EA’s new Star Wars title is promising an authentic flight experience in X-Wings and more
Take to the skies like Han Solo or Poe Dameron with intense dogfighting action in the new Star Wars: Squadrons. Releasing on October 2nd for Steam, Origin, PS4 and Xbox One, you will be in the cockpit of some of the Galaxy’s best ships.
The game is the first Star Wars piloting experience since Jedi Starfighter’s release in 2005. In this blog post, we’ll be looking at the in-depth gameplay, story mode, multiplayer and much more.
As a five-person squadron, you will channel your inner Luke Skywalker and fly the X-Wing, as well as other ships from both the New Republic and Galactic Empire.
Star Wars: Squadrons takes us back to a nostalgia-filled time of the 1993 X-Wing game, and 1998’s Rogue Squadron 3D. The classic dogfighting game places you into the cockpit with first-person spaceship action.
The game is full of depth like no Star Wars game before as you will be put in charge of power management for the ultimate starship experience. You’ll have to swap between engines, shields, boosting, and many more to get the best out of your ship and to succeed in battle.
All of the instrumentation needed to succeed as the Galaxy’s greatest pilot, after Han Solo, of course, will be displayed in the cockpit User Interface. This includes the laser charge, sensors, and combat display. All of this is designed with the classic Star Wars feel by taking inspiration from the Industrial Light and Magic props used in the original trilogy.
You won’t be piloting just one type of ship. You can get into the hot seat of the deadly TIE Interceptor used during the Battle of Endor, but don’t mention that to your Imperial colleagues. As well as the legendary republic Y-Wing and many more.
In total, there are eight ships in four classes to master. Your team can be made up of a mixture of these classes for maximum effectiveness during battle.
Fighters are fast and flexible. They’re able to handle any situation that you may find yourself in. Also, the X-Wing and TIE FIghter are probably the most iconic vehicles in Star Wars behind the Millenium Falcon which you won’t be able to take out for a spin, unfortunately.
The Interceptor class is all about speed and maneuverability. This class makes it ideal for those aggressive players eager to hunt down others.
Speaking of aggressive, the Bombers may be slower, but they deal high damage. If you want to go full-on assault then the Bomber class will allow you to do this.
Or maybe you want to help your regiment by being a Support ship. Their primary aim is to - keep Allies safe and stocked up, as well as disrupting enemy fighters with a mixture of lethal and non-lethal weapons.
Choosing different ship classes gives your squadron different ways to play. You can choose to assault the enemy with speed, take on a stealthy approach or go full out with high impact bombardments.
You won’t just be picking ships. You can customize your character and your ship too.
Electronic Arts are going all out with lots of customization. These will be both cosmetic and gameplay oriented. However, don’t worry about any pesky microtransactions as these can all be unlocked through gameplay.
Starting off with the cosmetics, you can choose your ship’s colorway, as well as interior items like a bobblehead that sits in your cockpit.
These will be unlocked through Glory points and also allows you to customize your character with an option of different heads such as Human, Twi’lek and more.
It doesn’t stop there as you’ll be able to suit up in different flight suit designs, as well as choosing from additional helmets and voice styles. All of these cosmetic changes will apply to both single and multiplayer, but more on these later!
Now let’s get onto the ship components. These are the upgrades that influence gameplay with up to seven component slots. Each slot is either passive or active with active being the likes of your Primary Weapons, 2 Auxiliary slots and Countermeasures.
A lot of these are self-explanatory with your primary weapon determining your rate of fire, damage, cooling time etc…
Auxiliary slots add in secondary abilities that are non-duplicatable, such as tractor beams, repair devices and bombs. There are also countermeasures that are used to stop your enemies from causing damage to your ship. These include stopping lock-ons for seeker missiles.
Whereas Passive is your Hull, Shields - though not every ship has a shield, and Engine. These will make you quicker but more power consuming, or with greater protection. Though it will be about balancing everything out so you’re not consuming power too heavily and leaving yourself as an easy target.
Squadrons will take place after the Battle of Endor, which saw the Rebellion blow up the second Death Star and defeat the sinister Emperor Palpatine. All with the help of some cuddly Ewoks.
Centering around two fighter squadrons on opposing sides, the New Republic's Vanguard Squadron and the Galactic Empire's Titan Squadron will help shape the balance of power in a Galaxy that is in turmoil.
We don’t know the full plot as of yet, but part of the story deals with the New Republic's Project Starhawk, which the Empire has gotten wind of, sending spies to deal with it.
Within the game, you will visit six locations that have more than just enemy ships causing danger to your crew.
Of these six, four locations are totally new to the Star Wars universe and we’re sure will be full of interesting post-Return of the Jedi lore.
You will be fighting around Yavin Prime. This planet may sound familiar and it should. It’s the planet where the moon of Yavin 4 circles. Yavin 4, of course, was home of the Rebel base we saw in A New Hope.
We’re also getting the first look at Nadiri Dockyards. This starship manufacturing facility was previously only mentioned in the Aftermath: Life Debt book and contains lots of asteroids to navigate between.
As for totally new locations, you have the icy, Imperial controlled Esseles - which acts as a listening post for the Empire.
Imperial ship graveyard Sissubo (Siss-U-Bo) with the debris providing a threat to any pilot that dares to fly in its sky.
As well as, Galitan which provides a unique threat that isn’t just about avoiding enemy fire, but also the turbulent forces within the Ringali Nebula. These forces ripped apart a moon that now floats as molten pieces in the atmosphere.
If more danger is your thing then look no further than Zavian Abyss. Electrically charged asteroids from a surrounding maelstrom are a pilot’s nightmare. Expect low control and high danger during your flights around this location.
As well as the five-squadron single-player, the multiplayer pits you in the middle of 5 v 5 battles. These will be available with Crossplay if your friends are on a different console to yourself.
Within multiplayer there are two confirmed game modes at this time.
Dogfights are simple elimination matches where you have to rack up the most kills to win.
Fleet Battles, however, are longer, multi-stage conflicts against other players. You start by having a dogfight in the center of the match, then depending on the result you attack or defend two capital ships, then defend or destroy the flagship. The winner is determined by the fate of the flagship. These can also be played with your friends against the AI if you prefer.
For the VR lovers amongst us then this may be the most immersive dogfighting game you have played so far. The entire game is playable in VR with the PC version also fully supporting joystick use as well as hands-on-throttle-and-stick rigs.
If you’ve been considering buying a rig then now’s the perfect time to.
If you pre-order the game on Fanatical.com you will save money off and get a game for free*! Now buckle up as we’re about to jump to lightspeed.
*During September 2020