Star Wars: Squadrons, which puts players into the cockpit of a Rebel Alliance or Galactic Empire ship, will make up for the lack of films when the game hits consoles in October. The game expands the dogfighting gameplay from Battlefront II‘s space battles by emphasizing on building an authentic first-person experience based on the ships’ differences. Here’s everything we know so far about Star Wars: Squadrons.
Star Wars: Squadrons releases on October 2 at $40 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC and supports cross-play.
Squadrons will be fully playable in both PSVR and PC headsets However, EA has not released specifics regarding units are compatible. There will also be hands-on throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) support on PC, allowing players to use a joystick.
Star Wars: Squadrons is set following the Battle of Endor, the epic conflict that served as the final battleground in Return of the Jedi. Gamers will play as both the hero and villain, alternating between controlling a Rebel and Imperial pilot in a single-player campaign.
The bulk of Squadrons will be spent with its multiplayer, featuring two teams of five face off across different game modes like the multi-stage Fleet Battles, which have players move from small dogfights to taking down their opponent’s capital ship.
The writers also wrote the story for Battlefront II, set during the same timeframe, so expect characters from that entry to show up during your journey.
Squadrons looks to build the truest Star Wars flight simulator it can, restricting the viewpoint to first-person and putting the focus on the ships’ cockpits. There are eight different ships in total: four for the Rebels and four for the Empire.
● T-65B X-wing starfighter
● BTL-A4 Y-wing assault starfighter/bomber
● RZ-1 A-wing interceptor
● UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft
● TIE/ln starfighter (“TIE fighter”)
● TIE/sa bomber (“TIE bomber”)
● TIE/in interceptor (“TIE interceptor”)
● TIE/rp reaper attack lander (“TIE reaper”)
Each ship is unique in how it handles, but they have fundamental similarities, meaning once you learn how to fly one ship, you can control them all.
X-wings and TIE fighters are the most balanced while Y-wings and TIE bombers are slower moving heavy-hitters. A-wings and TIE interceptors focus on speed and attack but lack robust defenses. U-wings and TIE reapers support other classes with buffs and can lay traps for their opponents.
One of the unique aspects of the game is power management, which gives the player the choice of diverting energy to whatever part of the ship they require. Do they wish to boost their offensive capabilities at the cost of reduced defenses? Do they need to increase their shields while sacrificing firepower? Or maybe they put everything into their engines to allow them to outpace their opponents. Squadrons gives them that freedom. The game will also offer simplified and advanced options for this mechanic, giving pro players even finer controls and allowing more casual flyers to not worry about the system too much.
While shields regenerate, hull damage to a player’s ship will not. During a fight, players can return to their capital ship to fully replenish their health, or equip themselves with an astromech to make their repairs on the fly. Support craft can also assist players in a pinch with restorative capabilities.
All of Star Wars: Squadrons rewards, unlocks, and progressions are earned through playing the game. Outside the regular game modes, there are three prongs of the game’s online experience: challenges, operations, and level. All of these will provide players with glory, an in-game currency used to unlock cosmetics.
Another currency, called requisition, is used to unlock components of a ship, and players will earn experience (XP) from almost everything they do.
Challenges are the main way to earn rewards besides playing matches. There are both daily and operation challenges in the game, which are timed and rotate. Daily challenges are usually simple objectives that provide glory, which can also be earned based on a player’s match performance.
Operations are challenges that happen in 8-week cycles, and each one rewards players with special cosmetics that can only be earned through completing them. Once they’re gone, players have to wait until the challenge cycles through again to earn those specific cosmetics.
Also related to the eight-week resets are the game’s fleet battles rank. After every eight-week conclusion and restart, a player’s competitive rank related to fleet battles is going to reset, which will allow for a regular skill assessment. To earn the first rank, a player needs to participate in 10 placement matches.
The ranks are Maverick, Hero, Valiant, Legend, and Galactic Ace. The system was created to help players grow their skills without punishing them too much if they don’t perform well. For example, players won’t be demoted into lower ranks during the course of an operation. This means that someone with a Legend ranking can’t drop down to Valiant, but they can drop from Legend III to Legend II.
At the end of the operation, players will be awarded glory based on the maximum rank they achieved. Also, players that reach the Valiant or higher rank will get exclusive helmets.
Another aspect of the game is a player’s personal level. These are linear progressions that won’t reset the way competitive rank does. During the first 40 levels, players can unlock requisition points used to acquire ship components. Players at level 40 will be able to unlock every potential starfighter build. Levels aren’t meant to make a player more powerful, but rather allow for more options for play.
There will also be bonus events to provide additional glory, and the game’s developers said that players will get a bundle of cosmetics for certain events, like completing the game’s story mode or the Fleet Battles tutorial.
With loving detail poured into the cockpit designs, tremendous thought given to the gameplay, combined with virtual reality and joystick support, Squadrons is sure to be the definitive Star Wars simulator.
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