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Play Life, Live Games column: Star Wars fans can squad up in October

Dusty Ricketts
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Crookston Times

Columns share an author's personal perspective.

*****

Sometimes, I like admitting I was wrong.

In late April, when EA ended development of new content for "Star Wars Battlefront 2" without announcing any newStar Wars titles to take its place, I was concerned about the future of Star Wars gaming.

That changed last week when EA first released the announcement trailer for "Star Wars: Squadrons" last June 22 and then showed off the first gameplay footage from the game just days later during the EA Play livestream event.

"Squadrons" will be the first Star Wars game to focus mainly on dogfighting and space combat since "Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III" released on the Nintendo GameCube way back in 2003.

The game will have a single player campaign, but we don’t know too much about the story yet other than it will focus on two squadrons, one for the New Republic and one for the Empire and it’s mostly set after "Return of the Jedi."

On the multiplayer side of things, two modes have been announced so far. Dogfight is a traditional five-on-five team deathmatch mode while Fleet Battles tasks teams with coming up with a strategy to take out the opposing team’s capital ships. And if mulitplayer isn’t for you, all multiplayer modes will be playable offline with computer-controlled teammates and opponents.

Rather than being an arcadey shooter, it appears "Squadrons" is going more in the simulation direction. You’ll have full control of your ship’s mechanics and will be able to do things like pull power from the weapons to increase the speed or shields.

The highlight of the reveal for me was learning that the entire game, both the singleplayer campaign and all multiplayer modes, will be playable in VR on PlayStationand PC (sorry Xbox).

The VR mission from 2015's "Star Wars Battlefront" is still my favorite VR experience and that level puts you in the iconic orange jumpsuit of an X-Wing pilot and has you flying a special mission for the Rebel Alliance. However, it only takes about 20 minutes to complete and as soon as it’s over I just want more of it.

That’s what it sounds like "Star Wars: Squadrons" is going to deliver.

"Star Wars: Squadrons" is scheduled for release on Oct. 2 for the PC,Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Dusty Ricketts is the editor of The Destin Log and The Walton Sun newspapers and can be reached ata dricketts@thedestinlog.com.