Over the years, the gaming industry has been critical of the decisions made by Electronic Arts when it comes to the "Star Wars" license. After it inked a 10-year deal with Disney in 2013, analysts believed the game studio had the opportunity to develop potentially successful titles, ones that would appeal to casual gamers and hardcore fans of the long-running franchise. Now, after a series of hits and misses, "Star Wars: Squadrons" is finally available for all major platforms. Just like the ones before it, there are some downsides.
The publisher was previously the subject of controversy after journalists and gamers alike called out its decision to make microtransactions the central feature of its games. This came about shortly before the release of "Star Wars: Battlefront II" wherein many complained about the "pay to win" structure. Players apparently hated the heavy emphasis on loot boxes instead of balanced gameplay. Thankfully, it managed to win back support after the release of "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order" which was received rather positively.
After its trailer debuted in June, "Star Wars: Squadrons" finally launched on Friday, for the PC, Xbox One, and PS4. It supports cross-platform gameplay, which is what the gaming industry has come to expect from AAA titles with online multiplayer game modes. For many, it is a welcome change from the "boots-on-the-ground" approach offered by the "Battlefront" series. On the other hand, it reportedly shared a lacklustre story as noted by Mike Hume on an article published by the Washington Post.
"The game's single-player campaign is a series of largely forgettable missions in which the goal is to teach players the game's controls and mechanics to prepare them for the multiplayer mode, rather than provide an intriguing tale set in the Star Wars universe," he stated. Nevertheless, the option to play it with a hands throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) as well as with VR headsets (PSVR on the PS4) was surprisingly immersive.
As it stands right now, "Star Wars: Squadrons" is rated a 78 by Metacritic, 7/10 by users on Steam, 8/10 by IGN, and an 83 from PC Gamer. Other reviews are expected to go live within the week. So far, it does show that EA got the online multiplayer aspect of the game right. However, it needs to work on the single-player narrative to give folks a reason not to dive right into online matches instead.