Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron
|Star Wars Battlefront:|
|Developer(s)||Rebellion Developments (PSP) |
|Producer(s)||Jaime Valls Enriquez (PSP)|
Scott Kiraly (DS)
|Designer(s)||Andrew Haith (PSP)|
Brendan McLeod (DS)
|Programmer(s)||Richard May (PSP)|
Rick Marino (DS)
|Artist(s)||Daniel Meeuws (PSP)|
|Writer(s)||Paul Mackman (PSP)|
|Composer(s)||Tony Porter (DS)|
Karl Demer (DS)
|Series||Star Wars: Battlefront|
|Platform(s)||Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable|
Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron is a third-person shooter video game, part of the Star Wars: Battlefront series released on November 3, 2009 in North America and was released in Europe on November 6, 2009 on the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable.
Elite Squadron allows players to participate in combat on foot, in ground vehicles or in space. Players are also able to enter capital ships and, once the shields are down, fight the enemy inside on foot. The ground-space transitions are accompanied by short cutscenes while the game loads the next area. The same is also true of entering or exiting a capital ship. This is the first Battlefront game to allow players to fly from ground to space battles. The consequences of each battle will depend on the players actions, meaning that each individual enemy killed can affect the outcome of a result. The battlefront will not be one giant, seamless map, but a compilation of inter-connected, smaller size areas, each one capable of affecting the other.
It includes playable characters such as Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, The Emperor and Kit Fisto, and the Heroes and Villains mode (Assault Mode) last featured in Star Wars: Battlefront II. Also included is General Rahm Kota, a character from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, as well as other characters from Renegade Squadron, such as Col Serra. Also, the Galactic Conquest mode features a new mechanic not seen in previous versions, where two players are able to share a single PSP, and compete against each other in a strategy based game mode. Players are also able to mix characters from the Star Wars saga and put them into locations and situations that never happened within canon. The story mode has been called "a huge step up from previous story modes", and was praised for incorporating the controls into the mission. As players made progress in the story and completed objectives, they would unlock customization props.
During the campaign, the player controls a clone trooper called X2, who was created from the DNA of a Jedi Master. X2 also helped train the clone army. X2 is given the job of hunting Jedi in Order 66 with his clone brother, X1. In the beginning, X2 is part of Jedi Master Ferroda's group of clones. Later, X2 kills Ferroda when Order 66 is executed, something he later regrets. X2 consequently betrays the Empire and joins the Rebellion after he refuses to continue carrying out Order 66, causing him to become involved in every major battle in the Star Wars saga from Revenge of the Sith through Return of the Jedi.
The PlayStation Portable version was developed by Rebellion Developments, who developed the previous Battlefront game, Renegade Squadron. It features twelve campaign missions and a deeper customization system than Renegade Squadron's, boasting "the deepest customization options ever seen in a Star Wars Battlefront title". Players can customize weaponry, armor, species, and other physical attributes. Sixteen player multiplayer is supported, with statistic tracking. The game is played from the traditional third person, over-the-shoulder perspective. On October 25, 2009, a demo was released on the PlayStation Store allowing players to play on the planet Tatooine.
The Nintendo DS version was developed by n-Space, known for the DS installments to the Call of Duty series, World at War and Modern Warfare, and uses a modified version of the same game engine used for the DS version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, a fact that becomes evident as this version recycles the dialog UI from the DS version of Unleashed and was developed by the same team that worked on the DS version of Unleashed. This version features eleven campaign missions and up to four players via wi-fi connection. The game features no customization, but instead uses the traditional class-based system. It uses an isometric view, similar to a modern dungeon crawler. Unlike classic Battlefront games, Instant Action is played with only four players, usually one from each faction. There are three modes – Free-For-All, Team Game and Hero Mode. Games are won in space by destroying enemy ships to earn points, in capital ships by collecting R2 units, and on the ground by capturing command posts and killing enemies.
This game may have also been what was left of Free Radical Design's cancelled Star Wars Battlefront III game, as it involved characters that were planned to be in that game, namely X1 and X2, who are seen dueling each other in some footage of the cancelled game. Rebellion Studios then attempted to finish the game after Free Radical Design failed to do so due to budget limitations, but was unable to retrieve and piece together the game's original source code. Consequently, Rebellion Studios then decided to use whatever remaining assets they could recover to develop the PlayStation Portable version of Elite Squadron.
IGN gave the PSP version a score of 6 out of 10. GameSpot gave the same version 7 out of 10, commending its campaign mode and its three linked battlefronts, as well as the customization options it provides. GameSpot, however, criticized the little impact that the space battles had on the overall outcome, and the controls, calling them "stiff and awkward".
The DS version received a 6.9 out of 10 score from IGN, praising the single-player storyline but stating that the Instant Action feature "leaves a lot to be desired".
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