Poole Zamora posted an update 5 months, 3 weeks ago
It’s filled with references for fans and magical (if ill-used) new personalities alike, all crammed into a set of cockpits that are available to jump in and bunny without dogfights feeling mindless.
Squadrons has found a sweet spot between the point-and-shoot simplicity of this traditional Rogue Squadron show along with the insanely thorough simulation of Elite: Dangerous. You can, for the most part, simply pick up a controller and start chasing down enemy ships — but there’s also a nuance to correcting your throttle for greater turning, swapping power between engines, weapons, and shields in the type of the grand old X-Wing games, along with countering missile locks. Things like this make flight more engaging and give fantastic pilots a chance to excel without needing one to actually learn how to fly a spaceship in order to playwith.
The Empire Strikes Back
The effort spends its approximately seven-hour run of missions leaping between the dueling perspectives of a crumbling Empire and a newly formed New Republic just after the events of Return of the Jedi. The way it illuminates the stories of two rival squadrons collectively sets up clever scenarios, sometimes allowing you to spring ambushes on your other half just to have the next assignment swap perspectives so it’s possible to take care of the aftermath of your own actions. It is very trendy, and developer Motive Studios proceeds to prove it knows how to create a match fit into the Star Wars universe.
Part of that comes down to its own cast of intriguing characters, chiefly made up of the squads on each side of the battle. Whether it’s the war-torn Imperial Shen using a battle-scarred helmet that he never takes the mildly Force-sensitive prior racer Keo on the Rebel side, each one is distinct and well-designed sufficient to stand out in their very own manner — so much so I could see any of these as a Knights of the Old Republic or Mass Effect companion without them feeling out of place whatsoever.
Actually, I hope that they do appear in an RPG daily, because they aren’t used very well here. Learning about them and their backstories is almost completely restricted to optional discussions in your hangar between missions, which frequently feels ham-fisted to get a getting-to-know-you exposition-filled info ditch. Those stories are well written and acted, however they are just sort of irrelevant at the class of Squadrons’ occasions. I always enjoyed listening to these, but it’s unfortunate you could skip every single one and it would not make a difference in your experience of the most important story in any respect.
That story is a fun one though, centered around the New Republic’s creation of a new kind of warship and the Empire’s search to stop that weapon from joining the struggle. It is definitely amusing the whole way through, however, it doesn’t strike me as particularly memorable.
2048 Star Wars Neither side makes much point concerning the larger conflict, you aren’t asked to make any decisions or even really question anything that they do, and your two rival squads never even directly combat like I hoped that they would — that could have been interesting. It only seems like a missed opportunity not to do something more interesting with this special campaign structure, where we have views from both sides of the battle.
Nevertheless, it does provide more than sufficient reason to jump in the cockpit and fly some very fun assignments. Most objectives do boil down to"you are in space and you have to shoot X thing," (which is the whole premise) but the narrative’s set up for each one makes them feel more diverse than that — particularly when you’re hopping between good guy and bad guy every stage or two. The dogfighting itself is really good that it got dull, even though I did sometimes need there was a bit more objective selection here — for instance, it would have been cool to see more scenarios based around moving through tight spaces or possibly set closer to the surface of a planet (or moon-sized space station, although the galaxy is short on those within this period).
Fortunately, the areas you do go always show off just how incredibly gorgeous Squadrons is. Even if goals start to feel like, weaving through cloudy nebulas or around shattered moons accomplishes them in magnificent fashion. Missions are action-packed, however most strategically start slow and give you a chance 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 too, which frequently upstage those optional hangar conversations and make them feel like an afterthought in contrast.
Star Wars: Squadrons’ single-player effort missions are a feast for Star Wars fans’ eyes and ears, particularly in VR. Its engaging space combat is a great balance of approachable arcade controller with the added nuance of both simulation-like platforms, which unite with surprisingly detailed ships and cockpits for its most authentic-feeling ride since LucasArts’ mythical X-Wing and TIE Fighter games back in the’90s. Star Wars: Squadrons doesn’t wind up doing anything too memorable with its charming characters or intriguing rival squadron installment, yet this campaign still tells an entertaining Star Wars narrative I liked no matter that cockpit I used at.