Star Wars: Squadrons is a new space combat game from Motive Studios and Electronic Arts that pays homage to the classic Rogue Squadron and X-Wing/TIE Fighter games of old. It’s the first Star Wars space combat game released since 2003’s Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike.
“In Star Wars: Squadrons, players will enlist as starfighter pilots, stepping into the cockpits of iconic starfighters from both the New Republic and Imperial fleets. They’ll plan skirmishes with their squadron in the briefing room before taking off for space battles across the galaxy,” EA said in a press release.
Star Wars: Squadrons will emphasize not only mastery of combat skills but also the systems inside the cockpit. Players will have to manage power, targeting, and shields as they zip through space, making the game a big more involved than past space combat games based on the franchise.
As opposed to the third-person perspective of the Rogue Squadron games, Star Wars: Squadrons is played in the first-person, with players being able to see all of the controls in the pilot’s seat. The game can also be played completely in VR and is compatible with joysticks and HOTAS controller systems.
EA also unveiled the four ship classes that will appear in the game, all of which are customizable with cosmetics and other upgrades. The classes are fighters, interceptors, support, and bombers — all classic ship types in the Star Wars universe that should add an interesting strategic aspect to the game.
The fighter class is made up of the traditional TIE fighter and X-wing. Interceptors include the TIE interceptor and A-wing. The support ships are the TIE reaper and U-wing. Rounding out the classes is the bomber class, which includes the TIE bomber and Y-wing.
The space battles will be 5v5 matches over locations such as “the gas giant of Yavin Prime and the shattered moon of Galitan.” The game takes place after Return of the Jedi at a time when the Empire is in decline and the New Republic has already been established.
EA has announced two multiplayer modes so far. There’s Fleet Battles, multi-stage matches where the objective is to “demolish the opposing flagship.” The match will start with a dogfight before moving on attack and defend mid-sized cruisers, and then a battle to protect and destroy one side’s capitol ship in the final stage. The publisher confirmed that players will be able to play Fleet Battles against AI.
Dogfights will make players feel “the rush of first-person multiplayer combat as they work with their squadron to defeat as many opponents as possible.” This is a more traditional deathmatch mode.
The single-player mode will “bring to life events following the Battle of Endor when the Rebel Alliance has successfully destroyed the Death Star II” and will be told from “the alternating perspectives of two customizable pilots, one serving in the New Republic’s heroic Vanguard Squadron, while the other fights for the Galactic Empire’s fearsome Titan Squadron.”
EA explained during EA Play that players will create a custom pilot for both the New Republic and Empire and will experience the story through these two characters. The New Republic pilot is named Rao Highmoon while the Imperial pilot is Case Kassandora.
Star Wars: Squadrons will feature a progression system that “will offer rich cosmetic and gameplay customization options with rewards and bonuses that are earned solely through gameplay. As players move up the ranks, they’ll earn components such as weapons, hulls, engines, and shields to customize the performance of their starfighters; and gain cosmetic items to customize their cockpit, ship exteriors, and appearance of their pilot.”
EA unveiled our first look at Star Wars: Squadrons‘ gameplay. The footage teases epic and hectic dogfights and plenty of chaos in the skies and space.
You can check out the gameplay below:
Star Wars Squadrons is out on Oct. 2. The game is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It will retail for $39.99.
“EA Access and Origin Access Basic subscribers can enjoy up to 10 hours of play time at launch, along with 10% off the purchase of the full game,” EA explained in a press release. “Origin Access Premier subscribers will get full access to Star Wars: Squadrons on PC along with all the benefits of Basic as long as they subscribe.”
IGN also confirmed that the game will available on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 at a later date.