Thursday, October 1, 2020

Reviews of Star Wars Squadrons are here (short campaign, multiplayer might get old fast, requires a joystick and maybe VR for full enjoyment)

Polygon says:

StarStar Wars: Squadrons is every inch the spaceflight simulation that fans have been dreaming of for a generation.

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If all you have at your disposal is a console, a decent TV, and a working controller, you’re going to have a wonderful time. If you have a throttle, stick, and rudder pedals, you’re really in for a treat.
The Verge reviewed just the single player campaign:
The steep difficulty curve combined with the relatively limited campaign makes it more of a niche kind of game than other, more accessible Star Wars space combat titles. But for players willing to put in the time (and invest in the hardware), the end result is a game that brings you closer to flying around an X-Wing than ever before.

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There’s support for HOTAS (hands-on throttle-and-stick) and joystick controllers, for players who want the full flight experience. (Although I was unable to find a stick in time for this review — thanks, Flight Simulator players.)

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And of course, there’s the crown jewel of Squadrons’ immersion: comprehensive support for VR across the entire game (both single and multiplayer). While my own time with the game was limited by the technical abilities of the PlayStation VR and its outdated display, after playing a few missions of Squadrons in VR, it’s hard to imagine playing the game any other way.
Vice:
However, against human adversaries in multiplayer, the ships suddenly felt lively and distinctive, each with its own fighting characteristics necessitating different tactics. Rather than feeling trapped in a bubble, shooting at AI drones as they flashed past, I was engaged in taut game of cat-and-mouse. Hunting enemy starfighters through chaotic asteroid fields or shipwreck-haunted battle sites felt like some of the coolest stuff I've ever done in a Star Wars game.

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It was great fun in the few missions I got to fly during a limited-window availability for multiplayer put together by EA and Motive earlier this week. But I'm not sure how the simple dynamics of Fleet Battles will wear over time. There are different maps, but those maps don't quite do the same thing that a different map in Battlefield does for Rush mode, for example. I liked experimenting with different ships and loadouts, and seeing which tactics worked well, and the combat was intense, but my experience with games like World of Warplanes taught me that this kind of gameplay will get stale without variety in match structure or vessel.

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I have a lot of concerns about how Squadrons will wear over the long haul, but I'd be kidding you if I said I'm in a mood to be discriminating about a space combat sim.
VG247:
The few Fleet Battles I’ve managed to play so far did draw dangerously close to outstaying their welcome – they’re a long mode, a slog. But I also appreciate what they’re trying to do – in what is a 10-player game these exist to give a sense of scale, to hint at the larger fights we’ve seen in the movies. In that they’re successful, and diverting your shield power to the front of the ship before dive-bombing a Star Destroyer is a real thrilling feeling.

All of this would be for naught, of course, if the flying wasn’t good. But let me tell you: it’s great. It handles brilliantly on controller and the game was clearly designed pad-first, but it really clicked for me when I started using a flight joystick.

$39.88 and available tomorrow
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