All this week, the writers of PS Fanboy will share their impressions of Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron. Make sure you come back every day, as we'll be giving away five limited edition Darth Vader PSP-2000 systems.
When I first heard that the next Star Wars Battlefront game was coming exclusively to PSP, the first thing I asked was "why?" It's not that I don't love my PSP -- but I found it surprising that the biggest Star Wars gaming franchise of all time would make Sony's diminutive handheld its home, rather than a console powerhouse. Certainly, a game that's all about online connectivity would benefit from the additional horsepower that's demanded from a game of this kind. So, when the first footage of the game was released, I was admittedly concerned. The framerate was far from stable, and the graphics lacked the polish that I expected from a modern PSP game.
Well, a good number of my worries were put to rest when I picked up Renegade Squadron. The developers finally gained access to the PSP's full clock speed, 333MHz, and the framerate has stabilized quite nicely. Granted, the level of detail isn't what I'd like it to be, and the draw distance still leaves a lot to be desired. Considering the limitations of the PSP hardware, it does seem like the team at Rebellion have still pulled off an impressive technical feat for the handheld, especially considering how large the environments tend to be.
There's a lot to do in Renegade Squadron, and it can be quite daunting at first. Thankfully, there are tons of in-game tutorial videos that attempt to explain all of the features of the game. However, I discovered the best way to learn is to simply jump into the single player story mode, which offers far more useful advice. The tutorial will guide you through the basics of capturing bases, choosing weapons, conducting battle, and flying spacecraft. After a few levels, you'll have gained a basic understanding of Renegade Squadron's basic gameplay mechanics.