EA announces Star Wars: Squadrons, a new first-person starfighter dogfighting game

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EA has announced a new Star Wars game, Star Wars: Squadrons, a first-person space combat game that will have players flying the series’s famous starfighters in head-to-head single-player and multiplayer battles.

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.

Star Wars: Squadrons also shows that EA has learned some considerable lessons from the loot box debacle that marred the first several months of Star Wars: Battlefront II. While the game will offer extension customization options for both gameplay-altering items like weapons, hulls, engines, and shields as well as a variety of cosmetics to customize their cockpit, ship, and pilot appearance, the company promises that everything will be “earned solely through gameplay.”

Another welcome improvement: cross-platform support, with multiplayer supported between players on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Squadrons will also be compatible with VR headsets on PC and the PlayStation 4 for players who want even more immersion.

While the focus with Squadrons seems to be largely on multiplayer, the game will also feature a new single-player campaign, set after the Battle of Endor, which will put players into the shoes of pilots from both the New Republic’s Vanguard Squadron and the Galactic Empire’s Titan Squadron.

Squadrons actually leaked several months ago under the title “Project Maverick” and then again when a banner for the game was accidentally posted to Microsoft’s Xbox website ahead of the announcement, but today’s announcement marks the formal reveal of the title.

While recent Star Wars titles (like Star Wars: Battlefront II) have put players in the cockpits of X-Wings, TIE Fighters, and other iconic vehicles from the franchise, it’s been over a decade since there was a major Star Wars game devoted to space battles, the most recent being 2003’s Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike for the Nintendo GameCube. But there’s a long pedigree of starfighter combat games in the Star Wars franchise, most famously lead by the X-Wing and TIE Fighter games released for PC in the 1990s that focused on more “realistic” space combat.

We’ll still have to wait for gameplay to get a better idea, but the focus on exclusively first-person dogfighting could mean that this is the modern successor to the X-Wing franchise that fans have been waiting for.

Star Wars: Squadrons is set to be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on October 2nd for $39.99. EA has yet to announce whether it’ll be offering a next-gen version of Squadrons for the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X this fall.

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