Star Wars Squadrons, the latest Star Wars space combat flight simulator is here and almost everything I have ever wanted in a video game or a career.
Months ago, early in the pandemic, one of my BFFs convinced me to buy an Oculus Quest. She and her community of friends had been building some interesting environments in VRChat, getting drunk and dancing around. I tried it, then played some Beat Saber and then thought, "I hope they come up with a game I like!"
…and then Star Wars Squadrons was announced with full VR and HOTAS support.
I pre-ordered the game. While I wasn't excited to put on a hot, heavy set of goggles to wiggle around in a Cthulhu skin and dance with my friend, I was instantly ready to don said headset and blast mother fucking Imperial TIE Fighters out of my sky.
Aside from perhaps flying one GunStar against the entire armada, a desperate battle against incredible odds, I can not imagine a thing I'd rather do than fly for the New Republic.
Minus 20-30 minutes of dickery with getting the order right on when you boot up the headset and enabling 'the Rift S Link' to work, Squadrons delivers an incredible experience.
The Oculus Quest is merely an OK headset, there is some screen tearing and FPS issues that can be headachy — but overall, I am immersed. With a throttle, stick and rudder pedals my entire body is engaged in flying whatever ship I am in.
I needed to do a little customizing of controls to get the rudder integrated. I still am moving a few things around on the HOTAS. The Thrustmaster T.Flight X kit I found has a lot of buttons and it does take a bit of time to figure out what does what. Learning is a bit problematic when wearing the VR headset as you can not see the numbers on the buttons to during the tutorials. It might make sense to run them on your monitor and then again with the VR on.
The story is wonderful and serves as good training for multiplayer. Multiplayer is pretty amazing, however EA still has yet to come up with a really good, seamless and intuitive friend finding, partying up and matchmaking system. I have played with a friend, I think I now know how to make it happen in under 10 minutes.
The game play is wonderful.
The X-Wing and TIE Fighter are fun, but the A-Wing is just the best thing ever. The slower moving, heavier fighters get you used to the action and then the A-Wing just tears it up. Flying in and around wrecked Imperial destroyers, through debris fields and around giant asteroids — all with a Star Wars soundtrack, sound effects and dialogue running.
Star Wars Squadrons is a pretty wonderful way to lose yourself in some fun right now.
p.s. the Quest 2 will be better but this is certainly good enough.