Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron Review

By Scott Alan Marriott - Posted Nov 02, 2009

Designed by n-Space, the Star Wars: Battlefront series makes its DS debut with Elite Squadron. Released at the same time as the PSP version, the DS game features the same basic storyline of twin clone troopers who follow divergent career paths. You'll also battle swarms of stormtroopers and CIS robots on 11 different worlds from the film series, including Tatooine , Hoth, Coruscant, and Mustafar. That's where the similarities between the two games ends.

The Pros
  • Exciting 3D speeder races
  • Crisp sound effects from the film series
The Cons
  • Monotonous combat
  • Linear level design
  • Boring multiplayer modes

Designed by n-Space, the Star Wars: Battlefront series makes its DS debut with Elite Squadron. Released at the same time as the PSP version, the DS game features the same basic storyline of twin clone troopers who follow divergent career paths. You'll also battle swarms of stormtroopers and CIS robots on 11 different worlds from the film series, including Tatooine, Hoth, Coruscant, and Mustafar. That's where the similarities between the two games end.

Star Wars: Elite Squadron (DS)

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

The presentation shifts from a behind-the-back viewpoint to an overhead perspective, with the touch screen functioning like radar. The single-player campaign, which spans three acts, also features different story elements and includes a series of linear, standalone levels that involve driving speeders, piloting starships, and engaging enemies on foot. Sadly, combat is little more than spamming the fire button and hoping the lock-on button works. Sometimes it doesn't.

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Wireless Warfare 

The "instant action" multiplayer component tries its best to replicate the feel of the PSP version, but the action here is divided into bite-sized chunks. The main mode, free-for-all, consists of three phases: planetside, capital ship, and space, with only one phase required to win (the others give the victor a boost in defense or damage). The lack of an on-screen mini-map combined with the game's overhead perspective means it's difficult to see where control points are. Also, the capital ship phase involves escorting droids, of all things. Space combat simply involves nudging your ship left and right and tapping the fire button -- no flying required.

Other multiplayer modes include a team game, where you are paired with the AI or a friend against another two-person team through three phases of action. There’s also hero mode, which has you playing as a Jedi or Sith on one of two maps: Mustafar and Bespin. Hero mode is essentially a less fulfilling version of whack-a-mole with lightsabers. The characters are so tiny and the moves so limited, it's hard to imagine anyone playing hero mode more than once. The DS version is also limited to four players via local wireless connection, but solo players can still participate against bots if they are in the mood for some feeble-skilled competition.

Star Wars: Elite Squadron (DS)

Obi-Wan or Padawan?


All things considered, Elite Squadron on DS seems targeted toward younger players considering its low difficulty and emphasis on button-mashing action. The design is reminiscent of handheld titles in the LEGO Star Wars series, albeit without the puzzles, collectibles, and sense of charm. It may say Star Wars: Battlefront on the box cover, but as a surprisingly nimble Master Yoda proved in his battle with Count Dooku, looks can be deceiving.