Last night was EA Play, which gave me the same feeling I had about a year ago around this time when Respawn showed Jedi: Fallen Order which was that of pure joy and wonder. Let me tell you about Star Wars: Squadrons and what my general thoughts were.
The game is set after the events of Return of the Jedi and will have you creating two Star Wars stories in one. First, you will be a pilot for the New Republic as an agent of light, and second as an instrument of the dark side in the form of what remains of the Empire. Both characters will be customizable visually so you could have an Imperial twi’lek as a pilot and an Asian New Republic pilot.
As for the “Squadrons” you have Titan squadron for the Empire commanded by Terisa Kerrill, and Lindon Javes leading the pilots for Vanguard squadron for the New Republic Defense Force. As for the cosmetics, I hope this is something that can be done without the use of microtransactions considering what Battlefront II went through both inside and out of the gaming industry as then-Disney CEO Bob Iger reportedly had to personally step in. All that aside, I really look forward to customizing my ships.
To give a little background as to why I am very excited for this game: when I was in junior high in the mid-2000s I had, and still have, an affinity for the old Rogue Squadron games Factor Five had made for the GameCube following the adventures seen in the original trilogy from the perspective of Wedge Antilles also known as the Hero of the Rebellion. Whenever I got the feeling of wanting to experience life as a pilot in the Star Wars Galaxy I would hope for a new flight-based Star Wars game. So aside from dusting off my GameCube, finding a controller, and hoping I have enough money to buy one of the Rogue Squadron games off eBay, I would simply go to Battlefront II.
It was announced during the gameplay reveal that all of the gameplay in the game would be seen from the pilot’s point of view. As you can tell from the image below, this game will be a more detailed experience of piloting a Star Wars attack fighter than we have seen since the X-Wing and TIE Fighter games of the 1990s. Two familiar faces appear in the single-player campaign, the first being Hera Syndulla who made her debut in Star Wars: Rebels and is clearly a part of the New Republic Defense Guard. On the Imperial side, we have Grand Admiral Rae Sloane who has been in numerous Star Wars novels. Fun fact: Graydon Webb had taken a screencap of the trailer that went up on Monday and it was none other than Hera. So props to him for catching that little snippet.
Before I get to the modes, the ships were shown off and the classics are there. I was glad to see the TIE Interceptor, A-Wing, and Y-wing. But was shocked to see the U-wing as it was part of “The Disney Era” and not really knowing much about it made me feel like the biggest fake fanboy.
The first multiplayer mode is “Dogfighting” which in layman’s terms is 5v5 team deathmatch. The gameplay made it clear that when in this mode you should really mess around with different load-outs and strategies. I sincerely hope that I can do better in this version of vehicle TDM than I did in Starfighter Assault in Battlefront II.
The second mode is Fleet Battles, a game mode that reminds me of Supremacy mode currently in Star Wars: Battlefront II. The way Fleet Battles work is by having vehicular combat in the center of the map as the first stage, then you must destroy at least two medium-sized capital ships, and then you attack the opposing forces’ flagship. Like a great game of quidditch though, one team will be on offense and the other on defense. There will be a social hub prior to matches to talk over a battle plan or you can fly solo.
I gotta say, I am really looking forward to this game. With the recent Star Wars games such as Vader Immortal, Jedi: Fallen Order, and Battlefront II I am hoping the comparisons made with the latter two and similar Star Wars games can also be said with Squadrons and Rogue Squadron. With a release date of October 2nd, I am really praying that things improve around the world so there is no delay to a later date as seen with Cyberpunk 2077. You can read my Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order review here. Stay safe, stay sane.