Star Wars Squadrons was released yesterday, without a great deal of commotion. Squadrons is the 2nd Star Wars game that EA have published in the last 12 months. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order picked up some great reviews and a tonne of praise for falling back into the old school story-focused gaming style. Star Wars Squadrons still feels like they’ve learnt some valuable lessons, but it also feels like they’re hoping this will be a long term multiplayer option for many gamers.
We’ve had a chance to sit down and put some hours into the game. Here’s our Star Wars Squadrons Review.
From the moment i popped the game disc into my Xbox One, I had a good feeling about the game. When Squadrons first loaded, it felt like there were very minimal options. I quickly realised this is simply to push you into a tutorial of sorts, letting you get a feel for the games controls. I must say, initially I was a bit worried about the feel of the controls. It felt clunky and i was all over the shop. Unsurprisingly, this was a user problem only.
After about 5 minutes of flying around and shooting lasers at unsuspecting victims, I developed a strong understanding of the controls and, like flicking on a light switch, immediately the game became about 100x more enjoyable.
It’s been a long time since i’ve played a pure space combat game, so it’s hard to recall my exact feelings about those past titles. What I can tell you, is that as far as I can recall, this is THE most realistic Star Wars space combat game that i’ve played. The first-person views, along with the ability to divert engine power and control a big chunk of your ships controls, makes you feel like you’re actually in the cockpit.
Of course, with realism comes certain negatives. For instance, it can be a quite tricky locking onto fast targets when you’re in direct combat. However, I didn’t mind this too much. It made the game feel quite hard and that each and every mission would be a legitimate challenge.
As is the case with all games, I would enjoy the option to be able to switch between first and third person modes. I understand why they want this to be a first-person only battle game, but i just find it annoying at times.
From a multiplayer perspective, I’ve only had a quick play around, so there will likely be more in depth reviews of the multiplayer gameplay. What I can tell you is that you should cut your teeth on the story mode and the training before entering into online gameplay. I got touched up in a rather embarrassing way…and I thought I was getting pretty good!
The game allows you to play with up to 10 players in your squadron (including you). You can also just jump into a random squadron and take on an assortment of online enemies.
Once you’ve played through the first few missions of the campaign, you’ll be given the chance to access the main menu, and with it, the customisation centre. Here you can change the way your character looks and upgrade your ships missiles, laser and shields.
The player customisation is fairly limited and only includes clothing and accessories. You can change the gender and face type of your character, but not to any great detail. I’ve seen quite a few reviews claim this is a real let down, but to be honest, it’s not like you can see the character all the time… so who cares?
The ability to edit the loadouts of the 4 major ships is very cool. Depending on how you play the game, you can select different weapons, shields and engines to help you get the win. Of course, many of these will be locked when you first play, requiring you to build up ‘requisition’ and ‘glory’ points to upgrade. There are challenges that will allow you to earn more of these points, but i’d assume this will also be a way for EA to bring in some micro-transactions at some point (*sigh*).
What’s Our Star Wars Squadrons Score?
I’m going to give Star Wars Squadrons a 7.5/10, with the opportunity to move up to an 8 as I sink more hours into it. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the combat in this game. I have never been a huge fan of vehicle-only games, but I decided to go into this one with little to no bias.
I found the controls over the ship the most pleasing aspect of the gameplay. Being able to constantly strategise made me intrigued throughout every fight I had. Obviously, I think there are improvements to be made. I didn’t enjoy the little i’ve played of multiplayer mode thus far. It felt slow and stupidly difficult, but I’m willing to give the game the benefit of the doubt here.
Overall, I’m really happy with how this game has turned out, and i’m looking forward to getting to the end of it!