Star Wars: Squadrons is Electronic Arts’ latest attempt at bringing the galaxy far, far away to video games. This time, it’s the publisher’s Motive Studios which is putting players inside the cockpits of some of the most popular starfighters in the saga.
The game is set after Return of the Jedi at a time when what’s left of the Empire is desperately clawing at whatever systems and planets it still controls. Fortunately for the galaxy, the New Republic is fighting back with its fleet of ace pilots. Squadrons specifically focuses on the New Republic’s Vanguard Squadron and the Empire’s Titan Squadron, as they battle it out in intense dogfights for galactic supremacy.
While the game isn’t out until tomorrow, reviews for Star Wars: Squadrons are starting to pour in, giving fans a better idea of what awaits them when they jump into the cockpit of their favorite fighter. Here’s a roundup of reviews so far…
Charlie Hall, Polygon:
“Star Wars: Squadrons is every inch the spaceflight simulation that fans have been dreaming of for a generation. It accommodates players in extraordinary ways, from the quality of its many controller options to its ability to form parties across multiple platforms. It’s also one of the most focused games that Electronic Arts has produced in the last 15 years.”
Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge:
“Squadrons is probably not the Star Wars game for everyone. The steep difficulty curve combined with the relatively limited campaign makes it more of a niche kind of game than other, more accessible Star Wars space combat titles. But for players willing to put in the time (and invest in the hardware), the end result is a game that brings you closer to flying around an X-Wing than ever before.”
Tom Marks, IGN:
“Star Wars: Squadrons’ single-player campaign missions are a feast for Star Wars fans’ eyes and ears, especially in VR. Its engaging space combat is a great balance of approachable arcade control with the added nuance of simulation-like systems, which combine with astonishingly detailed ships and cockpits for the most authentic-feeling ride since LucasArts’ legendary X-Wing and TIE Fighter games back in the ‘90s. Star Wars: Squadrons doesn’t end up doing anything too memorable with its charming characters or interesting rival squadron setup, but this campaign still tells an entertaining Star Wars story I enjoyed no matter which cockpit I was in.”
Score – 8/10 (Single-player only)
Edmond Tran, GameSpot:
“There have been a few arcade-style Star Wars space combat games that filled the 20-year period since the last flight simulator, and some of them were even good. But Star Wars: Squadrons is now making a welcome return to some of the simulator intricacies, while still retaining a large degree of the approachable spectacle of the arcade-style flight games. And, based on the single-player story campaign, the balance Squadrons has settled on works very well and creates an experience that makes you feel as if you’re really an active participant in a Star War.”
Ben Tyrer, Games Radar:
“If EA Star Wars games had started to become known for their huge ambition, then Squadrons is a timely reminder of what a singular focus can bring to an experience. This wants to be nothing more than a great place to fly a starfighter. In its best moments, it achieves that goal, living up to some of the older classics that players fell in love with. While the single-player doesn’t quite deliver anything more compelling than a chance to get used to the game’s style, the multiplayer seems primed to offer up plenty for those who have been waiting for an experience like this for quite some time. If that’s enough in the long run remains to be seen, but for now, I’m off to tinker with my Ion Cannons.”
Score – 3.5/5
Wes Fenlon, PC Gamer:
“Star Wars: Squadrons succeeds where it’s most important. It’s a thrill to pilot these ships a hair’s breadth above the surface of a Star Destroyer and through stunning nebulae and war wreckage more vivid than I could’ve possibly imagined playing TIE Fighter in the late 1990s. The campaign, which took me about 10 hours to complete on the default difficulty, never really surprises, but it does manage to accomplish something noteworthy: This feels like being in Star Wars in a way no game has in a long, long time.”
Tomas Franzese, Inverse:
“Star Wars: Squadrons is exactly what you think it is: a no-frills space combat game set in the world of Star Wars. Those not used to the genre will face a steep learning curve, but willing to put in the time and get good will discover one of the most satisfying flight combat games ever and one of the most unique multiplayer experiences of the year.”
Score – 9/10
Stay tuned for Den of Geek’s own review of Star Wars: Squadrons in the next few days!