The game follows Rogue Squadron, which, under the command of Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles, uses starfighters to engage and defeat the Galactic Empire. The game is set during the original Star Wars trilogy and recreates battles that take place during those films. Some levels are based on Star Wars novels and comic books from the 1980s. The game features a "making-of" documentary. According to this documentary, the game was assembled in roughly eight months.
Rogue Leader was developed as a sequel to Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. It features significantly improved graphics and a new tactics menu that allows the player to form up their squadron or set a target for their squadron. The game features more unlockable content. This is one of the few GameCube titles to make extensive use of bump mapping and other advanced multitexturing effects.
Rogue Leader won the E3 2001 Game Critics Award for Best Action Game.
A sequel, Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, was released in 2003. The sequel includes a co-operative version of Rogue Leader.
Each ship has different lasers, secondary weapons, speeds, turning ability, and defense.
- X-Wing - The most familiar and balanced ship. The trademark of Rogue Squadron.
- A-Wing - The fast, light, but rather weak ship of the rebellion
- Y-Wing - A bomber with weaker lasers. Because of its strong power, it is slow, but can take a lot of hits. The energy bombs slowly regenerate.
- Speeder - A hovercraft armed with a tow cable, the only craft that can take out an AT-AT walker. It has a low flight ceiling, so it's restricted to missions that are not in space.
- B-Wing - A weird, powerful, heavy fighter that changes from a wide shape to a tall shape when accelerating.
- Millenium Falcon - Han Solo's ship. Excellent blasters, but a big target. It can make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, so it will be fast enough for you.
- Naboo Starfighter - A secret unlockable from the first movie is now just a regular unlockable.
- TIE Fighter - An enemy ship with no life support systems and its targeting computer isn't any use. Unfortunately, using this ship won't trick the enemy into not blowing you up.
- TIE Advanced X1 - Darth Vader's modified TIE Fighter; its targeting computer is the same as the TIE Fighter. Equipped with Cluster Missiles.
- Slave One - The upright ship of Boba Fett. One of the biggest ships, thus one of the biggest targets. It's also slow with weak shields but contains Cluster Missiles for strong offensive ability.
- Car - The car, or "Buick" is a joke ship that is surprisingly good. Very fast, maneuvarable, and comes with regenerating homing cluster missiles.
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