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Star Wars Squadrons Puts You In The Cockpit

A long time ago in a cockpit far, far away…

By AlexRider Tue 05 Jan, 2021 1:06 PM
A long time ago in a cockpit far, far away…

Do you remember the “golden gaming days” in the 90s when we were sitting in our X-Wings, Y-Wings and A-Wings fighting against the evil Galactic Empire? Do you also remember the fun we had when crushing the Rebel insurgents in our TIE-Fighters, TIE-Bombers, Gunboats or Interceptors. Star Wars fans really had some good times in this era of space action simulators like “X-Wing”, “TIE-Fighter”, “X-Wing Alliance”, etc. But then, all of a sudden, it became quite quiet in this galaxy far, far away. squardons%202a
Developer EA's Early Marketing

Sure – there were other games to play. “Descent: Freespace” or its successor “Freespace 2” for example. They’re still very good titles, but they're not set in the Star Wars universe. No Luke, no Leia, no Vader.

What about the Battlefront series, especially “Battlefront II”? You can fly those “frag them all” missions available there, steering a TIE-Fighter for example. All this is true…, but nevertheless, it’s not the same. Fans and players wanted to have a modern version of the classics, and they got it when “Star Wars Squadrons” was released earlier this year.

Star Wars Squadrons: Ship Models
is a good mix because it offers you a solid single player campaign giving you 14 missions to play. This doesn't sound like very much, but these missions are very well designed, exciting and filled with lots of action all while allowing you to choose a difficulty level that let's it be fun. You want to fly the missions with closed eyes? The Story Mode is yours. You really need a challenge? Choose Ace and you will be sweating – promised! Star Wars Squadrons doesn't only concentrate on one fraction. Instead you will fly missions for the New Republic as well as for the remains of the Galactic Empire as the game is set in after the Battle of Endor. Death Star II… ‘nuff said.

On the other hand, however, you can also take part in cross-platform multiplayer matches.

Would you like to play a quick and easy 5v5 Team Deathmatch? No problem, just choose your side and your favourite fighter, you can change it anytime during a match, and have a go. The team scoring 30 victories first wins.

The crème-de-la-crème is the Fleet Battle game-mode though.

Your mission is to attack and destroy the enemy capital ship. As an Imperial you have to make sure that the Republic’s Mon Calamari MC75 cruiser won’t survive, while as a Rebel you have to blast the Imperial Star Destroyer into pieces. This is not as easy as it might sound and you really have to work as a team if you want to be victorious. Protect your bombers in your A-Wing or Interceptor, pray for protection if you fly a bomber yourself, shoot down enemy players and AI fighters, take care of corvettes, light cruisers and - the most important thing – avoid crashing into asteroids, floating debris or even other players in the heat of the battle.

You see, there is lots to do.

Being successful in Team DeathmatchesIan%20S%20Frazier%202
Squadrons Director Ian S Frazier
or Fleet Battles means that you will rank up and earn provision points as well as prestige. Use these points to upgrade your fighters. You want to use different laser cannons instead of the standard version? You want to fly faster, be more maneuverable, get stronger shields? There is lots to unlock and to test. You can also buy paint schemes, cockpit accessories or different clothes and uniforms for your alter ego if you like. These won’t affect the gameplay, they’re just nice cosmetics to look at.

So – now we’ve got the game itself with it's content. Will there be more in the near future, e.g. DLCs? Well, yes and no. When the game was published in October 2020 many people said “This is it. Play it, have fun, but there won’t be more content.” What a sad statement! Squadrons became quite successful, though. The single player campaign is good, the multi player battles are fun and flying X-Wings, Y-Wings, TIE-Fighters, TIE-Bombers, etc, just feel great.

Then, all out of nowhere, a new patch 4.0 was announced and published on December 12th, 2020. This patch contained several fixes and… two new star ships, i.e. the Imperial TIE-Defender and the New Republic’s B-Wing. The joyful cheers of the players can still be heard in the galaxy by the way.

The B-Wing is a heavy attack ship that absolutely shines when attacking enemy capital vessels. It uses ion beams in order to cripple a ship’s shields or other subsystems. Furthermore a B-Wing has the ability to equip a so called “Gyro Component”. Once activated the ship itself rotates around the cockpit which is quite useful if you want to attack a Star Destroyer with heavy bombs.

The Empire’s TIE-Defender, however, is the only true Imperial fighter using shields whilst TIE-Fighters, Bombers or Interceptors rely on a reinforced hull system. Its special component is the “APS” or “Advanced Power Supply” which is able to overload an already maxed subsystem in order to make it even more powerful or recharge very quickly, e.g. the laser cannons or the shields.

So, there is lots to do and lots to fly out there. Only the spirit of Darth Vader knows if there will be more content to come next year. New single player missions maybe? New maps?

Anyways, grab your joystick, your gamepad or your mouse and keyboard, buckle up and give ‘em hell, pilots! And may the Force – light or dark – always be with you!

Are you playing Star Wars Squadrons or are you planning to give it a go? Please let us know in the comments below. Thank you!

Tue 05 Jan, 2021 1:29 PM
Squadrons is a decent game got it soon as it came out getting the hang of ship handling is tricky the game didn't like my old flight stick at the time I liked KB and Mouse but again it still didn't feel right and the pad is alright but I always find myself hitting something on kb when I use pad throw in that if you use VR and I have it is very good and immersive in VR but on release, it didn't allow for use with the VR controllers either. Not sure if this has changed of late been a month or so since I last loaded up.
Wed 06 Jan, 2021 1:02 PM
I plan on picking it up. My daughter gave me my first flight stick for christmas. Was gonna use it first for Elite Dangerous, but think I'll be playing this first.
Wed 06 Jan, 2021 1:12 PM
Do you remember the “golden gaming days” in the 90s when we were sitting in our X-Wings, Y-Wings and A-Wings fighting against the evil Galactic Empire? Do you also remember the fun we had when crushing the Rebel insurgents in our TIE-Fighters, TIE-Bombers, Gunboats or Interceptors. Star Wars fans really had some good times in this era of space action simulators like “X-Wing”, “TIE-Fighter”, “X-Wing Alliance”, etc.
Still have the "X-Wing vs TIE Fighter" box! Wink
Wed 06 Jan, 2021 1:16 PM
I plan on grabbing it soon I think. Was going to get a flight stick as well but a certain political decision affecting the UK has essentially cut off all supplies of those it seems!

I loved Tie Fighter when I was younger though; one of the best SW games ever imo. The Tie Defender was ludicrous fun.
Thu 07 Jan, 2021 6:20 PM
My wife got me Squadrons as a Christmas gift this year. I was a huge fan of the old PC games and don't know how many times I played through TIE Fighter and its expansions. The new game brings in some of that nostalgia, but they seem to not have nowhere near the depth of play in single player mode the old games have, but then everybody is all about online multiplayer gameplay these days. I've been playing with mouse and keyboard and I think having steering all controlled by the mouse and WASD being more about throttle control and rolls just doesn't come all that natural to me. Hoping to pick up a flight stick or gaming controller at some point, but hoping to give my bank account a bit of a post-holiday breather before bringing the pain again.

As for the ships, the cockpits all look great, but I kind of find myself wishing that there was an option to change camera viewpoints or something to get some nicer screenshots. The ships themselves are all rebalanced too compared to older games which takes some getting used to as well. The TIE Defender used to be a nearly indestructible beast in the older games and TIE Fighters were all around pretty weak and fragile things you started in and never looked back once you moved on, so playing the current game where all ships are pretty much viable and mostly similar-feeling options is a change and in some ways a letdown (but again, multiplayer is king here).
Sat 09 Jan, 2021 11:46 AM
Great article! I already enjoy playing Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017). Now, I might grab Squadrons after reading your amazing article. 😊