This just in! Months after the success of Jedi: Fallen Order, EA’s attempting to keep the gravy train going with the next Star Wars game to be published by them. After years of waiting for the next genuine dogfighter in a franchise where that’s 40% of the appeal, we’re getting Star Wars: Squadrons. Here are my initial thoughts on what we’ve learned so far.
Taking place after the events of Return of the Jedi, you play as two pilots on opposite sides of the war. On one side, you’ve got Vanguard Squadron with the New Republic; on the other, Titan Squadron with the Empire. As the Galactic Civil War reaches its zenith, you’re in the cockpit as you square off against the best pilots in the galaxy to shape the fate of the war. That’s all we know about the story mode so far, and if you ask me, it sounds pretty promising. But the story is only part of a successful game.
As of right now, there are a total of eight ships that we’ll be able to fly, four on each side: fighters, interceptors, bombers, and support ships. Each ship comes with a detailed cockpit with instruments and sensors to keep players up to date and enhance the sense of realism.
So, it’s basically the Star Wars equivalent of a combat flight simulator, like Ace Combat. Or, for me, X-Wing Alliance.
Here’s the best part, though. We’ll be able to play the entire game in VR! This alone is going to crank the realism factor up to eleven. While this will likely give some people headaches and sore necks, I think it will be worth it to feel like you’re flying an actual X-Wing or TIE fighter.
A lot of games these days are about giving players the freedom to customize to suit their game styles or cosmetic interests. According to the gameplay trailer, we’ll be able to give our ships custom paint jobs, and change the appearance of our pilots. But the real appeal is the components mechanic. You can add upgrades to your fighters to change their power, ammo, and durability. Perfect for players who want to push their gaming to the limit.
The Multiplayer Mode
Now, for the meat of the game, the multiplayer. Right now, there are two modes that will be available in the game: Dogfight and Fleet Battles. Each mode will let players work in teams of five against AI or other players. Dogfight’s as it sounds: a full-on dogfight. Fleet Battle is where the fun begins; a multi-stage battle where players have to fight their way to the enemy flagship and destroy it.
This Looks Promising
I know that EA hasn’t had the best track record with Star Wars in recent years. Their reboot of Battlefront irritated players with its lack of single-player and need to be connected to the Internet. Then Battlefront II gave us a lackluster story, and outraged everyone with its blatant use of micro-transactions. Thankfully, Squadrons will have neither of those. Which is awesome.
Overall, I think that this game’s got a lot of promise. An immersive, combat flight simulator in the Star Wars universe that works with VR is the stuff of dreams! I am genuinely hoping that EA will have learned its lessons from its past screw-ups and give us more games like this. They may not be able to wipe away the stain of their past, but at least they can make up for it.
I’m probably going to get this game and follow in the wings of Luke Skywalker.
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