Review: Star Wars: Squadrons
It's time to piew piew in the new Star Wars game from EA and Motive Studios. Does this game make up for mistakes that manifested themselves in earlier Star Wars titles? Short answer: Yes! Long answer: Down here!
Star Wars: Squadrons is essentially a space combat game, where you take control of various ships within the Star Wars universe. The game has a fairly short but very unique storyline to play through, enough multiplayer fun to keep you busy for a long time and can also be played completely in VR. As if that weren't enough, it's a challenging game to say the least. Let's get into it!
Let's start straight away with perhaps the most important aspect that will lay the foundation of Squadrons: controls! Let me first say that the game feels very responsive when you play with a controller. You can play the game with special controllers, such as flight sticks, but I have not tried this. I hear this isn't working perfectly yet, but it's being worked on!
Using both joysticks to steer and fly has a small learning curve, it's a feeling that you have to get through. Provided you start to get this feeling, you will notice that the game starts to feel more and more smooth. I pumped up the sensitivity a bit myself, because I felt the controls as they came felt a little too slow. This is of course different for everyone. But, if you have problems with the joysticks, try messing around with the settings until you reach that sweet spot.
Every ship feels different and also has different possibilities. You have different options in terms of mobilization anyway. You will constantly have to make choices between the speed of your ship, your damage output or the amount of shield you have. This is all very situational. When you have multiple turrets aimed at you, the choice between flying away quickly, full throttle in the attack or defending as much as possible is very close to each other. Which choice works best is entirely up to you and your playstyle.
The Squadrons single player is quite sparse in the number of missions you have. Some missions are a bit longer, but the game itself can be completed within 8-12 hours. The story they try to tell is generally fine, but also leaves something to be desired here and there. Anyway, for a game that focuses purely on flying Starfighters, Wing Bombers, TIE Reapers and other ships, the campaign is quite extensive. Here you mainly learn the basics and some slightly more advanced options for the ships and you do get a great story. So, while nothing groundbreaking, it's a welcome addition that lays a strong foundation for multiplayer, which is what the game is all about.
What matters, or flies
The multiplayer is what it will be all about for most. The multiplayer is also quite difficult at many moments, which makes me want to do my best in the games afterwards. You are constantly improving your own skills and getting familiar with all the starships. Dogfights is a fantastically fun way to develop your own playing style, as you will be tested in different situations here, every game again. Dogfights is your default team deathmatch mode, where Fleet Battles focuses on multistage objective-based gameplay. This is also the most in-depth mode the game has to offer at the moment. Here, two teams will drill each other into the ground, and then blast each other's capital ships out of the sky.
You will try different types of ships through the modes. In Dogfight, I find myself tending to use Interceptors and Fighters mostly for the quick mobility and general pacing of the pots. In Fleet Battles I always try to look at which ship fits which situation, or what the layout of my team is.
Graphics, sound and maps
Star Wars: Squadrons looks good, especially for a game that can also be played entirely in VR. The ships all look unique inside and they really make you feel like you're in a starship. The first-person camera during dialogues sometimes looks a bit strange, but that choice was made with VR in mind and therefore more understandable. Sound design is where Squadrons also scores a lot of pluses. You constantly feel and hear the lasers, bullets, ships, debris and voices screeching around you and this made me constantly feel like I was right in the middle of the action. The six maps that the game knows have all received a fresh look from the developers. With the hope that there will be more maps that will be provided with the same quality,I just want to say that I think it's cool that maps that are constantly in space can still contain variety. Cheers!
If this is the kind of game you've been waiting for, Star Wars: Squadrons is the best experience the gaming world has to offer. It is not the best and most long storyline and in terms of multiplayer maps there is quantitatively something to be desired, but otherwise this is a real blast for the niche market for which the game is intended. The game looks good, plays responsively, has logical controls and so far makes pretty good choices in multiplayer. In short: a real must for the fan and the curious person!
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