Two things leap out at us Star Wars fans as things we want to do more than anything – to use the Force and a lightsaber as the Jedi do, and to fly an X-Wing for the Rebellion against the Empire. Since the original Star Wars came out in 1977, we have pitched all our technology and everything we know against the problem of making these things happen in real life.
The toy lightsabers that were little more than decorated flashlights have given way to sophisticated combat-ready fully responsive simulated laser swords with light and sound. And of course, computer and video games wasted no time chasing that Holy Grail, the immersive in-cockpit experience of flying a real X-Wing or TIE Fighter in combat, beginning with the famous vector-graphics based arcade games and culminating in LucasArts’ X-Wing and TIE Fighter games for personal computers.
Technology may finally have caught up to the dream. Behold, we bring you a first look at Electronic Arts’ Star Wars: Squadrons.
It’s the first Star Wars fighter ship simulator since the rerelease of Star Wars: X-Wing and Star Wars: TIE Fighter in 2014, and the first truly new such title since the initial release of Star Wars: X-Wing in 1993. It’s also the first such game to be implemented in full VR, meaning that if you have a Playstation 4 with Playstation VR, or a PC with a SteamVR compatible system, you can finally have the holy grail of space fighter experiences yourself.
The game features PvP dogfights supporting up to 10 players (5 per side), or participate in monumental fleet battles – and every inch of it can be experienced either on your desktop, on your PS4, or in fully immersive VR.
From an aesthetic standpoint, the graphics presented are actually far far better than what appeared in the original motion pictures. The capabilities of modern gaming is on full display. There seems to be nothing in the game that takes you out of the moment. Everything feels so real …
It’s a great time to be alive.
From the official announcement:
ALL WINGS REPORT IN – Plan skirmishes with your squadron in the briefing room before taking off to the evolving battlefields across the galaxy.
Compete in intense 5v5 multiplayer dogfights or unite with your squadron to tip the scales in monumental fleet battles. Together, you’re the galaxy’s finest.
MASTER LEGENDARY STARFIGHTERS – Take control of different classes of starfighters from both the New Republic and Imperial fleets – including the agile A-wing and the devastating TIE bomber. Modify your ship, divert the power between its systems, and destroy your opponents in strategic space dogfights.
GET IN THE COCKPIT – The cockpit is your home. Use its dashboards to your advantage and – with just a thin hull of metal and glass between you and the perils of space – feel the intensity of combat from a first-person perspective. Take off in thrilling multiplayer modes and a unique single-player Star Wars story, which covers a key campaign near the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War. Immerse yourself in the pilot’s seat completely with the option to play the entirety of Star Wars: Squadrons in Virtual Reality on PlayStation 4 and PC.
THE MISSION IS CLEAR – Star Wars: Squadrons is a fully self-contained experience from day one, where you earn rewards through play. Climb the ranks and unlock new components like weapons, hulls, engines, shields, and cosmetic items in a clear path for progression that keeps gameplay fresh and engaging.
There’s no clue yet as to what the pricing will be, but if it follows true to form, the EA offering will be somewhere in the $60 range.
STAR WARS™: Squadrons becomes available October 2, 2020 on PlayStation®4, Xbox One, Origin PC, Steam, Epic Games Store, and Virtual Reality (VR) on PlayStation 4 and PC, with cross-play support.