Pew Pew: Star Wars Battlefront’s Fighter Squadron Mode

Pew pew.

Twenty players will soar through the skies shouting “Zwap! Zwap!” and making noises like a trumpeting elephant driving a car on wet pavement (true story) in Star Wars Battlefront¬†[official site], backed up by more AI ships, in the newly-announced Fighter Squadron mode.

EA teased the mode recently, but at Gamescom this morning gave Fighter Squadron the old reveal-o treatment with a trailer and details and all those things. Sadly, no one ran around on stage with their arms swept back like an A-Wing making zapgun noises.

The competitive mode sees two teams in ships zipping around trying to blow each other up and score the most points. Bonus objectives, like attacking or defending the Imperial shuttle in this trailer, will give bonus points. Ships have lasers and missiles, and Imperial vessels get a speed boost ability while Rebels can pop a shield. Maps will also have powerups, from basics like ship repairs and missile cooldown boosts to turning you into ‘Hero’ ships – Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon or Boba Fett’s Slave-1. Check the announcement for more deets.

Star Wars Battlefront is due on November 17th.


  1. NicholasTimothyJones says:

    inb4 Now this is Podracing

    Seriously, looks pretty much what I wanted it to be: Nice and arcadey like the previous Battlefield games.

    • NicholasTimothyJones says:

      I meant Battlefront but I guess Battlefield works too.

    • SaintAn says:

      It’s nothing like what we have in the other Battlefront games. This is garbage that shows they’re clueless as to what people want. People say they want the space fighting we got in Battlefront 2 and they give us Battlefield 1942’s plane fighting mode in the sky. In old Battlefront games you could land in enemy ships and disable them from the inside while people are on the outside shooting the weak spots, and it was incredible. So disappointed in how they’ve brought this series back.

      • NicholasTimothyJones says:

        The gamemode may not be the same, which is unfortunate but I said I wanted it to be arcadey, which it is.

      • neoncat says:

        *sniffle* I am quickly losing confidence that this is anything more than a Battlefield reskin. Oh well.

      • drinniol says:

        I would expect to see it sooner rather than later. I mean, this game mode didn’t even exist at the reveal so they are listening, and a space level would be real easy to make.

    • Bernt01 says:

      think they are saying -” If you want STARWARS, you will have it”.

  2. OmNomNom says:

    *Looks* awesome (but to be expected with DICE really) but I’m worried it’ll just be a fly in circles mode like the incredibly boring Air Superiority in Battlefield games.

    • Clavus says:

      Yeah, they really need to make the environments and objectives interesting if they don’t want to turn this into a another Air Superiority snore-fest.

    • BlackMageSK says:

      Back in BF1942 the airplane heavy maps were actually good and fun, hopefully they remember what that was like.

      • DeepFried says:

        Yeah 1942 was actually pretty well balanced between infantry, armour, and air. Everything was useful, everything stood a chance, nothing dominated. Its a shame the actual networking and hit detection was beyond awful.

    • tellemurius says:

      They just needed some goddamn variety, it doesn’t help that BF3 and 4 only had about 3 jets used for each faction. You can’t blame that on them either since technically they only focused on a single branch instead multiples. Even with the Heli superiority mode from the expansion which was even worse.

      Tank Superiority in BF3 was actually fucktons of fun since we had two classes of vehicles available plus there was still ground units for repair work and AT.

    • Synesthesia says:

      The creep mechanic might help a lot with that.

  3. cylentstorm says:

    Hmmm…well, as long as the ships don’t handle too much like the jets in Battlefield, and they increase the speed (unlikely) it should be the best “aerial” combat that EA has ever done. I mean, c’mon–that weird, floaty paper airplane feel needs to die.

  4. Unclepauly says:

    Trailer over…. 3,2,1,… PLAYSTATION….

  5. Strangineer says:

    Anyone but me think the interface looks really meh in this game? Both in the ships and on the ground. Looks a bit.. Overly simple, toy-like.

    • merbert says:

      You are not alone my friend!

      In fact the whole thing has a “crash! bang! wallop!” feel to it that had left me totally non plus’d.

      My Meh-ometre reads 100.

    • silentdan says:

      To me, the whole thing looks boring and hollow. Impressive visuals and all, but … it seems wrong. TIEs can soak too many hits, the Millennium Falcon just fires forwards for some reason and appears as maneuverable as an A-Wing … it seems like someone did a Google Image search for “Star Wars space combat”, noted the available ships, modeled them, and wrapped it all around a boring, formulaic arcade shooter. It looks like they’re trying to make sure the game is “balanced” by making TIEs tougher than they’re supposed to be, so that each one-on-one fight is “fair.” It’s supposed to be asymmetrical, though. Three TIE fighters vs one X-Wing should be a fair fight.

      I have a well-documented anti-Origin stance, but this isn’t about that. It just looks wrong to me. Sometimes, I skip Origin-exclusive games because they’re Origin-exclusive, but I do actually want to play them. Dragon Age: Inquisition is a game I’d like to play, but won’t, because Origin. This … this, I’m just not at all interested in.

      • gunny1993 says:

        Well none of the old battlefront games worked like that, tie fighters soak up just as many hits as X-Wings as far as i’m aware.

        • silentdan says:

          Yep. That’s a deal-breaker for this X-Wing/TIE Fighter/X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter fan. The whole game will end up seeming like SW conversion mod of a different game.

      • Holderist says:

        I feel ya. The “balance” thing was something I was worried about when they announced this starfighter mode. There are other ways they could have done that: given the Empire more “lives”, or faster respawns, and make killing a tie fighter worth less points than killing an x-wing so “you have to kill more of them to reach arbitrary point number for victory!”.

      • smisk says:

        I’ll agree with you about the TIE’s. All my instincts from TIE Fighter tell me they should break apart after a couple hits. Still looks gorgeous and I like the idea of having the shuttle as a flying objective.

  6. Kollega says:

    Looks reasonably cool, but honestly, the Star Wars universe as a whole is so played-out for me that the most entertaining thing in the trailer for me ended up being the fact that the guy who says “All wings, this is it! Take them out!” sounds like Commander Feral.

    And mind you, I have nothing against Star Wars per se, but there’s no way it wouldn’t end up looking full of cliches after singlehandedly inventing or popularizing dozens if not hundreds of them.

  7. Marblecake says:

    This looks as meh as it gets.
    Auto-aim arcadey flying. Makes me sad.

    (Not that I have any experience with Battlefield flying. Just with Star Wars flying, i.e. X-Wing, Tie Fighter, etc.)

    • geisler says:

      I really hope you weren’t expecting spacesim elements (or wel, just in-depth gameplay elements in general) in a DICE / EA game.

      I’m looking forward to Rogue System myself, have a look at that if you want a true spacesim.

      • gunny1993 says:

        Well it is star wars, ships in the films act like atmospheric fighters regardless of whether they’re in space or not.

        • geisler says:

          I agree, but within that universe and it’s very warped interpretation of physics, you can still allow for an amount of simulation and involving gameplay. That’s what X-wing and the like were about, those games had very basic flight models, but you still had to use certain insights that are also present in a grounded realistic flight model, to be good at it.

          I’m not saying that amount of simulation should be the case in a battlefield game though, even if this looks so far out of touch with realism it might as well be a cartoon. I can’t believe there’s a guy commenting above that wants it to be even faster.

        • vlonk says:

          What it all should be about is this:

      • nearly says:

        I don’t know, I’m most interested in Starfighter Inc. from some of the people behind X-Wing. As the people making it point out, most of what people label “realistic spacesim” is just taking (realistic) flightsim and putting it in space / fictional vehicles and calling it a day. They’re all the same old game with different skins, and there’s nothing really zero-g or realistic about it.

        I want something with preservation of momentum, where I have to put as much work into slowing down as I did into speeding up. Where flying directly at something is generally an entirely bad idea. The module thing from Rogue System sounds cool, but I always did prefer World of Tanks to War Thunder from a gameplay balance and enjoyment perspective.

        • geisler says:

          You’re kind of hard to please in that way :). It will be difficult to find a game that simulates Newtonian physics (like Rogue System or Starfighter Inc) in terms of flight control, but at the same time holds your hand through all the rest of it (managing all the subsystems of your ship for you).

  8. Themadcow says:

    Don’t care if it is arcadey and simplistic. Flying around in Star Wars ships shooting things is fun – hell, I even enjoyed it in Lego Star Wars and that’s about as basic as it gets. Just hoping that it’ll support my flightstick even if I don’t use half the controls.

  9. Det. Bullock says:

    From the perspective of an X-wing vs Tie Fighter fan: seeing a tie-fighter going down after so many laser hits and (I presume) a salvo of concussion missiles is kinda disheartening.

    Sigh, I want a new X-wing title, or at least a remake or something, even a PC version of Rogue Leader would be nice (I hate using gamepads for this kind of game, I haven’t even unlocked all the missions like I did with Rogue Squadron 3D), or anything that’s playable without an internet connection and let’s me fly and go pew-pew on other star wars spaceships.

    Damn, I feel old sometimes even though technically I’m not.

    • aircool says:

      Indeed… some of my favourite missions in TIE Fighter were when you were highly exposed to two full power shots from an X-Wing.

      Even in X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, it was terrific fun playing unshielded TIE’s within a group… just getting past the merge was an achievement.

  10. Mittens says:

    Actually felt a little fuzzy inside watching this.

    Nice to see A-wings will be available on release. Speedy little buggers were always my favourite Star Wars universe starfighter.

  11. Bluestormzion says:

    This is a good step… but I always liked the way that in the previous games I could get in a thing and shoot their things, but my brother, who hated flying things, just stayed in the hangar with the things and when enemies would fly their things in and get out, he’d shoot them.

    Non-idiotic translation: This is good, but proper space combat maps with both infantry and vehicles would always be better.

  12. aircool says:

    EA/DICE… not the best start for me; Origin, bugs, painful DRM etc… Ok, it looks kinda fun, but has that ‘made for console’ feel to it, which means it won’t quite translate comfortably to the PC. I hope you can turn off the ‘one liners’ as well; yeah, we know it’s star wars, but I prefer to do ‘the force is strong in this one’ and ‘these aren’t the ‘x’ we’re looking for’ myself as I’ve better comedy timing.

    To be honest, with the old X-Wing games now available on GoG, SW:BF doesn’t really grab me. Whilst X-Wing is still in ‘aaagh, my eyes’ 256 VGA, it still feels great, and with multi-button, programmable joysticks available cheaply, it’s still fun.

    For multiplayer, X-Wing vs TIE Fighter is still top dog after all these years.

  13. GameOverMan says:

    I don’t understand the need for icons/tags over those beautifully rendered ships, much less when the factions (Rebels and Imperials in this case) look so distinct, even the colour of the respective blaster shots is different. You could watch a battle from any distance and have a clear vision of it without any extra help.

    • silentdan says:

      Plus, one side shoots green lasers, and the other shoots red lasers. Ease of visual distinction is actually *hampered* by the labels. So far, this comes across as WarThunder with a Star Wars skin.

  14. Tuco says:

    This just reminds me hoe brutally I would kill for a new X-Wing/Tie Fighter.
    And I mean the real deal, not stuff like Rogue Squadron.

  15. metric day says:

    Bah. Just give us a new X-Wing with VR support.

  16. jarowdowsky says:

    Man, that auto-aim looks frustrating as hell. Does everything need to be increasingly simplified in all modern dogfighting games?

    And surely a multiplayer game is one of the few opportunities to really show off the Falcon, use it as a controlled platform where players can spawn into turrents not just a super-strong fighter.

    Ah, well at least it sounds nice.

  17. tonicer says:

    I really hope no one buys this piece of crap.

    It’s a consolegame nothing more.

    So what does that mean?

    No mods, no serverfiles, short lifespan (servers will probably be down after 1 or 2 years), a metric crapton of DLC directly at or after release, a lot of bugs, optimized for gamepads, low fov, fps limit, no offline play, no bots, low quality textures, pay to win with the help of DLC, etc.