Star Wars Squadrons
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, or more specifically 4 years after the battle of Endor our story begins. We see the aftermath of the second death star being destroyed as the Empire strives to regain the power they lost and the rebellion, now the New Republic, tries to create its footing in this new world and establish themselves as a power for good. We are then introduced to Vanguard squadron which is overseen by Commander Javes, a former imperial pilot who defected. Your player joins Vanguard in their missions to defeat the remains of the Empire. On the other side you will have another player who is part of Titan squadron, an imperial force trying to stop New Republic from gaining any real control and to put the Empire back as the supreme power in the galaxy. So, it’s a battle for the control of the galaxy, as we have seen before, but with the twist of playing both sides set in a time not heavily explored.
In the Star Wars Squadrons, you play as both an Imperial pilot as well as a New Republic pilot. Within this game, the pilot you play as is customizable at the beginning of the campaign. Overall, these pilots have character based on the settings you set at the beginning of the campaign. On the other hand, there are two main forces fighting in the campaign: Lindon Javes from the New Republic and Terisa Kerrill of the Empire. Before the events of the main campaign, these two pilots serve under Imperial power until Lindon betrays the Empire to join the New Republic. By the time of the main campaign, these two characters are the commanders of Vanguard Squadron, from the New Republic, and Titan Squadron, from the Empire.
I really enjoyed this game. Flying an X-Wing has been something that I have always wanted to do in some form and this game captures perfectly what I imagine flying an X-Wing would be like. One of the best parts of this game is the fact that in the story mode you get to pay on both sides so for those who want to fly a Tie Fighter for the Empire you get to and of course you get to fly for the New Republic as well. I really like that it does not frame your imperial squad members as soulless bad guys, they have personalities and are not just mean for the sake of it. While the game does not say that the Empire is good because they are still oppressive and controlling it shows that most people in the Empire think they are doing the right thing for the most part. Overall, I would say that all the characters are brought to life well with various personalities and different designs they make for fun companions whose clever remarks adds to the immersion of the game.
The gameplay is not that easy in this game, or at least it wasn’t for me, though at the same time it is not the most complex game I have played. At first all the different buttons that you can press, the adjustments you can make to your ship, the mechanics to flying and keeping your ship on the right axis can be a bit overwhelming but eventually with practice it becomes easier and muscle memory. This game is not really a button masher, it takes focus which makes sense when you are technically piloting a fighter craft and going into battles. Another great detail is how each ship flies differently, the developers did a good job at making each ship on both sides feel very different when you fly them and they each have their specific purpose and eventually you will find which you like best. One of the other things this game has going for it is the Star Wars brand and let me tell you it does not waste the galaxy it is in with plenty of details and easter eggs for the keen-eyed fans and with the characters and ships from the movies and tv shows this is sure to please any Star Wars fan. The game has a fun multiplayer mode as well where you fight with a squadron made up of people online as you work together to win.
My only problem with this game is its story as I just felt that it was lacking a narrative that was super compelling. I wished a little more detail had been put in and maybe some more character backstory though I thought the ending of the story was really good and leaves room for more.
This was a very interesting game. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but the surprises weren’t all bad. For one, the story wasn’t as good as I expected. The game is built for the multiplayer modes, without a doubt, but the multiplayer modes are fantastic. Let’s start by breaking down the single player mode.
The campaign is a good way to introduce yourself to both the controls and inner workings of each individual ship. It allows for a more controlled environment, as well as some more challenging missions to wrap your mind around the lack of a true y axis. This is a cool part of the game, as it is super easy to forget which way is up, and then you spend half the mission flying around “upside down”. The story line behind the campaign is bland, and feels almost pointless until the end of the game. The final missions for both the Empire and the New Republic are fantastic, and they bring an unsatisfying campaign mode to a relatively smooth close. That being said, I don’t want to take away from the individual missions themselves. They are all unique and challenging in their own way, and the individuality of each ship shows the lengths that Motive Studios went to in order to give that feeling of being in a cockpit in a galaxy far, far away.
The multiplayer is superb. With a couple different types of modes to play under, the developers have created a fun environment where you can experience a much more challenging fight than the campaign. The customizations available to your ships is a nice touch as well. It is within this mode that you really get to feel the details put into the development of each ship.The speed and difficult are both ramped up, and as a result the difference in speed or power between a y- wing and a x-wing becomes apparent. While we spent more time on the campaign than we did the multiplayer, it felt like a mode where you could sit down and spend more than a few hours zooming around destroying flagships and tie fighters.
I love the visual aspects of this game. Every individual mission is filled with incredible visual detail. From the shadows in your windows, to the different interiors of different ships, I was super impressed by the amount of work Motive Studios put into that side of this game.
This game wasn’t anything special on the campaign side and in all honesty, if you are looking to get a game purely for a strong story, I would skip this one. But if you are looking for a game unlike any other, with unparalleled flying dynamics and visual effects in space, I would pick this one up. The campaign is good enough to get away with, and the multiplier makes it worth your time.
Star Wars Squadrons was a fun game overall. I don’t typically play plane and dogfight games, but this game was different. Since all the fights happen in space, there are no reference points to a ground. There is no up or down. Your position is relative to yourself. As such, the controls are also difficult to learn and understand when first playing this game. However, once you get the hand of barely using the left stick for anything and get used to shooting down other ships, the game was fun. The campaign was also interesting to play through. Although the story was just mediocre, the variety in the missions and the challenging fights make the game enjoyable to play.
The multiplayer aspect was definitely more enjoyable that the solo campaign. The dogfights with other human players have a faster pace, and in that regard, each fight doesn’t feel like a drag, which was the problem with the campaign. Another aspect that was nice about the multiplayer was that each plane on both sides were fun to use and none seemed overwhelmingly stronger than the others.
All in all, the game was pretty fun. The campaign was just alright, but the multiplayer was really enjoyable.
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Star Wars Squadron|Motive Studios|PS4 Edition