After having a bit of a moan earlier in the year about the shocking lack of Star Wars space combat games released over the past 15 years, EA have only bloody gone and announced one. Its name is Star Wars: Squadrons and, going on the details revealed thus far, yours truly couldn't be more excited about climbing into its cockpit when the game is released October 2nd.
Squadrons is set just after the events of Return of the Jedi, which means we'll probably get to fly about the second Death Star in some sort of flashback-infused tutorial mission. The single-player campaign will then alternate between two customisable pilots, one of course flying for the New Republic, the other for down-but-not-out Galactic Empire. When that's all tied up, there are two multiplayer modes to hopefully enjoy, one called Fleet Battles - which sounds like some kind of PvE survival mode - with 5v5 Dogfights as the main PvP course.
Rather promising is that Star Wars: Squadrons seems as much inspired by the X-wing series as Rogue Squadron, given that it's a "first-person space dogfighting" game rather than a more forgiving third-person effort. That means cockpits and, one would hope, a full arsenal of control options. Of course, I'm not expecting a TIE Fighter-level simulation and sure, the planned (and welcome) cross-platform matchmaking would go against anything being too hardcore, but I'm going to stay hopeful that Squadrons' encounters will be a bit more involved than Battlefront's - in spite of the same team being largely responsible for both.
Though today's announcement was hardly a surprise (there have been rumours that a Star Wars space game was in development for a few months), news that the PC and PS4 version will support VR headsets was unexpected - and very welcome. Those who've played 2016's Rogue One: VR Mission for the PS4 version of Star Wars Battlefront have long called for more of that sort of thing and it sounds very much like that's exactly what we'll be getting.
Squadrons would seem to be offering a little bit of everything for anyone into flying iconic Star Wars spaceships. My only nagging concern is the suspiciously cheap price point of $39.99. I know it's not that cheap, but for a Star Wars game one would expect to hand out another tenner, which is why it's suggestive of a selection box experience rather than a substantive meal. It won't stop me salivating, however, given how long we've been starved of its like.