Star Wars: Squadrons Update – A Holiday Surprise

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EA surprised on Wednesday, posting on its official Star Wars: Squadrons page of some surprise updates thay are coming to its popular multi-player space-combat title, Star Wars: Squadrons. We did an in-depth review of the game, which really left us wanting more. So why is it surprising there would be an update for Squadrons, you ask? Well around the time that Squadrons launched, in an interview with UploadVR, Ian Frazier, the creative director on Star Wars Squadrons and, at the time, he indicated that:

“Never say never, so to speak, but as far as our philosophy goes we’re not trying to treat the game as a live service. We don’t want to say, ‘It’s almost done!’ and then dribble out more of it over time, which to be honest is how most games work these days. So we’ve tried to treat it in kind of an old-school approach saying, ‘You’ve paid the $40, this is the game and it’s entirely self-contained. We’re not planning to add more content, this is the game, and we hope you understand the value proposition.’”

Ian Frazier – Creative Director Star Wars Squadrons
Image Credit: EA/Star Wars: Squadrons

Word came out a couple weeks back that there was going to be some skins made available via a Squadrons update that were The Mandalorian themed, but ultimately, it was just a minor DLC and no big deal, right?

However, on Wednesday, along with some new game art, a new image featuring “new starfighters” was posted to their media site. The image shows a new B-Wing configurate, as well as a Tie-Defender configuration. The official EA Star Wars Twitter account posted about the coming update and that we can expect the new content over “hese next two months.”

Back over at the official EA Star Wars Squadrons webpage, more details were revealed. With the Squadrons team at EA explaining that they were “Humbled” by the “…outpouring of support you’ve all shown us…” and noting that the reception was much more than they had ever expected and “hoped for.” For that reason, they started to work on some extra goodies that will go into the game over the next couple of months, based partly on the feedback and requests of fans of the game.

November Update 3.0

The biggest and most exciting news is probably the announcement of the new B-wing and TIE-defender starfighters. Before they arrive though, as part of the November 25th 3.0 update, Squadrons will get some standard bug fixes, as well as some balance and tuning changes. The exciting stuff is in the new content. A new map will be introduced called “Fostar Haven,” which will be an addition to the multiplayer maps that are popular with fans. This is the location that is featured in the single-player campaign story in the first segment of the prologue mission where players get their first taste of dogfight action and has received many requests from players as another multi-player locale. The map will be available in both Fleet Battles and Dogfight modes.

Fostar Haven : Image Credit EA/Star Wars: Squadrons

The update will add several new components for various fighters, including a Boost Extension Kit, which will charge the boost meter to full and then recharge over time after being used. Additionally, a new Prototype Piercing Torpedo will be introduced as another anti-capital ship weapon, Ion Rockets for killing enemy shields, and a new Anti-Material Rocket Turret for support vessels, which will target enemy subsystem, turrets and the deployable components of other support vessels.

December Update 4.0

New Starfighters will come to a second Squadrons Update (4.0) in December. The New Republic “B-wing”, which is classified as a bomber-class role, and the TIE defender, which is classified as a multi-role starfighter. While both armadas already feature similarly position ships, each will have advantages and disadvantages in combat roles over the ships in the existing Republic and Imperial fleets, and will really depend on player preference and the combat situation being encountered.

Lastly, Squadrons is introducing in the 4.0 December update, a huge number of requests had been placed by fans for being able to setup “custom matches.” Specifically, custom matches will allow a one to five player-per-side battle between two teams, and allow players to setup these matches on any of the available maps in either Dogfight mode or Fleet Battle Mode. In addition, some other rules/restrictions and modifiers can be added to the matches, including features like damage modifiers, shield and hull modifiers, capital ship health modifications and limitations on what types of fighters can be used in any given match. Along with this, a browser is being released to allow players to search for both public and private custom matches to join.

With all of the new content coming, it does make us wonder whether, with the popularity of Squadrons, can we expect future content updates or even paid expansion packs from EA? Squadrons is a relative budget title at just $40.00, so it is surprising to see any major updates like this at all. Given the wide popularity, it wouldn’t be surprising for EA to develop a major content update into an expansion and charge another $20.00 for second storyline and access to some other co-op/multiplayer features such as co-op sorties or a multiplayer campaign of some sort.

What do you think of Star Wars: Squadrons? Check out our review and see what we thought – the good, the less good, and the rest.

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