Hmm. I hate to be a Debbie Downer but I didn’t love the gameplay trailer as much as I’d hoped. The graphics seemed a bit cartoony in a lot of ways. Especially with all the “vortex*” lines streaking off the ships and the way the lasers-hitting-shields were animated (I always thought X-wing Alliance did this beautifully; with shields up the lasers would kinda make that part of the ship glow and then fade out much like when Luke is “hit, but not bad” in ANH. And then with no shields the lasers would make tiny explosions on the ship).
But what bothered me more than the look of it was the way the ships seem to maneuver. There were multiple instances showing the ships performing these super tight, skidding turns much like a car drifting around tight corners. It’s alright if it’s a rare, one off occurrence. But I’m not a fan of it being a regular part of the gameplay as the trailer implied. I always liked how Star Wars ships maneuvered much like airplanes. It gave a sense of familiarity and “realness” that felt authentic. Very few real airplanes can perform a maneuver like that, and the ones that can use up ALL of their kinetic energy to do it. It’s a one trick pony that would get you killed in most dogfights because once you do it, you have no momentum left and have to slowly get your speed back by trading altitude (potential energy) for speed (kinetic energy). And during that transfer you are moving very slowly with very little ability to maneuver. A sitting duck. So it just kinda feels like a cheat to have that ability.
Anyway, enough poo-pooing things. It still looks like a lot of fun and I’m so happy to see a new Star Wars flight sim after SO MANY years! Despite my qualms above I’ll still absolutely be getting this and I’m sure I’ll enjoy the heck out of it. I’m really looking forward to the single player story.
*those white streaks are meant to resemble wingtip vortices. I get that they’re just meant to be a visual cue for speed in video games, but they are a real phenomenon and games (and movies) almost ALWAYS get them completely wrong. For one, you have to have two things to make them: air and an airfoil (wing). No air in space = no vortices. Second, they form at the tip of an airfoil as the higher air pressure underneath slips around the wingtip to the lower pressure above. This effectively creates a tiny little horizontal tornado coming off the tip of the wing. Almost all wings create them while flying, but they are only visible when the moisture content of the air is just right so that the change in pressure at the wingtip condenses the moisture into a little cloud that spins around in the vortex. So, basically, they don’t exist in space and they would be very unlikely even in an atmosphere since the ships don’t have real wings (i.e. an actual airfoil that uses physics to create aerodynamic lift)