Anderson Frost posted an update 3 months, 4 weeks ago
It’s full of references for fans and magical (if ill-used) new characters equally, all crammed into a set of cockpits which are accessible to leap in and pilot without dogfights feeling dumb.
You , for the most part, just pick up a controller and begin chasing down enemy ships — but there is also a nuance to adjusting your controller for superior rotation, adjusting electricity between engines, weapons, and shields in the style of the expansive older X-Wing games, and countering missile locks. Things like that make flight more engaging and give good pilots a opportunity to shine without needing you to actually learn to fly a spaceship to be able to play.
How it illuminates the stories of 2 rival squadrons together sets up clever scenarios, occasionally letting you spring up ambushes on another half just to have another assignment swap perspectives so you can handle the aftermath of your actions. It is very cool, and developer Motive Studios continues to establish it understands how to produce a match fit into the Star Wars universe.
Part of this comes down to the cast of interesting characters, chiefly made up of your squads on each side of this conflict. Whether it’s the war-torn Imperial Shen using a battle-scarred helmet he never takes the somewhat Force-sensitive former racer Keo about the Rebel side, each one is distinct and well-designed enough to stick out in their very own manner — a lot so that I could see any of these as a Knights of the Old Republic or Mass Effect companion with them feeling out of place in any way.
In fact, I expect they do appear within an RPG some day, because they aren’t utilized well here. Learning about these and their backstories is almost entirely confined to optional talks in your hangar involving missions, which often feels ham-fisted to get a getting-to-know-you exposition-filled info ditch. These stories are well written and acted, but they’re just sort of irrelevant at the course of Squadrons’ events. I enjoyed listening to them, but it is unfortunate you could bypass every single one and it would not impact your experience of the main story at all.
That story is an entertaining one though, centered across the New Republic’s creation of a new kind of warship and the Empire’s search to prevent that weapon by joining the fight. It is definitely amusing the whole way through, but it doesn’t strike me as particularly memorable. Neither side makes much point about the greater conflict, you are not asked to make any decisions or perhaps really question anything that they do, along with your two rival squads never even directly combat like I so hoped that they would — now that could have been interesting. It only seems like a missed opportunity not to do something much more interesting with this unique campaign structure, where we have perspectives from both sides of this battle.
That said, it will provide more than enough reason to hop in the cockpit and fly a few really fun missions. Most objectives do boil down to"you’re in space and you have to shoot X thing," (that is the whole premise) but the story’s set up for every one which makes them feel more diverse than that — especially when you’re hopping between good guy and bad guy every point or 2. One assignment sees you hijacking a Star Destroyer, while the other has you weaving in and out of boat debris when using old power cores as a triggerable mine area. The dogfighting itself is really good that it got dull, even though I did occasionally wish there was a bit more objective variety here — for example, it might have been cool to see more scenarios based around moving through tight spaces or possibly set closer to the surface of a world (or moon-sized space station, although the galaxy is short on people within this time period).
Fortunately, the areas you do move consistently show off how incredibly gorgeous Squadrons is. Even if goals begin to feel like, weaving through muddy nebulas or about shattered moons differentiates them into magnificent fashion. Missions are action-packed, but many thickly start slow and give you an opportunity to take in a few of the most bizarre sights they must offer prior to the turbolasers begin flying. That spectacle is present in cutscenes as well, which frequently upstage those discretionary hangar conversations and make them feel like an afterthought by comparison.
Star Wars: Squadrons’ single-player campaign missions are a feast for Star Wars lovers’ eyes and ears, especially in VR. Its engaging space battle is a terrific balance of approachable arcade controller with the extra nuance of both simulation-like techniques, which unite with surprisingly comprehensive ships and cockpits to its many authentic-feeling ride because LucasArts’ mythical X-Wing and TIE Fighter games back into the’90s.
2048 Star Wars Star Wars: Squadrons doesn’t end up doing something too memorable with its charming characters or interesting rival squadron setup, yet this campaign still tells an entertaining Star Wars narrative I enjoyed no matter that cockpit I used at.