If you liked Star Wars: Battlefront II on the PSP, you will love Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron. It's got everything its predecessor was missing: a real campaign, online play, and true customization. It's still got some control issues and doesn't stray very far from the formula, but all told, this is a satisfying action game that will provide dozens of hours of enjoyment to people who like to shoot things in games.
Renegade Squadron is primarily a multiplayer third-person shooter. It includes ad hoc play for up to eight players, a nice advance over Battlefront II's four-player limit. Yet the game's biggest improvement, by far, is the inclusion of online infrastructure play for up to 16 players. There are several modes to choose from, but the meat of the game, as before, is the conquest mode. If you've played any Battlefront or Battlefield game, you'll know how this works. Two teams fight for control of various capture points scattered across the map. Each team begins with a certain number of tickets, and as players respawn, tickets are removed from their total. To win, you either capture all the control points or bleed your enemy's tickets down to zero. There are a number of familiar maps to play on; some are reworked from Battlefront II, while others, like Saleucami and Boz Pity, are new. It's too bad there aren't more new maps, but there are a total of 15 ground maps in total, so there is still plenty of variety. There are also online leaderboards that let you check out how you rank against other players.
These battles are intense affairs, and you aren't limited to running around on foot. You can jump into speeder bikes, AT-STs, hovertanks, and even AT-ATs (used memorably on the Hoth map). If there aren't enough human players on the server, the game will fill out the teams with bots, so you're always guaranteed an action-packed battle, even though the bots are generally dumb and easy to take down.
Rather than pick a class before entering battle as before, you now have 100 credits to spend on items and upgrades. You can spend credits on primary or secondary weapons, explosives, power-ups (like the ever-helpful rage, which increases your damage), and more. In short, you can customize your character to your play style--and even better, you can make changes on the fly at any captured spawn point. So if you're being dogged by an AT-ST, you can switch from your blaster rifle to a rocket launcher, which should dispatch the chicken walker in no time flat. It's tempting to go for the high-powered weapons, but even items that don't sound particularly helpful at first have their uses. For instance, that jump pack doesn't sound too interesting until you find out how hard it is to hit a guy leaping around in one. Many maps are available for play during the Clone Wars, as well as the Galactic Civil War era. There are also a total of four factions: Rebel Alliance, Empire, Republic, and Confederacy. You can customize each of your four avatars separately, though the loadouts are all exactly the same between them. However, you can customize their looks, choosing from a variety of heads, bodies, armor colors, and insignias.
There are other modes besides conquest, such as capture the flag and hero capture the flag, in which you turn into a recognizable Star Wars hero when you grab your own flag. Most notable, though, is the assault mode, which puts you in the cockpit of a space vessel and sends you off into the galaxy to attack the critical systems on your enemy's capital ship. Space battles are a good deal of fun and put you behind the controls of such familiar ships as X-Wings and TIE Defenders.