you can customize your character's looks (though there isn't that many options to choose from), but the really cool thing is that instead of choosing classes with different weapon loadouts - you create your own loadout! If you make the right choices, you might be left with the ultimate, badass, killing machine that butchers every hostile troop.
+ Addictive gameplay with good shooting mechanics
+ Lock-on works well but doesn't make things too easy
+ Story is quite interesting and will satisfy Star Wars fans
+ Galactic Conquest returns, better than ever before!
+ Some fights can be epic thanks to the amazing music from the Star Wars movies
+ Creating your own loadout is easy and can make a difference in battle
+ 16 worlds to fight on, excluding space battles above planets
+ Space combat is fun and easy
- Some character animations could've been improved
- Controls may take a bit of getting used to at the start
- Customization options could have been taken a lot further
- Anyone who didn't like previous Battlefront games might not like Renegade Squadron either
- Objectives in main story missions are quite simple
To finish off this review, I would like to say this: if you own a PSP and you like Star Wars, then I see no reason why you wouldn't like this game. Go pick it up… now! If you are not so much into Star Wars, chances are you won't like this adventure, but I think you should still try it because it is a great & entertaining game. I can already tell that I will spend many more hours on my PlayStation Portable, playing Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron.