Anyone who played the original Star Wars Battlefront, or any of its predecessors, will be in familiar territory when playing Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron – not to be confused with Rogue Squadron - as it offers more of the same. This isn’t a bad thing, however, as the original games were chaotic and fun war games of intergalactic proportions.
This time around Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron puts you in the boots of Col Serra, a thug who, along with an army of renegades, is recruited by Han Solo as part of a covert army. It dumps you on a battlefield packed with up to a hundred enemies, leaving you and your army to complete a variety of missions. The campaign mode tells Serra’s story between missions through still images with a small amount of animation thrown in.
As with previous Star Wars Battlefront games – with the exception of the original, which lacked space combat - battles take place on the ground and in space. Mission objectives break down like this: first, each side can attempt to capture all of the command posts. Alternatively, you can, as Darth Sidious would say, “Wipe them out, all of them.” In other words, kill every hostile on the map.
As with the previous Star Wars Battlefront games, there are a number of Star Wars vehicles on hand to pilot on both sides - including the X-Wing Fighters and Imperial Walkers - and a decent array of weapons to take out enemy vehicles while on foot, such as rocket launchers and blasters.
The controls for both vary between good and abysmal. In a heated skirmish for instance, locking onto an enemy can take far too long, leaving you open to attack. On top of that, some of the guns such as the rocket launcher take longer than necessary to reload. However, space combat controls are generally very good. Just as in ground battles, in space you can lock on and blast away.
There is an autopilot function so you can follow your target. Sounds good, doesn’t it? And it does work well to a certain extent. Unfortunately, the autopilot will happily steer your ship into a Star Destroyer or any number of other larger ships that may be between you and your target.
Space based battles feature in Galactic Conquest mode too, however usually just as prelude to the final battle on the adversary’s home world. Galactic Conquest mode introduces the strategy side of the game - you’ll be buying units, reinforcing conquered worlds, recruiting various Star Wars legends including Darth Vader, and invading or defending worlds.
When going into battle, units per army are limited to one hundred on each side. Unless you’re invading a planet, then you’re limited to ninety, as the minimum amount of units needing to stay on an occupied world is ten. The battles in this mode tend to be one sided as you can put ninety troops onto a sixty unit planet and once you’ve won the battle you notice that even the soldiers that ‘died’ are back. Moreover, even if you’re in the smaller army it’s still easy to win due to the often clumsy AI.
When the battle’s done with and the bodies are rotting where they fell, Star Wars Battlefront is still at heart ‘Battlefield for Star Wars fans’ - and that’s what makes it great.