EA’s Star Wars Squadrons Will Finally Give Us A New Star Wars Space Combat Game

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Illustration: EA
Illustration: EA

Today, EA officially revealed Star Wars: Squadrons, their next big Star Wars game. It will be released for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 2 and will support crossplay. While on PC and PS4 it will also support VR.

Squadrons will focus on space combat, featuring first-person starship action. The game takes place after the events of Return of The Jedi. Based on the trailer EA released today, it appears Squadrons will include various ship designs seen in the original trilogy films, as well as Rogue One. It will feature both multiplayer game modes and as a single-player campaign.

The campaign stars two small groups of fighter pilots. One part of the New Republic and the other part of the remnants of the Empire after the destruction of the second Death Star. Online multiplayer will be 5v5 and support crossplay.

Players can earn and unlock customisation items to improve the performance of their ships and change how they look, though EA stressed in a press release that these items can only be earned “solely through gameplay.” So not loot boxes, it seems. That’s probably the right choice considering the last time EA included loot boxes in a Star Wars game multiple governments around the world got involved.

Is that a trandoshan I see... (Screenshot: EA, Youtube)

This new Star Wars game is being developed by Motive Studios, the same developer who worked on the single-player campaign portion of Star Wars: Battlefront II. As reported by Kotaku earlier this year, it appears that the previously leaked Star Wars game in development, then called Project Maverick, is Squadrons. Project Maverick was reported to be a more “unusual project” being developed by EA Motive. A first-person space combat-focused game with crossplay and VR seems to fit that description.

For Star Wars video game fans, the last decade has been rough. EA has cancelled numerous projects and only released a few big Star Wars games, like Fallen Order and Battlefront II, over the last few years. It’s nice to see a new, big Star Wars game coming from EA. I’m also pleased to see it focuses on something other than Jedi. We got enough of those games already.

Star Wars Squadrons is coming out on October 2, 2020, for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. On PC it will be sold on the Epic Games Store, Origin, and Steam. It will support crossplay between all platforms.

Comments

  • On the plus side: Yay, single-player campaigns!

    .

    On the down-side: …By the people who made SW:BF2 campaign. Sooo… they’re going to craft the start carefully then run out of time on the rest of the campaign, and any nuanced development of good characters on bad side is going to result in them ‘seeing the light’ and joining the rebels anyway? Hrrrrrrrm.

    • Got to agree with you. The BF2 campaign started so well but devolved into the typical Imperial gets betrayed, joins the Rebels to get revenge story we’ve seen so many times in Star Wars. That’s one thing that annoyed me about the BF2 campaign story.

      I’ll wait for gameplay before I make a decision about buying it. I do like the premise of both squads being active during the New Republic era though. Plus Hera made a cameo in the trailer so hope we see more of her, really enjoyed her scenes in Rebels.

    • I mean, they could at least do it the other way around; an increasingly disillusioned Alliance pilot comes to see that the legacy of the Alliance is Eternal War, and that for the war to stop and the galaxy to heal, the Empire must prevail for a time.

      Or, you know, they could let Imps be Imps and Rebels be Rebels.

    • Given the time frame the game is supposed to occur in, a loyal Empire pilot would be like a person deciding to continue being a Nazi after Hitler died. Without a redemption arc, you’re left with a fairly unpleasant character that many people wouldn’t want to play.

  • I can only hope they take some inspiration from the “Lost Stars” book that came out post-disney and tell a decent story about Imperial and Rebel/Republic pilots and why they fight on the side they do, why they change sides and why they would refuse to even knowing they’re part of something ultimately evil.
    The Battlefront 2 Campaign was a huge letdown in that regard.

  • Agree with the above points on the BF2 campaign. A low point for me was Leia in Naboo. It just seemed like a cheap formula of (recognisable character) + (multiplayer map) with no real thought as to why.

  • I was a huge fan of both the old sim Xwing/TIE games, but also the Rogue Squadron series – they both did their own thing really well, so I’m happy with this going in either direction. I also really liked the space combat levels in BF2, they were pretty solid – visuals and audio were really authentic.

    But what’s got me super-excited is the inclusion of VR. Anyone that’s played the short Xwing VR demo on the PSVR will understand why, as that is still one of the best examples of VR on that platform and was always begging to be turned in to a full game. being able to play it on a higher end VR like Vive has me very pumped.

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