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.
How can I play Star Wars: Squadrons?
Star Wars: Squadrons releases on October 2 at $40 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC and supports cross-play.
When creating the cockpits for Squadrons, the team at EA Motive took a page out of Industrial Light and Magic’s book. They thought about what components the company would have had available to them when building the ships in the late 1970s for the original trilogy and allowed that methodology to guide their own design philosophy. They even built real-life versions of the cockpits for the actors when recording motion capture, so the in-game avatar’s movements should be a one-to-one translation.
This allows the game to support devices beyond traditional inputs. Squadrons will be fully playable in both PSVR and PC headsets, although we don’t have specifics on which units are or aren’t compatible with the latter, it’s a safe bet that the majority of them will be. There will also be hands-on throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) support on PC, allowing you to use an actual joystick.
When in the Star Wars timeline is the game set?
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 multiple different game modes, such as 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, which was set during the same timeframe, so expect characters from that entry to show up during your journey.
What ships can I fly?
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 fly them all.
X-wings and TIE fighters are the most balanced of the selection. Y-wings and TIE bombers are the slower moving heavy hitters. A-wings and TIE interceptors have a focus on speed and attack but lack robust defenses. U-wings and TIE reapers support the other classes by providing buffs, as well as laying 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.
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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