Here’s what the critics are saying about Star Wars: Squadrons

Gameplay screenshot from Star Wars: Squadrons (2020). Photo courtesy of Motive Studios, Lucasfilm/Electronic Arts.
Gameplay screenshot from Star Wars: Squadrons (2020). Photo courtesy of Motive Studios, Lucasfilm/Electronic Arts. /

Does Star Wars: Squadrons live up to the hype? Here’s what the critics say.

Get ready to take flight in the latest video game from Star Wars and EA, Star Wars: Squadrons. The game was released today, and it’s already amassed a few reviews from critics ahead of its release date.

As an overview, the game walks you through teams on two sides of an age-old battle. On one team, you get to play as the Empire. Or, rather, what’s left of the Empire as they struggle to hold onto power even after the events of Episode VI — Return of the Jedi. On the other side, you have the committed Rebellion pilots who are still working hard to remove the traces of the Empire from the galaxy.

In fact, according to the game’s developers, it was important for this game to take place right after Episode VI. They wanted to be able to give gamers the best immersive experience in the Star Wars world. And what a better way to do that than going back to the Empire vs. Rebels war?

So, with all that in mind, what are the critics saying about this? Overall, it seems like the critics happen to like this new release from EA and Star Wars. Most are saying this is very much a flight simulator game, but perhaps not as intense as something like Flight Simulator. It may not be the best Star Wars game out there, but it does plenty to be a solid one. Read on below for a few excerpts from critics’ reviews.

Star Wars: Squadrons reviews

Tom Marks, IGN:

"Star Wars: Squadrons’ single-player campaign missions are a feast for Star Wars fans’ eyes and ears, especially in VR. Its engaging space combat is a great balance of approachable arcade control with the added nuance of simulation-like systems, which combine with astonishingly detailed ships and cockpits for the most authentic-feeling ride since LucasArts’ legendary X-Wing and TIE Fighter games back in the ‘90s. Star Wars: Squadrons doesn’t end up doing anything too memorable with its charming characters or interesting rival squadron setup, but this campaign still tells an entertaining Star Wars story I enjoyed no matter which cockpit I was in."

Charlie Hall, Polygon:

"Squadrons simply refuses to waste the player’s time. Wingmen stayed close to my ship, allowing me to direct the formation even though I wasn’t leading it. The action was always front and center, with scripted engagements that seemed to materialize wherever I was looking. Missions last about 20-30 minutes at most, and I never felt like I was looking under rocks to hunt down that one last enemy on the map."

Edmond Tran, GameSpot:

"What makes these missions special are not the raw objectives, though: It’s the spectacle of some of the maps they take place on. Squadrons takes you to some exciting regions of the Star Wars galaxy, which are easy to appreciate right away. Colourful nebulas filled with lightning storms, Star Destroyer graveyards, and a shattered moon are just some of the memorable stages for the campaign encounters."

Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge:

"Squadrons is probably not the Star Wars game for everyone. 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."

Brittany Vincent, CNN:

"Star Wars: Squadrons suffers from many issues the franchise has had since the decanonization of the Extended Universe — there’s just not a lot of room to work with. The campaign is enjoyable, and it calls to mind classics like the Rogue Squadron and X-Wing series. However, because it’s obvious what will happen in the timeline after the game, it lacks punch. No matter what takes place in Star Wars: Squadrons, we knew that the Empire would surrender, and roughly 30 years later, the sequel trilogy will occur."

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Star Wars: Squadrons is out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.