Steen Knudsen posted an update 4 months ago
It’s filled with references for fans and charming (if ill-used) new characters alike, all crammed into a collection of cockpits which are accessible to leap in and bunny without dogfights feeling dumb.
Squadrons has found a sweet spot between the point-and-shoot ease of the timeless Rogue Squadron series along with the insanely thorough simulation of Elite: Dangerous. You , for the most part, simply get a controller and start chasing down enemy ships — but there’s also a nuance to correcting your throttle for improved turning, swapping power between engines, weapons, and protects in the style of the expansive older X-Wing matches , and countering missile locks. Things like that make flight much more participating and provide excellent pilots a opportunity to shine without needing one to actually learn to fly a spaceship so as to play.
The effort spends its approximately seven-hour run of missions leaping between the dueling perspectives of a crumbling Empire and a freshly formed New Republic just after the events of Return of the Jedi. How it illuminates the stories of two rival squadrons collectively sets up smart scenarios, sometimes allowing you to spring up ambushes in your other half only to have another mission swap perspectives so it is possible to take care of the aftermath of your own actions. It is very trendy, and developer Motive Studios proceeds to establish it knows how to create a game fit seamlessly into the Star Wars universe.
Part of that comes down to its own cast of interesting characters, chiefly made up of the squads on each side of this conflict.
2048 Star Wars Whether it’s the war-torn Imperial Shen with a battle-scarred helmet he never takes off or the somewhat Force-sensitive former racer Keo on the side, each is different and well-designed enough to stick out in their own way — a lot so I could observe any of these because a Knights of the Old Republic or Mass Impact Companion without them feeling out of place whatsoever.
In fact, I hope they do look in an RPG daily, because they aren’t utilized well here. Learning about these and their backstories is almost entirely limited to optional talks in your hangar between missions, which often feels ham-fisted to get a getting-to-know-you exposition-filled information dump. Those stories are well written and acted, however they are just kind of irrelevant at the class of Squadrons’ events. I enjoyed listening to them, but it’s unfortunate that you could skip each one and it wouldn’t influence your experience of the main story in any way.
That story is a fun one however, centered across the New Republic’s development of a new sort of warship and the Empire’s search to stop that weapon from joining the struggle. It is definitely amusing the whole way through, however, it doesn’t strike me as particularly memorable. Neither side makes much of a point concerning the larger battle, you aren’t asked to make any decisions or even really question anything they do, and your two rival squads never directly clash like I hoped that they would — that would have been fascinating. It just sounds like a missed opportunity not to do something more interesting with this exceptional campaign format, in which we have perspectives from each side of this battle.
Having said that, it does provide more than enough reason to jump into the cockpit and fly a few really fun missions. Most objectives do boil down to"you’re in distance and you need to shoot X item," (which is the whole premise) but the narrative’s setup for every one makes them feel more diverse than that — especially when you are leaping between good guy and bad guy every stage or 2. One mission sees you hijacking a Star Destroyer, while another has you weaving in and out of ship debris while utilizing old electricity cores as a triggerable mine area. The dogfighting itself is so great that it got dull, even though I did occasionally want there was a little more objective number here — for example, it could have been cool to see scenarios centered around moving through tight spaces or perhaps set closer to the surface of a world (or even moon-sized space station, although the galaxy is short on people within this time period).
Thankfully, the places you do go always show off how amazingly magnificent Squadrons is. Even if objectives start to feel similar, weaving through cloudy nebulas or about shattered moons distinguishes them in stunning fashion. Missions are action-packed, but many strategically start slow and give you an opportunity to take in a few of the grandiose sights they must offer before the turbolasers start flying. That spectacle exists in cutscenes too, which frequently upstage those optional hangar discussions and make them feel like an afterthought by comparison.
Star Wars: Squadrons’ single-player campaign assignments are a banquet for Star Wars lovers’ ears and eyes, especially in VR. Its participating space battle is a superb balance of arcade controller with the extra nuance of simulation-like techniques, which unite with astonishingly comprehensive ships and cockpits to the most authentic-feeling ride since LucasArts’ mythical X-Wing and TIE Fighter games back from the’90s. Star Wars: Squadrons doesn’t wind up doing something overly memorable with its magical characters or interesting rival squadron installment, but this campaign still tells an entertaining Star Wars narrative I liked no matter that cockpit I used in.