7 Things To Know About Star Wars: Squadrons

Have you ever wondered what it is like to fly an X-Wing or a TIE Fighter? 

On October 2, you can find out for yourself. Last month, Star Wars announced the new flight game Star Wars: Squadrons, coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and VR. Squadrons will let you take flight in your very own ship in a way that previous video games never have before, joining dogfights for the Empire or New Republic and immersing yourself in the Star Wars universe in a brand new way. 

StarWars.com spoke with Ian Frazier, the creative director of Squadrons, to discuss the most exciting aspects of the game and what we can expect to see in October. Here are seven things to look forward to leading up to the big release:

1. Squadrons was heavily influenced by classic Star Wars flight games.

Frazier identified X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter as the game that inspired the development team the most, but also pointed out that they pulled elements from several previous titles and incorporated them into Squadrons. Frazier said that the "core competitive multiplayer experience of Squadrons and some of our specific mechanics find their roots in X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, and went on to elaborate about other games from which they drew inspiration.
"Also, the dual-perspective single-player story of our game is influenced by how much we loved the faction-specific, pilot’s-eye stories in the campaigns of X-Wing and TIE Fighter, respectively. We wanted to capture some of each faction’s unique perspective by alternating between two separate pilots over the course of the plot. Meanwhile, the pace, energy, and raw sense of fun in the Rogue Squadron series has been an inspiration for us on Squadrons, especially while building certain missions for the single-player story."
 2. While the Squadrons team drew inspiration from previous games, they were also determined to make a unique mark in the gaming world.

"From the beginning we wanted to draw inspiration from the past but not get stuck there," Frazier said. The goal was to move the genre forward, instead of just reflecting on the past. Frazier was adamant about the fact that they wanted to make the gameplay super efficient for the modern gamer, and elaborated about a few modifications they'd made: 
"...from a new power management system that’s built with a more player-friendly design than what we saw in the ‘90s, slick new aspects to the flight model like the ability to perform ‘drift’ turns, and of course everything that customization adds to the game. Being able to make your ship and your pilot your own, not only with cosmetics but with substantial changes to how your ship functions in combat, opens the door to a ton of gameplay depth.”
3. Squadrons offers the ability to fly a total of eight different ships, each chosen for specific reasons.

The eight playable ships are as follows: the X-wing, A-wing, Y-wing, and U-wing for the New Republic, and the TIE Fighter, TIE Interceptor, TIE Bomber, and TIE Reaper for the Empire. They each fall into their own roles in combat: fighter, interceptor, bomber, and support.

When asked why these ships were chosen, Frazier said that "it was a combination of trying to hit the most iconic and recognizable ships that fans are most excited to play, and trying to bring something new to the formula, which is where those support ships come in."

Frazier elaborated:
"Each starfighter brings its own distinct feel and flavor, with its own core stats. In general, the New Republic ships are more durable thanks to their shields. Meanwhile, the Imperial ships tend to be more agile and hit harder, so you get a nice difference in feel between factions as a baseline. Then, of course, you add to that the different options each has in terms of what components they can equip, and the strategic layer of the game starts to emerge. A Y-wing is the only ship in the game that can equip an ion turret, for instance, while the support ships have certain utility abilities that are unique to them."
4. Frazier has two surprising favorite ships.

Frazier's favorites are the two support ships, the U-wing and the TIE reaper. Both were introduced in Rogue One and, therefore, were not present in previous games, meaning that they open a whole new world of possibilities for combat and provide a lot of versatility.
“From a gameplay standpoint they have a really unique a varied role to play, with several different ways to kit them out to be sort of a ‘healer’ who’s there to help your team, a disabler who ruins the enemy team’s day, a defender who helps hold down an area and protect a capital ship, or some mix of the above,” Frazier said.
5. While Squadrons has sim elements, it definitely exists outside of that genre.

Frazier calls Squadrons a "first-person space combat game," but notes that, above all, it is about fantasy fulfillment. He said that it allows a deeper experience than a typical shooter:
“Our game has several features built to create a sense of immersion and realism that many Star Wars fans have been craving — the sort of thing that make you really feel like a pilot controlling a starfighter. At the same time, the experience is meant to be accessible for any player who has ever wanted to hop into an X-wing or TIE fighter.”
6. The "immersive experience" is immensely impactful thanks to modern tech.

No Star Wars flight game has ever looked better than this one. Check out the trailer to see how gorgeous the game is, filled with extreme detail on the ships, the pilots, the explosions, and more. Frazier spoke about how the audio and video quality are leagues above that of the old games, aided by modern tech.
“As a simple example, our game features a multi-layered dynamic music system that allows John Williams’ incredible score to flow naturally back and forth over the course of a pitched Fleet Battle, letting players feel who’s winning or losing while fully immersed in the moment. Similarly, advancements in technology allow us to give players a pretty amazing opportunity: the entire game is playable end to end in VR, on both PC and PS4.”
7. To those who were excited about the Squadrons announcement -- the game developers heard you!  

Frazier said that the fan response has been "outstanding." 
"For me personally, for the team at Motive, and for all our friends at Lucasfilm who’ve been working hard alongside us for the last two-plus years, it feels wonderful to finally get to show the game to the world and to see exactly what we’d hoped to see: a ton of Star Wars fans eager to hop in the cockpit!”
Squadrons is available for pre-order now, and I don't know about you, but I can't wait for its release!  

Source(s): StarWars.com