I remember how excited players were when Star Wars: Squadrons was first revealed. As someone who penned a retrospective on Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader for the GameCube, I can attest that the original Squadron titles are among some of the most adored arcade flight simulator games out there. These video games are fantastic for the time they came out. People were cautiously hopeful when EA unveiled a new game. There is no way that the technology could fail now that it has advanced so much, right?
Released back in 2020 by EA and developed by Motive I was lukewarm to the game for a couple of reasons. 1. I get bad motion sickness, and I thought this would destroy me. 2. It’s an EA game. 3. It was before EA Play and Gamepass hooked up, and I wasn’t going to spend money to play this for a series (the Squadron series) that I am not a huge fan of.
I’ve been aware of Motive for a long; prior to the latest Dead Space remake, they were a Star Wars studio. I genuinely believed that this would resemble Elite Dangerous in certain ways. A Star Wars-themed space shooter with great action. A tribute to the vintage games while paving a fresh path into the 2020s
Let’s discuss the issues I have with this game. I only played the story since, let’s face it, learning how to play 5v5 multiplayer in a game like this will take too much time. In addition, the multiplayer is essentially a desolate wasteland. I made one match attempt but was unable to connect to anyone else.
My main concern initially was simply being able to play. I genuinely believed that this would be a terrible motion sickness scenario. That wasn’t the case at all, though. Perhaps it would have been worse if I had played in virtual reality, but I had little to no trouble playing for extended periods of time. Motive truly got it, although I think the cockpit’s restricted field of view may have played a major role. Even though I am not an expert in Star Wars, I enjoyed playing the story even when I occasionally didn’t understand what was happening.
It takes some getting used to the keyboard and mouse controls, and yes, other games utilize the same controls for flying, so why didn’t I use a controller? A game should, in my opinion, be playable however the player chooses to play. Yes, a controller or a full-flight setup might have made things simpler, but that’s not how I wanted to play. It’s also unfortunate that you can’t rebind the mouse. Eventually, you adjust to it. To me, the inability to rebind controls should never be the line “you get used to it.”
My final concern is that this game suffers greatly from its aesthetic appeal. That may sound strange, but it truly depends on grand, gorgeous cut scenes and colossal structures like the Star destroyers or the Starhawk ship. The gameplay, on the other hand, is typical and monotonous to the point where it occasionally overstays its welcome.
That did not, however, diminish the enjoyment I received from playing this. I really enjoyed it once I got into the groove of it being a routine repetition of the same assignment for both sides. The multiple ships and load-outs you could deploy were interesting. Playing the two distinct sides of the same story appealed to me as well.
I understand that not everyone will enjoy this game, but after playing for approximately 9 to 10 hours, I did. This game is for you if you genuinely enjoy flight sims like this. It offers a change of pace from the intensely realistic simulations like Flight Simulator 2020 with a Star Wars skin. This is also for you if you enjoyed the original games. It’s for you if you enjoy VR games. Get this through GamePass, or perhaps wait for a STEEP deal less than $10–$15.
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