Star Wars Squadrons ™
On the 15th of June 2020, EA released their reveal trailer for Star Wars Squadrons ™ and wow, times really have a ‘changed. Star Wars Squadrons ™ is set to release on the 2nd of October 2020 on PC, Xbox One, PS4, supporting Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index and PSVR.
Developed on the Frostbite Engine and from what we have seen this far, the graphics are light years away from the simple colored lines of the 80’s. The model renders are a delight, the ship detailing exquisite and the animation smoother than a sanded Westar. Set After the Battle of Endor, the story switches from the perspective of two rival pilot squads, Empire and New Republic. Each squad provides various ship selections and customisable upgrades, including cosmetic items for ships and characters. Leaning on the original trilogies roots, the combat engine is underpinned with World War II aerial combat footage alongside Star Wars’s own unique take on how things move in space. Ships can be modified to adapt to your playstyle; do you like going fast? Then max out your engines. Like shouting ‘pew pew’ really loudly at the screen? Then max out you guns for full devastation. Want to bring balance to the force? Then either you’re playing the wrong game or evenly distribute your upgrades to reach a zen like state. Interestingly from discussions with the devs, it seems that you can even add weapons that would not normally be associated with that fighter (see the TIE bomber in the trailer).
So, just what hardware are we talking about here? Well, let’s have a peak at the roster shall we. Currently it looks like 8 ships will be available at launch: X-Wing, A-Wing, Y-Wing, U-Wing, TIE Fighter, TIE Interceptor, TIE Bomber, and TIE Reaper. Both factions having the class
equivalent of each other. That’s quite an impressive line-up for starters and I’d be surprised if we didn’t see more ships post release (please release Slave 1, please release Slave 1…). From the game play side, Squadrons will feature a single player story (let’s see how this shapes up) and online multiplayer for 5v5 dogfights or large scale fleet battles. This has piqued my interest the most and I’m very keen to see how the software and hardware is able to handle a full scale armada attack! The list of locations is also impressive, boasting never before seen environments such as Yavin Prime and Galitan. The artwork looks delightful; the costumes, tech and overall feel of the models certainly brings that Star Wars charm that we all know and love. The audio also sounds fantastic, just listen to that spluttering X-Wing engine start-up at the beginning of the trailer, most impressive indeed (It’s not just digitized voice recordings at play here that’s for sure!).