Star Wars: Squadrons

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Star Wars: Squadrons Game Poster Image
Space combat game has players shoot down civilian ships.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Themes of courage, pride, and revenge run throughout. The story suggests war is as much about the people fighting next to you as it is the governments, politics, and ideologies you serve. Online play encourages teamwork and communication.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The New Republic officers and pilots are repeatedly heroic, risking their lives for friends and allies in the name of a free and democratic galaxy. The Imperials, meanwhile, are largely bloodthirsty and hedonistic, motivated by revenge and power.

Ease of Play

In-game tutorials explain the controls, and the lowest difficulty setting makes the single-player campaign very easy to speed through. But learning more sophisticated strategies, which require a thorough understanding of each ship's capabilities, how to manage loadouts, and how to effectively allocate power to various systems -- important tactics on harder difficulties and during online play -- takes time to master.

Violence

Players engage in fast-paced space fighter battles, with action viewed from a first-person perspective from within a cockpit. Ships explode in fireballs and pilots can be heard yelping in pain as they die. Flying missions as an Empire pilot, players are forced to shoot down civilian transports and medical frigates.

Sex
Language

The word "bastard" is heard in voiced dialogue.

Consumerism

This is an extension of the Star Wars universe and could encourage kids to seek out and buy additional franchise merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Star Wars: Squadrons is a space combat simulation game for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Windows PCs. Players alternate between taking on the role of a New Republic pilot and an Imperial pilot. The action's presented from a first-person perspective within a cockpit. There's no blood or gore, but players will see ships bursting into flames and hear people crying out in pain over the radio. Plus, while playing as an Imperial, players are tasked to shoot down innocent civilian ships and medical frigates. The New Republic pilots are clearly the good guys fighting for a righteous cause, but as the game progresses, the story becomes more about the camaraderie between pilots and officers in each faction and, in some cases, the grudges they hold. Multiplayer modes encourage players to work together and communicate as a team. Parents should also be aware that this game has potential to draw kids even deeper into the sprawling Star Wars franchise, including related merchandise and paraphernalia.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHiiiiiiii1470 October 12, 2020

What I think about my child playing it

I think the game is basically just planes sure it says bastard in the dialogue but a 11 year old can handle that no sex scenes or references it's just a ae... Continue reading
Adult Written byHime21 May 15, 2021

The Frequent Cursing Star Wars Game

Star Wars: Squadrons might seem like a normal Star Wars video game, but that statement is not true. The violence mixing with the language makes it too mature. T... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byRebelRuinRunner October 6, 2020

Easy to learn, hard to master.

Amazing Star Wars flight sim for now and next gen consoles. There is really nothing alarming and the violence is child’s play compared to the movies. I bought i... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byDat 1 kid November 1, 2020

Star Wars Squadrons

So I don’t own this game, but I’ve seen gameplay on YouTube. I saw CSM do a ridiculous review and thought I could help concerned parents. So violence: 3/10 spac... Continue reading

What's it about?

STAR WARS: SQUADRONS is set after the Battle of Endor and the destruction of the second Death Star. It focuses on a pair of space fighter squadrons: the New Republic's Vanguard squadron, which is working to defend the construction of a powerful New Republic flagship, and the Empire's Titan squadron, a group of TIE pilots assigned to destroy it. Players alternate between both squadrons, attacking installations -- including civilian craft and medical frigates -- to weaken the growing power of the New Republic as an Imperial TIE fighter ace, and conducting raids on Imperial ships and carrying out escort missions as a rising star in the New Republic fleet. The short solo campaign serves to acquaint players with a variety of ships and weapon loadouts, as well as become accustomed to the controls, ship systems, and strategies used. Once the story mode is over, players will be prepared to take on competitive online play, where they can pick a fighter and loadout and either engage in deathmatch-style dogfights or jump into bigger fleet battles, where squadrons must work together to take down enemy corvettes and battleships while simultaneously evading or engaging with swarms of AI and human-controlled fighters. As players level up, they'll earn additional ship loadout options and cosmetic upgrades.

Is it any good?

The story and characters are a bit of a snore -- and morally complicated -- but the space combat is a lot of fun. Star Wars: Squadrons gives equal time to pilots on both sides of the war between the Galactic Empire and the New Republic, for better and worse. This setup makes sense for multiplayer, since players will sometimes be forced to take on the roles of Imperial pilots when playing online, but it makes for tricky storytelling. For starters, as an Imperial, you'll be assigned missions that involve the destruction and death of presumably thousands of innocent civilians, which makes it hard to really get on board with any of the Imperial characters we meet. The writers combat this problem by making the Imperial story more about personal revenge after a betrayal and defection, but shooting down innocents is still a hard pill to swallow. And the fact that half of the already short story is given over to the Imperials means we don't have as much time to get to know the real heroes in the New Republic. It all nets out to a bit of a disappointing Star Wars tale.

On the other hand, the campaign does a fine job of introducing the many subtleties of space combat and gets you ready for online play, where most players will spend the bulk of their time. The benefits and drawbacks of each available ship -- from the speedy and agile A-wing to the slow but powerful TIE Bomber -- are explored in carefully scripted missions, which also introduce various weapon, shield, and hull loadouts as well as targeting and resupplying. The story also offers an opportunity to get a feel for how and when to shift power in each of these ships, boosting shields when necessary (useful when flying into battle against a capital ship from long range), shifting energy to engines to beat a hasty retreat, or funneling all power into weapons to deliver a fast and massive strike. All of this information and experience is invaluable in online play, where human opponents tend to be smarter and faster than AI pilots, different ships are required for specific scenarios, and the odds of success depend directly on the skill of the pilots involved. Star Wars: Squadrons isn't a must-play Star Wars game, but fans who love the franchise's classic starfighters are bound to have quite a bit of fun sitting behind the joysticks of their favorite ships.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time. Star Wars: Squadrons is broken into bite sized bits that let players finish a mission or match in about 15 minutes, so when you sit down to game, do you have some idea how many matches you want to play in a single session?

  • Looking beyond simple nationalism and ideology, what might motivate a soldier to fight to the death? How does this happen when one side is clearly in the wrong?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sci-fi

Themes & Topics

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