Squadrons is really good, it’s a slightly simplified version of the 90’s games. I find it to be a perfect balance of arcade and sim. Coming from Elite, I was a little disappointed at first that there is not LR/UP thrusting, but that wouldn’t be Star Wars, so it makes sense to omit. As has been said, the power management is great, and you find your self really busy during combat flipping through power priorities, targeting between fighters and capital ship subsystems, and panic-waiting for a lock-on.
I finished the campaign last night on pilot, and I’m planning to run through it again soon. it still has a medal system to incentivize multiple plays, but none of them are too difficult to get apart from efficiency (time) and survival (no deaths). Overall I was pleasantly surprised by the campaign. It’s very Star Wars, so if hokey dialogue and super weapons aren’t your thing, you may want to skip the cutscenes. But flying in those beautiful maps, with the classic starships, around Star Destroyers and rebel corvettes is a dream. Then fly through a brilliant fireball that was a TIE you shot down, I don’t know how anyone with even a fleeting interest in Star Wars can’t be sold.
At first I was going to ignore the multiplayer, but honestly I want in. I don’t generally care for MP, but I think skilled dog-fighting could be really fun. I also really like the Fleet Battle mode but the AI isn’t quite there. I think it functions well as a push into the MP modes. I’ll probably get my feet wet this week and see how it goes.
I love the fact there are no micro-transactions, it makes for a really clean experience. Seriously, compare the experience to any other MP game out there right now, it’s amazing (compare this to something like BFV or CS:GO). No ads, no obnoxious skins, it’s quite refreshing. But with that said, I worry about the longevity of the game without them. I would propose to EA to do the following - mission packs. Release cheap single player mission packs of maybe 5 or 6 missions for a reasonable price. With each release have them focus on a new fighter and a couple maps, both patched into the base game for MP. It could work!
EA Play has 10 hour trials of new releases like Squadrons, which is plenty of time for a campaign play-through.