In the test, Star Wars: Squadrons turned out to be at least the game that fans had hoped for in advance. What's more, it's the space shooter that you can't avoid if you like thrills and fast action. The fact that Squadrons also offers the perfect mix of Star Wars is more of a bonus than a mandatory requirement in view of the quality of the game. In short: Into the cockpit and off you go!


Star Wars: Squadrons feels a bit like traveling back in time. When you sat in the cockpit of Star Wars: Squadrons for the first time, looked through the protective glass into space, the memory came back of those grandiose moments that you experienced at the end of the nineties Star Wars games like X-Wing vs. Tie-Fighter or Star Wars: X-Wing, then later with Star Wars: Rogue Squadron - and now with the latest work, in which the developers of EA Motive allow the player to look again to be able to use the joystick.

The whole project didn't seem like it had been planned well in advance, surprising for a publisher like Electronic Arts, who had to take criticism for a long time for the better non-use of the Star Wars license. Then came Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order and an extensive one Patch for Battlefront 2 and fans were forgiven. Now, with the release of Star Wars: Squadrons, it seems clear: Electronic Arts has learned a lot and is willing to take Star Wars to a level it deserves.

Star Wars: Squadrons tells a terrific story

First of all, it must be noted that Star Wars: Squadrons is a title that includes both a solo mode and campaign as well as a multiplayer part. And that's exactly where you look with astonishment at the concept that EA Motive has come up with. Star Wars: Squadrons was always promoted in advance as a game with a strong focus on multiplayer experiences. The real star of the space shooter, however, is the solo part, exactly the terrific campaign. At the beginning, players create two characters: one for the rebel alliance, the other for the empire - and so wear both helmets over the course of the campaign. The constant change of perspective is successful, mainly because surprises ensure that the actions are linked with one another and that you never get the feeling of flying missions for the factions that are decoupled from an overall story.

The action takes place in the times of the classic trilogy. Source: Spielpunkt

The action takes place in the times of the classic trilogy. Source: Spielpunkt

The game deals with the introduction to the time frame: The second Death Star has been destroyed, Alderaan has not existed for a long time and the Emperor has also defeated the father-son team. It's about the classic trilogy, the one that fans get away with and therefore offers the ideal breeding ground for exciting subplots. EA Motive takes advantage of this and sends players on missions that are embedded in an exciting and even quite extensive background story. The events are driven by excellent cutscenes that are set to music in German, which are in no way inferior to full-fledged role-playing games. A total of 14 tasks are waiting for the players, each of which takes about half an hour, so that the campaign part of Star Wars: Squadrons adds up to about seven to ten hours. Yes, there has already been more story and longer, but it's an extremely intense experience. 

Last but not least, this is due to the successful mission design, in which variety is clearly the focus. EA Motive uses everything that pilots had to do in the Star Wars films so far in order to develop new tasks over and over again: sometimes you fly patrol, sometimes you escort ships, sometimes you attack an outpost. Again and again there are tough dogfights, including against tie-hunters who seem to be able to withstand a tad too much. At least you don't know the cannon fodder from the films that robust.

So be it: The fast-paced fights are fun and rarely take place in a controlled manner - also because the hunters control themselves so complex that sometimes you have to react rather than act. This is not a shortcoming, but exudes a flair of unpredictability. The Tie-Reaper or a U-Wing are also used as pilots' aces, and attacks on capital ships should not be missing in any case. No matter what the player has in store for, Star Wars: Squadrons always feels like one is right in the middle of the action. A Star Wars game has rarely been this immersive. What EA Motive has created here is pure Star Wars.

The story is exciting, entertaining and well told, but lacks depth. Source: Spielpunkt

The story is exciting, entertaining and well told, but lacks depth. Source: Spielpunkt

Sure, the story lacks depth overall. But you can hardly expect that with such a concentrated campaign experience. Sometimes you even catch yourself wanting to know more about some of the characters, because the diversity of the aliens is there. In the end, none of the characters can really shine in the simple good-versus-bad story. Don't get it wrong: A story may like to focus on a simple message, but the characters should at least get a chance to develop.

There are even approaches to this, even the faces of some of the characters point to events that one would like to learn more about, character stories are sometimes imposed. But they are not told - what a shame! The characters remain so pale overall, you really don't come into closer contact with them - there could have been more here. At the same time, this would be a good starting point to perhaps think about a sequel to Star Wars: Squadrons in the event of a sales success. at Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order it clicked at some point. 

Thrill in the cockpit

Well, no matter how good the story and missions are, what had to work in Star Wars: Squadrons was the flying. And on this point, too, the developers do not disappoint, on the contrary: They put the concept somewhere between an action flight game and simulation. In Star Wars: Squadrons you don't fly as realistically as in Microsoft's flight simulator and not as detailed as in Elite Dangerous or Star Citizen, but the feeling of flight offers more than enough depth to appeal to veterans of the genre.

In the end, it all depends on the details: diverting energy into systems, taking countermeasures, flying maneuvers or taking down missiles: many actions make a significant difference - especially in fast dogfights. This is especially true when two experienced pilots meet who don’t give each other anything in the fight for the decisive meeting. The positions of the space fighters change every second, sometimes you hang the enemy at the stern, sometimes the other way around, often in the hope that the opponent will act too slowly for a fraction of a second and that the rocket lock will be successful. Star Wars: Squadrons offers terrific thrills, where the gamepad becomes sticky from the sweat of fear. 

The best moments of Star Wars: Squadrons are experienced when sitting in the cockpit. Source: Spielpunkt

The best moments of Star Wars: Squadrons are experienced when sitting in the cockpit. Source: Spielpunkt

There is also a learning curve, but it is far less steep than you might think. Step by step, the campaign first introduces you to the basic mechanics and moves, at some point you are left to your own devices and begin to use the central energy system intuitively in the battles. Depending on the situation, you can direct all energy into the weapon systems or boost your shields. It gets really exciting when you push your maneuverability to the maximum, fly tight turns and abrupt turns and then manage to blow your opponent out of the cockpit. 

You might not have expected it from Electronic Arts, but Star Wars: Squadrons isn't about ruthless monetization. The game costs around 40 euros, there are no premium services or a battle pass, and there are no cosmetic items in a shop. There is still progression and rewards, but it's not particularly complex, especially not particularly intrusive. You play multiplayer battles, earn experience points, level up and unlock cosmetic goodies and equipment for the ships. However, that does not become the focus of the game, because it is always on aviation. 

Solo play and multiplayer are significantly different

One could almost guess: The solo part and the multiplayer battles also differ significantly from each other in Star Wars: Squadrons - as is so often the case with video games in which two teams of human players compete to fight for a winner. While the campaign game is rather leisurely despite all the action, the multiplayer battles really get down to business. One reason: The unpredictability with which human opponents act. A flight through obstacles, a flyby just above the underside of a capital ship, a frontal flight with a quick drift boost, all these are the moments when you sometimes sit on the sofa and draw your head or make evasive movements with your arms and body. 

The TIE fighters are robust compared to their cinematic counterparts. Source: Spielpunkt

The TIE fighters are robust compared to their cinematic counterparts. Source: Spielpunkt

The lack of choice of game modes is a bit of a shame: there are only two for multiplayer fans. For a game that has a focus there, that's basically too little. So either you play dogfights or you dare to fight in the navy. Both are fun, but the variety still suffers. But the fights themselves, and thus the flying, are so intense that you need breaks in between. While the dogfights are just fast-paced skill tests for the players - the team with the better individual players actually wins - the fleet battles require a more tactical approach. First you have to shoot enemy ships from space, then you have to fight a cruiser before the decisive battle against a capital ship is on the agenda.

This gradual system provides entertainment, but in a completely different way than in dogfights, where it is more about quick individual decisions and reactions to the respective game situations. In the naval battles, however, the focus is more on decisions about the team composition and the approach in the battle.

The calm before the storm is often noticeable - and suddenly it starts. Source: Spielpunkt

The calm before the storm can often be felt - and suddenly it starts. Source: Spielpunkt

You can sit in a slow bomber to maximize damage against cruisers, but then you need your wing pilots to have adequate protection. Fortunately, the concept allows ships to be changed in order to be able to react to the respective game situation. Nevertheless, the following also applies in major battles: the better a team plays together, the higher the chance of success and the more fun there is. It's always about being able to rely on your wingmen and women. When you have a TIE hanging on your stern and you could only escape screen death because an ally rushed to help, then that's a terrific moment.

In any case, the more fun you can play with Star Wars: Squadrons, the better you can find your way around the cockpit. Scurrying past an asteroid to avoid a missile is a maneuver that you don't dare to fly from the start. At some point you are experienced enough and cheer for your flying skills. It is difficult, however, for complete newcomers to the genre It is well known that you can learn to fly.

Infobox

Number of players: 1 (solo and multiplayer)
Age: from 6 (USK)
Difficulty: medium to difficult
Long-term motivation: medium

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Motive
Year of publication: 2020
platforms: PC, Xbox, PlayStation
Languages ​​German
Cost: 39,99 Euro

Summary

Star Wars: Squadrons is more than the game one expected - and expectations were high. When the space shooter was announced, there were hopes for an experience like that of Star War: X-Wing. So much was new and exciting and innovative. That doesn't apply to Star Wars: Squadrons, because everything you see in the game somehow already existed. The title does not score with its frame, but playfully - and that is exactly what is wonderfully refreshing in these times.

You could play Star Wars: Squadrons without a story and still have fun. It is flying that provides entertainment. As soon as you sit in the cockpit, the adrenaline level rises, in multiplayer mode anyway, but also during the campaign. The latter is due to the fact that Star Wars: Squadrons always gives the player enough space, never takes too much command. You experience the best moments in this game when you are in direct control. These are situations that stay in your mind, not necessarily individual story tasks, even if the background story is far better than expected when the game with a multiplayer focus was announced. The plot doesn't go beyond the rough black and white, but it is entertaining. 

Whenever it gets hectic in space and you were able to master the challenge, Star Wars: Squadrons scores. And there are challenges like on an assembly line. A battle never goes like clockwork, especially when human opponents clash. At the same time, Star Wars: Squadrons can be relentless and frustrating, but you just have to go through it on the way to becoming a pilot. The progression system is unobtrusive, but still motivating. Every single element outside of flying seems more like a bonus to Star Wars: Squadrons: Not required, but it rounds off the overall experience. And there is no question that Star Wars: Squadrons is an experience.

Preview Product Rating Price
STAR WARS SQUADRONS (VR ready) - [Playstation 4] STAR WARS SQUADRONS (VR-capable) - [Playstation 4] * 11,48 EUR


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Last updated on 4.08.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API