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Star Wars: Squadrons (Impressions)

Zenbane
Level 16
As of now, I've spent over 3 hours in SW:S, and I'm really enjoying the heck out of this flight shooter!

I won't be attempting a comprehensive review (yet) since I haven't finished the full single story campaign, but I do want to call out some great first impressions.

In particular, the character models and realism is rather amazing and rare in VR. Some of the character models are convincingly realistic.


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Experiencing VR's "presence" with these characters is quite the special treat. I go out of my way to engage in one-on-one dialogue with each character (as available).

Now, if I had a complaint, it would be that there is no free-form movement. Everything is fixed in place, with Teleportation to predetermined areas. Very much on par with Wilson's Heart (another personal VR favorite). However, there are multiple areas that open up for exploration, and there are quite a few times where I truly felt like I was in a Star Wars universe (or on the set of a Star Wars film).

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Note that all of these images are coming straight from my machine, and I'm playing this on the classic Rift CV1, with a mere GTX 980.

One of my favorite aspects of this game are the nuances. I love how they load an R2 unit in to the back of your ship. And this droid is very vocal and animated. You can turn your head behind you any time to see the droid being fully animated.

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Other minor details include the use of the Holo-comm inside the ship; where your Commander can pop in to give you orders in classic Star Wars fashion.

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As for the flight combat itself,

I would simply compare this more directly with Eve Valkyrie. It has a strong "flight arcade shooter" feel to it; with a heavy emphasize on arcade-style. But once you get the hang of the controls, taking out enemy fighters, blasting turrets off huge ships, dodging missiles, and taking on larger than life vessels feels like this title is well worth the price of admission.
145 REPLIES 145

Zenbane
Level 16


Is it safe to suggest the VR experience is much better than playing 2D?



In general, or for this game specifically?

Overall, I think it depends. While back in 2016-2018, I would have argued a strong 'yes' in VR's favor. However, now that my VR legs are 100% set, I would answer, "it depends."

In this case, with SW:Sq, I would have to play the pancake game in multiplayer mode extensively, then play it in VR for the same amount of time. After that, I would be able to compare which mode (pancake vs VR) gave me the best competitive edge in PvP.

Maybe in Story Mode the VR experience is better. But I suspect that any multiplayer combat will lean towards pancake gaming as giving the competitive edge. This is due to the fact that the player can see far more of the entire combat screen "at once" when in pancake gaming vs VR Mode.

This is my theory so far; I would need to test it out by trying to kill lots of players in both modes.  ❤️

But I suppose that in general, being immersed and present is superior? Although I still think it "depends." Take my latest addition, XCom 2, as an example. I really couldn't see VR making the game "better" in any sensible way. Unless it allowed me to do the actual combat (shooting weapons, swinging swords, launching grenades/missiles, etc) instead of letting the characters execute those commands. But then it wouldn't be an XCom game anymore.

vannagirl
Level 12
Just get that Zenbane level of review out, already!
Look, man. I only need to know one thing: where they are. 

Zenbane
Level 16

Morgrum said:

Zen why am I seeing X wings and rebel terrorist.
Please let us know your location so we can send a team to collect you for.... the good of the empire.
ENDOR. NEVER FORGET!



Because only "I" can bring piece to the Galaxy, good sir! 

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Seriously though, the game (Story Mode) is about an Imperial Defector who gets tired of killing Rebels and wants to come on over to the good guys.
 🙂 

mcdaniels2k9
Level 2
Playing multiplayer battles now (5th). I would say that you have an unfair advantage in VR cause you have far better situation awareness. At least what I can see when I play myself. The game is quite nice. 😉

Zenbane
Level 16
Someone is streaming on Facebook, and I thought this image was hilarious. They superimposed themselves and their dog inside a starfighter.

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MowTin
Level 11


Is it safe to suggest the VR experience is much better than playing 2D?


It's almost always better in VR when you're dealing with a cockpit based game because you can freely and naturally move your head.

The downside for VR in combat space / flight sim games is usually spotting at a distance. But here you have sensors so it's not a problem. 

It probably looks better in 2D because of the clarity issue in VR but the experience of being in a fighter from your childhood movie dreams is incomparable. 

So far, my only complaint is I haven't been able to get it to look as sharp as Elite Dangerous. 
i7 9700k 2080ti   CV1, Rift-S, Index, G2

falken76
Level 13
I didn't like it, but I didn't give it a fair chance, I was half asleep and starving when I tried it out so my mind was elsewhere.  Controls felt weird, ships felt like they had no momentum to them, though that could have been side effects from the starvation...  I'll have to give it another go, but I'm stoked to have the game I wanted since 1983!

Zenbane
Level 16

falken76 said:

I didn't like it, but I didn't give it a fair chance, I was half asleep and starving when I tried it out so my mind was elsewhere.  Controls felt weird, ships felt like they had no momentum to them, though that could have been side effects from the starvation...  I'll have to give it another go, but I'm stoked to have the game I wanted since 1983!



If you direct more power to your engine, you can use speed boosts. You can control how much power goes to your engines (for more speed), your weapons (faster weapon recharge), and shield (more tankage).

But yeah, always best to engage in a dogfight on a full tummy!

MowTin
Level 11
I turned TAA sharpening and TAA to their lowest possible setting. I cranked up resolution scale and set index to 150%. The game looks a lot better that way. I think TAA makes things look sharper in the hanger but in space it makes everything look blurry. 

I'm playing with HOTAS with Joystick and rudder pedals. I really feel like a star fighter. 

I LOVE the story mission so far. It really makes me feel like I'm in a Star Wars movie especially those mission briefings. 

I play a lot of Elite Dangerous so I set the difficulty to Ace. That kicked my ass so I set to Veteran. It's still kicking my ass so I think I may need to set it even further down. I'm dying a lot.

My strategy for surviving a wave of TIE fighters is maximum power to shields and using the repair droid often. 
i7 9700k 2080ti   CV1, Rift-S, Index, G2

Zenbane
Level 16
I'm on mission 5 or 6 right now, and the story is getting mighty good. I love that you get to play both Factions.

It just switched me back over to the Empire, and I'm really liking the diversity between all the fighter plane options, as well as the customization allowed per vessel to adjust to your playing style.

And those character models continue to impress me. This one character was in the right lighting to where I could see reflection in her eyes.

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