PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC; Motive Studios/EA
Ever wanted to be an X-Wing pilot? Playing this game immersively with VR is the closest yet to being in the cockpit, flying missions on both sides of the galactic divide
It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to posit that one of the primary drivers of video game innovation over the past 40 years has been the desire to live out Star Wars fantasies – from the Parker Brothers’ Empire Strikes Back in 1982 (the first Star Wars tie-in game) to the superlative X-Wing/Tie Fighter series in the mid-90s right through to the slick Battlefronts of this generation. Yet even the ones that succeeded were constrained by the technology of their eras, leaving much of the work of convincing the player that they were actually in a galaxy far, far away to their own imaginations.
It wasn’t until EA released Rogue One – a single, supplementary VR mission for 2016’s Star Wars: Battlefront – that the concept of actually being there was quietly nailed: the holy grail towards which Star Wars games had been striving for 34 years. Praise was unanimous, EA’s Motive Studio took note, and now here we are with a whole game where you can fly around inside X-Wings and Tie Fighters. Let’s not beat around the bush: if you are a fan of Star Wars and have the means to play Squadrons in VR, you should buy it right now. No other game in history has immersed me so completely in the universe George Lucas created. This is childhood-fantasy fulfilment on a galactic scale.