It's two terms you never wanted to see together, Star Wars and free-to-play, but in this new, brave world where Disney owns Star Wars and LucasArts is a licensing shill... this is how things are going to be. To be fair, Star Wars: Attack Squadrons seems like a very interesting concept. 16-player PvP dogfights in space with X-Wings, Y-Wings, buffalo wings and plenty of other spaceships. Just... you can't trust free-to-play these days.
Let's move on to the official feature list, so everyone has a solid grasp of what kind of game we're working with here:
- Intense PVP Action: Battle online in 3 PVP game modes
- Free For All: Fight for glory in 16 players death matches.
- Team Dogfight: Join a team and decimate the enemy team.
- Base Defense: Defend your base or coordinate an attack on your enemy's base.
- Ship Customization: Upgrade and personalize your ships as you collect and modify them to your own specifications.
- Team Play: Team up with your friends and develop a community of Starfighter Pilots.
- Rewards: Earn points after successful matches to unlock new items and upgrades.
- Regular Updates: New ships, items and upgrades every month.
While the idea of an online multiplayer starfighter game isn't inherently terrible, it's not exactly the priority Star Wars game that fans likely would want. Rather like how Nosgoth isn't the Legacy of Kain title fans of that franchise wanted. There are a lot of Star Wars fans who would have begged on their knees for a single player follow-up to X-Wing or Starfighter.
Add in the fact that free-to-play games these days will likely throw out much of the real Star Warsy content like lore and character investment for gameplay with heavily embedded microtransactions. The best possibility is that the entire game is accessible without spending a dime, where microtransactions don't give access to power in any way, but I think it's safe to say that's unlikely. Why? Because it's Star Wars. Disney knows people will pay a lot of money for anything they put together just because of the brand.
Every game deserves a chance, however. Hopefully we'll hear more about Star Wars: Attack Squadrons in the months ahead and all of my worries are for naught. Sigh... free-to-play.