Star Wars: Squadrons single-player offers a fun mix of space simulation battles from both sides of the war including X-Wings and TIE Fighters.
The game does have a multiplayer component but this Star Wars: Squadrons review focuses on the single-player campaign.
Developed by Motive Studios and published by Electronic Arts, Squadrons has been a relatively under-the-radar development when compared with the over-hyped Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
This is usually a good sign in the games industry though, and the trend seems to have continued with the latest Star Wars game.
Utilizing the same technology that powers Battlefront 2, Squadrons looks glorious as you realize all of your childhood dreams.
The story is set just a few years after Return of the Jedi as the war against the Empire still goes on, despite news of the Emperor’s demise.
The New Republic has been formed to take on what is left of the Empire as the rebels get organized by stealing Empire tech.
Playing as both sides you will get to pilot the best ships that each side has to offer including the iconic X-Wings and TIE Fighters.
The campaign begins during the main saga with orders coming from Darth Vader himself to hunt down rebel refugees.
Playing as a new pilot you are attached to Titan Squad as a support pilot when things go wrong and the squadron is betrayed by their leader Lyndon Javes.
Upon the conclusion of the mission, the action switches to the perspective of the rebels, where you are thrown into combat in an X-Wing as part of Vanguard Squadron.
At first, I was a little apprehensive about this combination of switching sides, but as the action unfolds it is clear that this is a great way of telling such a story.
The first two missions serve as good tutorials in order to get to grips with the basic combat of the game.
At first, the game will seem a little difficult with a lot going on, but after the first couple of missions, you will be ready to make a run on the Death Star yourself.
There’s a multitude of battle-ready ships on either side of the fight including Y-Wing bombers, TIE Interceptors and A-Wings.
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Each ship has its own features and selecting the right one for the job is mostly a personal preference although some missions don’t allow ship selection.
For example, one mission for the New Republic requires the bombing of an Imperial communications outpost and therefore you are forced to use a Y-Wing bomber.
The missions themselves are quite short, however they are very Star Wars in nature and feel extremely authentic.
There are the epic fighter battles with the iconic whirring sounds of TIE Fighter engines and the shooting of lasers.
It’s a great feeling when you are hunting TIE Fighters in an X-Wing and they blow up right in front of you as you hear the bits and pieces scatter across your hull.
Dog fights are the core of the game and they are done extremely well.
However, there are also such missions as bombing runs and escorts, all of which require different techniques.
Bombing runs require accuracy and good control of the ship’s engines so you can get out of there as quickly as possible before TIEs swarm around you.
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Escort missions may require you to attach portable shields to a shuttle while you stick with it and protect it from swarming X-Wings for example.
A key feature of combat is the clever use of a ship’s power systems.
Power can be adjusted for stronger shields at the expense of weaker weapons while it may also be transferred to the engines for a quick escape or evade.
No one use of each of a ship’s subsystems will work for one entire mission so efficient use of these systems is key for success.
Selecting your ship’s loadout will also have an impact on your mission and is best suited to how you personally play the game.
You can, for example, select high damage rockets that take longer to lock on or stronger shields at the expense of engine speed.
While the gameplay is excellent, the story is pretty thin.
You may want to feel something for the characters in the story, but you ultimately won’t, given the detached nature of the game.
This isn’t any kind of fault, rather there is minimal interaction apart from mission briefings and story filler from stationary positions.
I think being able to walk around the hangars and Star Destroyers may have had a better impact on the feeling of immersion.
That being said, the interior environments are very detailed and authentic.
It’s great fun to see groups of Storm Troopers walking around as you inspect your ship for example.
To be fair, I haven’t yet played with a PSVR headset but I can imagine that it looks and feels amazing given the amount of detail in the latest Star Wars VR game.
Multiplayer is the main point of this game and the campaign really serves as a long tutorial while being a very short story, similar to Battlefront 2.
Sadly though, Motive Studios have confirmed that they have no plans for future DLC.
This seems really strange given that the game appears to fit right into the “game as a service” model.
I can’t really say anything bad about this game other than the main campaign is too short and the news of no DLC is a little disappointing.
For any Star Wars fan, Squadrons is a must-have title, but for any gamer wanting something a little different, it’s also a great pick-up-and-play game.
An excellent technical implementation using the amazing Frostbite Engine combined with classic flight-sim mechanics makes this the best Star Wars simulation since X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter.
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Star Wars: Squadrons is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Michael is the sole writer and owner at chartxgames.com.
Many thought that his youth (and adulthood) playing video games was a waste of time but here he is writing about them for a living.
Michael has a background in IT and enjoys (apart from video games) building and repairing PC’s, digital artwork (Photoshop, 3DS Max) and has interests in too many subjects to mention.