X-Wing franchise: the reimagining?
June 16, 2020 11:53 AM   Subscribe

EA returns space dogfighting to Star Wars. Star Wars: Squadrons (coming Oct. 2, 2020) will have cross-platform support between players on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, and VR headset compatability for PS4 and PC. Official Reveal Trailer - EA official site

EA announces Star Wars: Squadrons, a new first-person starfighter dogfighting game [The Verge]
Developed by Motive Montreal (which previously contributed to both Battlefront II and Anthem), Squadrons will let players fly a variety of Star Wars ships, including the X-Wing, A-Wing, Y-Wing, U-Wing, TIE Fighter, TIE Interceptor, TIE Bomber, and TIE Reaper fighters.

EA won’t be revealing gameplay until the company’s EA Play Live event on June 18th at 4PM PT / 7PM ET, but it promises a variety of multiplayer modes, including “Fleet Battles,” where the goal is to work with your teammates to destroy a capital ship, as well as more traditional dogfighting mode.
The making of TIE Fighter: How being the bad guys changed Star Wars forever (PC Gamer)

Why We Still Play X-Wing and TIE Fighter

Previously on MeFi: LucasArts RIP - TIE Fighter: A Post 9/11 Parable
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (70 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
My impression is that, subsequent to the Battlefront II launch debacle, EA has done a good job of improving that game and releasing other quality Star Wars games such as Jedi Fallen Order.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:03 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


This is not a gameplay trailer. WHERE IS MY GAMEPLAY TRAILER?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:04 PM on June 16 [9 favorites]


All I really want is a solid single player mode, but I'll probably be disappointed.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:09 PM on June 16 [15 favorites]


Apparently a gameplay trailer may come on Thursday. And yes, there will be a single-player campaign mode.
posted by adrianhon at 12:14 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


And yes, there will be a single-player campaign mode.

“To unlock the campaign, please deposit 10,000 Republic Credits. May the Force Be With You!”
posted by Fizz at 12:23 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


No microtransactions either! Hard to believe, I know – clearly this must be a trap in some other way...
posted by adrianhon at 12:28 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


The emphasis on 5 v 5 in the trailer kinda makes it seem like that might be the primary focus of the game design? A Star Wars space-battle MOBA / Lords Management game?
posted by straight at 12:31 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Ten thousand?! I could buy my own ship for that. We don’t have to sit here and wait for some gameplay trailer...
posted by radagast at 12:43 PM on June 16 [17 favorites]


This is a rehash of the crappy Star Wars rail-shooters from the 90s, not the more free-form X-Wing and Tie-Fighter franchise. EA Sucks.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:07 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


I'm waiting to see what gameplay actually looks like. Which is coming on Thursday apparently.

And is this the excuse I need to actually buy a stick and throttle for the first time in 20 years? Because trying to fly anything first-person with a gamepad or mouse just makes me dizzy.
posted by thecjm at 1:25 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]




It's a traaaap!
posted by chavenet at 1:38 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


So dogfighting only... We still can't test / recreate the Ghorman massacre to understand the contradictory physics of Star Destroyers that it implies.
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:45 PM on June 16


I'm 45 years old and I still don't understand the appeal of playing an Imperial.

Like if you want to do the story of someone's "Are we the baddies?" moment I'm totally for it, but if that's not the entire point then, just... why?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:47 PM on June 16 [9 favorites]


> My impression is that, subsequent to the Battlefront II launch debacle, EA has done a good job of improving that game and releasing other quality Star Wars games such as Jedi Fallen Order.

I almost--almost--have hope we might get a proper single player RPG set in the Star Wars universe sometime in the actual future. It's been almost 20 years since KotOR.
posted by lovecrafty at 1:52 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


I'm 45 years old and I still don't understand the appeal of playing an Imperial.

In the case of TIE Fighter, the appeal is 'Look, ma, no shields!'
posted by kaibutsu at 2:00 PM on June 16 [8 favorites]


I remain hopeful for an XvT reboot. That was awesome back in the day.

Also, teasers suck. Just wait to put the gameplay footage up!
posted by GuyZero at 2:04 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


I'm 45 years old and I still don't understand the appeal of playing an Imperial.

From the back cover copy (taken from the PC Gamer article):

"Pirates raid interestellar traders. Terrorists threaten the galaxy. Through their treachery on Yavin, the alliance of rebels and other criminals has threatened the very foundation of the Empire."

The ships were a LOT cooler than the ones in X-Wing, too.
posted by billjings at 2:07 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


This is a rehash of the crappy Star Wars rail-shooters from the 90s,

Call me confused but I'm not sure how you could do PvP dogfights in a rail-shooter. Very disappointing if so.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:11 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


My impression is that, subsequent to the Battlefront II launch debacle, EA has done a good job of improving that game and releasing other quality Star Wars games such as Jedi Fallen Order.

The only reason Jedi Fallen Order is any good is because of the developer, Respawn Entertainment. EA still remains a scummy publisher and I don't trust them at all. We will see what comes of all this talk of no microtransactions. I'll believe it when I see it.

AND NEVER PRE-ORDER A GAME, EVER!!!!
posted by Pendragon at 2:12 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


Like if you want to do the story of someone's "Are we the baddies?" moment I'm totally for it

"Mitchell and Webb: The Video Game" is long overdue.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:13 PM on June 16 [6 favorites]


I'm 45 years old and I still don't understand the appeal of playing an Imperial.

Like if you want to do the story of someone's "Are we the baddies?" moment I'm totally for it, but if that's not the entire point then, just... why?


Fifteen years ago, I pretty much checked out of playing games other than solitaire after having that moment during UT2k4's "Operation Overlord", where I found myself in a tower with a scope-sighted rifle, shooting the people storming the beaches. All of a sudden it was, "This isn't what I'm playing games for"
posted by mikelieman at 2:21 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


I'm 45 years old and I still don't understand the appeal of playing an Imperial.

I'm 45 and I remember playing TIE Fighter and it was absolutely brilliant.
posted by Pendragon at 2:28 PM on June 16 [10 favorites]


I don't know about the appeal of playing as an Imperial, but Tie Fighter was a lot more polished than X-Wing

It was just more fun
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:46 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


They may say no microtransactions.. but I cannot imagine a universe where you're not gonna have all kinds of ships and mission packs as DLC. Years and years worth of DLC if they want to mine the licence that much, it'll make Paradox Interactive look like they're not even trying.
posted by davros42 at 3:01 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


All I know is that in the original X-Wing vs Tie Fighter and in pretty much every space/flight combat game ever, my first and only "good trick" consists of "hit the brakes and they'll fly right by!"

The results have been mixed.
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 3:14 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


Please be good please be good please be good
posted by ominous_paws at 3:32 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


At this point, I have such little faith in EA that I pulled up the press release to see exactly how they phrased the topic of microtransactions. They don't say no microtransactions, they just imply it in a way that journalists appear to be falling for. Here's the quote:

Star Wars: Squadrons will offer rich cosmetic and gameplay customization options with rewards and bonuses that are earned solely through gameplay. As players move up the ranks, they’ll earn components such as weapons, hulls, engines and shields to customize the performance of their starfighters; and gain cosmetic items to customize their cockpit, ship exteriors, and appearance of their pilot.

They're not saying that all rewards and bonuses are earned solely through gameplay. And like davros42 pointed out, they also don't say a thing about how you get new ships. I wonder very much about this turning into a game of free, basic ships going up against premium purchased ships with purchase-only upgrades.
posted by ZaphodB at 3:38 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Man, replaced by a U-Wing?? The B-Wing just can't seem to get any love.
posted by UltraMorgnus at 3:58 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


Vader Immortal is set to come to the Playstation VR this summer, and let's just say that there's at least one MeFite who's a bit Sith-curious.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:58 PM on June 16



And is this the excuse I need to actually buy a stick and throttle for the first time in 20 years? Because trying to fly anything first-person with a gamepad or mouse just makes me dizzy.


I'd hold off on that HOTAS setup just yet; Battlefront II doesn't support it for the space maps, and at first blush this appears to be basically that - expanded to a full game. Plus it's cross-platform multiplayer, so being EA they won't want HOTAS PC players showing up console players; controllers at best for everyone I imagine. (mouse+kb is inferior to joypad for this sort of thing).

a VR headset though - Elite Dangerous is really, really impressive in VR (shame about the uh, lack of actual game) and this could potentially work well as a VR space shoot-em-up. If EA can avoid being well, too EA about it.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 4:47 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


I'm 45 years old and I still don't understand the appeal of playing an Imperial.

Gourard shading
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:58 PM on June 16 [10 favorites]


my first and only "good trick" consists of "hit the brakes and they'll fly right by!"

I've heard that spinning is another good trick.

As for this game, I want to believe but I'm worried it won't be the game I'm looking for.
posted by nubs at 5:38 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


I'm 45 years old and I still don't understand the appeal of playing an Imperial.

You don't have to dress in a jumpsuit and dork helmet
posted by thelonius at 5:40 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


I’m 53 this year and cant understand why people still buy EA games.
posted by drivingmenuts at 5:52 PM on June 16 [9 favorites]




It will support joystick + HOTAS though

"Yes, we fully support joystick on PC, including full HOTAS rigs with a throttle. :)"
posted by mrcircles at 5:56 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Also 53, and have exceedingly fond memories dogfighting in an A-wing. Extra speedy, with those weak-ass shields shifted to double-front, and man, those rockets were something!

Shortly after, I fell in love with Privateer. Haven’t played a decent space dogfighting sim since then — back in the ‘90s — and ready for a decent remake!
posted by darkstar at 6:00 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


As players move up the ranks, they’ll earn components such as weapons, hulls, engines and shields to customize the performance of their starfighters

*Fart noises*

It could be a lot of fun, I guess, but this sounds nothing like TIE Fighter at all. It sounds like Elite or something.
posted by billjings at 6:01 PM on June 16


I'm 45 years old and I still don't understand the appeal of playing an Imperial.

I'm sorry have you SEEN the design aesthetics of the Empire vs. the Republic? Clean sharp edges and sharp convex points, versus... whatever the fuck the EF76 Nebulon-B frigate was trying to evoke. Huge parasites on the back of a beached whale, maybe? No self-respecting artistic type could ever side with a rebellion that that could barely muster a fleet that looked like they'd spot-welded a bunch of oil tankers together. And let's talk engagement odds. Do you want to be flying your small, lightly armored fighter craft straight at a heavily armored dagger-shaped dispensary of death armed with 25+ turbolaser batteries? No. No you do not. You want to be flying it at a ragtag coalition of lightly-armed pirates who will scatter the moment your capital ship jumps out of hyperspace. Worst case, you get to fly after the Rebel fleet, who have some bitching fighters but whose capital ships are about as deadly as a sun-poisoned Hutt lying prone on a flat stretch of Tatooine desert.
posted by Mayor West at 6:44 PM on June 16 [8 favorites]


"Mitchell and Webb: The Video Game" is long overdue.

Wasn't this the entire plot of Battlefront II (2017)'s campaign?

Call me confused but I'm not sure how you could do PvP dogfights in a rail-shooter.

Keep in mind that no gameplay footage has been publicly released, so anybody claiming to know what the game is like is talking out their ass.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:56 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


Shortly after, I fell in love with Privateer. Haven’t played a decent space dogfighting sim since then — back in the ‘90s — and ready for a decent remake!

The Colony Wars series from the original Playstation era is an oft-overlooked but high quality space dogfighting sim. Unfortunately because the games were never that popular they're a bit difficult to acquire, I'm not sure if there are digital versions readily available anywhere. Worth a look if you're in that kind of mood though!
posted by C^3 at 8:12 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


"Mitchell and Webb: The Video Game" is long overdue.

Asymmetric coop action featuring BMX bikers and angel summoners
posted by Jpfed at 8:48 PM on June 16 [7 favorites]


Why Star Wars: Squadrons can't be the next TIE Fighter

I loved TIE Fighter so much, and would love for a modern version. But sadly I think this article is probably correct, that a complex space combat sim with dozens of mission and a power management system for your ship seems unlikely to get made today.
posted by good in a vacuum at 9:23 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


I like X-Wings and I look forward to blowing the shit out of some TIE Fighters in this video game
posted by Sokka shot first at 9:25 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


... unlikely to get made today if it’s a Star Wars property, I should clarify.
posted by good in a vacuum at 10:12 PM on June 16


The game may or may not be fun, but EA is there to incentivize profitability above all other concerns. I finally went cold turkey from the mobile Galaxy of Heroes after seeing how methodically they'd gotten us to sink more and more of our life, and/or more and more of our money into it just to stay afloat.

Squadrons might not include microtransactions when it launches, they'll hope we think it's a deal to get a great game for a one-time price. But they want ongoing payments... they'll alter the deal, we'll pay that they don't alter it any further.
posted by Riki tiki at 11:43 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Tried Battlefront 2 on PS4 recently as it was free on PS+, but it left me a little cold. It's a very competent shooter and the sound effects are amazing (like, they did an excellent job copying the sound design from the films), but to me the essence of Star Wars battles is spaceships going pew pew pew. I played X-Wing and TIE Fighter to death back in the day.

Squadrons sounds fun and I'm cautiously excited but it remains to be seen if they can make a modern multiplayer space-shooter fun, and how closely it will be based on the progression mechanics of modern shooters. I realise they can't make a full-on space sim like the old games, with all the controls for weapon fire-linking, transferring power from shields to lasers, etc, and have it play equally well on a console controller and a PC flight stick, so I'm wondering if it will be more arcadey like the spacecraft in Battlefront, and/or if there will be character/class/ship powers like an Overwatch or Apex. I do love collecting and equipping loot so I'm not adverse to blowing up an enemy and collecting an Improved Laser Cannon Focusing Assembly (+2 laser cannon range). Hopefully any paid loot boxes are purely cosmetic though like in Overwatch, and you can't buy your way to an over-powered random drop.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:22 AM on June 17


Wasn't this the entire plot of Battlefront II (2017)'s campaign?

The Mitchell & Webb sketch had a more complex character arc and a deeper examination of "are we the baddies" than the entire plot of Battlefront 2.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:24 AM on June 17


Squadrons might not include microtransactions when it launches, they'll hope we think it's a deal to get a great game for a one-time price. But they want ongoing payments...

Pretty sure I read that there'll be a subscription model for the multiplayer content. That (plus their already-admitted focus on multiplayer) seems to suggest that the single-player campaign will be perfunctory, but may also suggest that in fact there'll be no (or very limited) microtransactions? Seems to me the game would have to suck awfully hard to attract an insufficient number of monthly subscribers *to a Star Wars space dogfighting game*.

I realise they can't make a full-on space sim like the old games, with all the controls for weapon fire-linking, transferring power from shields to lasers, etc, and have it play equally well on a console controller and a PC flight stick

(*through tears*) but WHY can't they? Just make L1/R1 toggle fore/aft shields (respectively) to low/med/full (*more tears, snorking sniffle*)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:16 AM on June 17


Because R1 will be "ping target to squadmates" and L1 will be "make your pilot do a dance"
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:06 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Why Star Wars: Squadrons can't be the next TIE Fighter
posted by mrcircles at 5:53 PM on June 16 [1 favorite
+] [!]

TLDR
Too expensive, tie fighter looked bad, which helped it become so good.

the glory was in the war gaming;
Nowadays games rush right into the action, over strategy and slow burn progress over hundreds of missions.

It s just not likely for the game to have the mission design of tie fighter, it would be attacked as repetitive
posted by eustatic at 8:14 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


It s just not likely for the game to have the mission design of tie fighter, it would be attacked as repetitive

And yet X-Com.

I guess it's not an EA game though.
posted by GuyZero at 12:19 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Official Gameplay Trailer

PEW PEW
posted by chrchr at 4:57 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]


I guess we'll all have to enjoy the pew pew and keep waiting for the Euro Trucking Simulator: Tattoine we were all hoping for
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:29 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


I was all ready to be cynical, but the new trailer makes it look like this might actually be good. Power management is in, the cockpit control panel designs are obvious references to the 90s PC games, and it sounds like a lot of the usual EA nonsense might be out (I think they've confirmed no microtransactions now). Maybe they'll get it right this time!
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 6:59 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Official Gameplay Trailer

Yay!

That said, I'm not sure there was an actual gameplay clip that lasted more than 5 seconds.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:00 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Euro Trucking Simulator: Tattoine

I think you mean Moisture Farming Simulator 2020
posted by GuyZero at 10:33 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


This interview seems promising in terms of speaking to the most promising concerns. I want to believe.
posted by ominous_paws at 2:13 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]


PEW PEW

In addition, please let me add: [TIE fighter screeching] pew pew pew pew [explosion noise]
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:18 AM on June 19


*and* there's PVE, according to the trailer V-O, which is very nice to hear, because I doubt I'll be able to bring myself to play as an Imperial against humans.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:36 AM on June 19


Euro Trucking Simulator: Tattoine

Sandcrawlers, man. Sandcrawlers. *random gibberish*
posted by mikelieman at 3:48 AM on June 19


It sounded from the trailer that the one-player campaign requires you to play as BOTH Rebel and Empire, alternating through as you progress.

Is that right? That’s kind of odd, if so. Or am I just misreading what they are saying?

(I’d expect to be able to play a campaign as one or the other.)
posted by darkstar at 3:59 AM on June 19


It sounds like the game is heavily focused on multiplayer, like a 2020 version of X-Wing vs TIE Fighter from 1997, and the single-player part is basically an extended tutorial where you learn how to fly each of the fighters.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:36 AM on June 19


*and* there's PVE, according to the trailer V-O, which is very nice to hear, because I doubt I'll be able to bring myself to play as an Imperial against humans.

The single-player campaign in Battlefront II was difficult in this way - you massacre hordes of Rebel troopers before the mid-game "are WE the baddies?" defection. The multiplayer wasn't so bad in that way (since there's no plot and it's like any other multiplayer shooter where you're more focused on the gameplay than the aesthetics), although for some reason I found it much more distasteful to play as the First Order than the Empire. I think perhaps because they're portrayed in the films much more like straight-up space-Nazis.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:47 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]


I think you mean Moisture Farming Simulator 2020

I don't know why you all keep misspelling Nerf Herding Simulator A Long Time Ago but whatevs.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:53 AM on June 19 [3 favorites]


Cracked: "'Star Wars: Squadrons' Has A Lofty Legacy To Live Up To"

And if you're like me and preordering Squadrons wasn't enough to tamp your anticipation, the key to playing Alliance comfortably with modern graphics cards appears to be this fan-built "XWA Hacker". Still trying to figure out how to get GOG's 1998 TIE Fighter reissue to keep a 4:3 aspect ratio; the relevant nVidia settings that should work, aren't. I may have to switch to the dosBox version.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 1:34 PM on June 19


It sounded from the trailer that the one-player campaign requires you to play as BOTH Rebel and Empire, alternating through as you progress.

Is that right? That’s kind of odd, if so. Or am I just misreading what they are saying?


The High Moon Studios Transformer games did a thing where you alternate back and forth playing Decepticons or Transformers in the same story, and it was excellent.

I guess how fun that would be might depend on whether Empire vs. Rebels feels more to you like Decepticons vs. Transformers or Nazis vs. Allies.
posted by straight at 2:13 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


More details from Slashfilm, including references to WEG-era EU planets Chandrila and Brentaal IV!
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 2:44 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


It sounds like the game is heavily focused on multiplayer, like a 2020 version of X-Wing vs TIE Fighter from 1997, and the single-player part is basically an extended tutorial where you learn how to fly each of the fighters.

God, this sucks
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:57 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


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