Will Star Wars: Squadrons be “CSGO in Space”?
EA revealed an action-packed cinematic trailer today for Star Wars: Squadrons. While it lacked any definitive information about the gameplay, it did show off some nice looking combat with fighters slicing through asteroids and high above planets. However, we can determine a little bit of gameplay information from the game’s website.
Star Wars: Squadrons will have a single-player campaign, but will also feature a 5v5 multiplayer component with cross-play between PS4 and PC. When I saw this, the first thing that came to mind is a setup reminiscent of CSGO. I imagined a scenario where each side would start a round loading out a ship, determining what objectives to take, and preparing their single-life run against the opposing force. Players would have to rely on skill and good team play to survive and win each round in fragile, but capable fighters.
The ever-growing popularity of CSGO and now its Riot-produced clone, Valorant, is certainly having an impact on the game development community. While it may not be at the battle royale “gold rush” level just yet, I’m sure the concept has intrigued many developers and publishers. The idea does seem like it would put a good spin on both the traditional Star Wars fighter experience and the “genre” as a whole.
The key, however, is making this skill-based enough that it will properly fit the biggest allure of CSGO-like games. If the combat were more akin to recent Battlefront games, it certainly wouldn’t have people dumping hundreds of hours and packing servers to the brim. Yet, if they manage to make a controller-based online dogfighting system have enough depth and tactical functionality, it could achieve a similar prominence.
With the game only being $40 and having a single-player campaign, it potentially detracts a bit from idea that the multiplayer would robust. The price point also leads me to believe that, in typical EA fashion, the game could also feature a secondary monetization scheme. I’m sure they’ll be steering clear of loot boxes, but if they aren’t clamoring to get you to slap paint and stickers on your X-Wing I’d be very surprised.
I’ve always wanted a new Star Wars space combat game where you put a little more effort into keeping yourself alive. While I haven’t been as ensnared by the Counter-Strike design since I was playing it as a Half-Life mod, it would bring some new life to a franchise that has often been a bit shallow in gameplay. It would also double down on the trend Jedi: Fallen Order adopted in adopting a popular genre into the familiar Star Wars universe.
The good thing is, we don’t have to wait too long to find out what the gameplay will be. Later this week on Thursday, June 18th, EA Play will show us all of the action. Then we can see if October 2nd will be a date we impatiently wait for or just a day people head back into Cyberpunk 2077.