The cockpit of the Falcon does a pretty good job of replicating the cockpit from the Star Wars films while also allowing for it to be a functional ride with controls to pilot the ship. They added extra seats and because the ride is projection based and not 3D, there’s a lot of moments where your view is obstructed and you’ll miss things. I didn’t really get a good look at Hondo’s ship itself until I was a pilot. All in all, I rode the ride a total of five times and did ever job twice except the pilot on the right hand side.
First let me break down the controls for you and how they pertain to the jobs as part of the Falcon’s crew.
The Pilot – Right
This is probably the most coveted job of the six. However, unlike the other positions, this one also has a position kind of cooler than the others. The pilot on the right side of the ship gets to push the lever that takes you into hyperspace and when you go into hyperspace you get that really cool crazy tunnel effect going around the cockpit. You cause that. So if you should get the pilot card, when you line up make sure you stand on the right hand side if you want to push that lever and activate hyperspace. I figure if you’re reading this article, you do.
Pilot right steers the ship up and down. This is done by pushing two buttons on the console of the cockpit’s dash. In fact, most everything is button based.
I also kept seeing arrows for pilot right to go up or down when I was pilot left which was distracting and weird. I’m guessing if pilot right pilots right, you won’t see those?
The special feature of this job is getting to pull the hyperspace lever.
The Pilot Left
Pilot left steers the ship sideways or left and right. You also get to activate the sublight engines boosters which help you clear exploding Star Destroyers and things your crew blows up when you need that extra boost. Failing on this job screws everything up. It can actually be harder than you would think. If pilot right isn’t high enough you may not be able to get the ship far enough to clear a pillar or piece of falling debris. By the same measure if pilot left doesn’t have things centered and stable pilot right will pilot wrong and your crew is going to be doomed. Me and Steele were easily the two worst pilots the Falcon has ever experienced but we more than made up for that as gunners.
The special feature of this job is getting to activate the boosters.
The left and right gunners are pretty much exactly the same. However, one side has a red laser and the other side has a blue laser. The difference is to help you know which laser is yours and which is your partner’s.
You are able to choose “manual” or “automatic” targeting at the start of the mission. My sense was that automatic targeting cares more about when you fire the laser than if you chose to shoot towards the upper, middle, or lower sections of the Falcon’s view. They suggest on your first flight that you use auto targeting. But that’s for cowards if you ask me. That said, you fire the lasers with buttons on the cockpit wall to your right or your left.
First time flyers are going to have the impulse to just “button mash” the panel on their left or right. However, accuracy matters and affects your overall score. So it makes sense to time your blasts accordingly regardless if you’re using auto or manual targeting.
The gunners also have a special feature which is to shoot a proton torpedo at a critical moment in the mission.
The manual targeting will earn you bigger rewards and actually adds a little bit of challenge to the entire thing. You essentially have three buttons on your panel and one shoots high, one shoots mid, and one shoots lower. It really doesn’t require that you look at the panel at all once you realize that. On my first flight I was annoyed with the placement of the firing mechanisms but on my second flight I realized it didn’t really affect very much and it was fun.
In case anyone is wondering, I shot down one more TIE Fighter than my buddy. But it only takes one TIE Fighter to wipe out a village on Jakku and end countless lives. I’m sort of a hero really. Inspiring my friend to do more for the Resistance is really what gets me out of bed everyday.
In all seriousness, the gunner is maybe the most fun but not as intense as the being a pilot. Shooting the trains was a lot like doing the bonus level on Galaga and I enjoyed proving I’m still faster than the Turbo button on a NES Max controller after all these years.
This one is maybe the most questionable of the gigs on the Falcon. On one flight, I went “Solo” with no friends and got placed with a group of strangers. That group had people that had been testers for the ride for six months or so I heard one of them say. We basically had a flawless flight and I was the engineer. So when we took on damage, which was rarely on that flight, a light would flash and I’d tap it. When we freed the coaxium cargo from the train, I hit the big flashing button and shot the two cable to rip it off for the Resistance and Hondo. Pretty easy and it was fun watching someone pilot the Falcon with the finesse of a Han Solo type.
However, the other time I was the engineer was kind of lame. The pilots weren’t that good and the gunners weren’t very enthusiastic. So I had a lot of buttons to push. But I felt like I was playing a lame random game of Simon and missing the flight and the experience itself.
So you can see why I’m a bit mixed on this position. You either have too much to do and you can’t see the screen or you have nothing to do while you passively watch the flight.
I feel like this job was made for small children or adults that aren’t gamers or luddites. But because the jobs are randomly dispersed, if you don’t have a full group with you and your crew is say three groups of two, you’re just going to end up getting what they give you and it can be kind of lame compared to the other positions.
The special feature of the engineer class is shooting the two cables to steal the loot during the mission. If the engineer messes up you might end up only getting one coaxium for instance instead of two.
I don’t hate the engineer position but the disparity of fun between it and the other two classes is pretty immense.
As a Family Game
In terms of it being a game for the entire family to play, I think it is pretty fun. It has a wide range of possibilities. If the crew is really efficient for instance, you get more time in the asteroid field and that means more time to shoot down TIE Fighters and a higher score with more rewards. Remember that when the app is active your actions and scores will affect your faction in the park and how the interactive experiences in cantinas play out for you.
That said, even on the worst of the missions I flew that day, I had fun. I think a family doing awful will likely never know they suck at living the Star Wars life. Doing poorly still gives you a lot of fun results and really you aren’t punished too much for not performing well but rather if you perform well you get access to different moments and variations in the game itself.
I was pretty pleased with it. I look forward to playing it both with my family for the laughs and with my friends who are gamers to try and do some of the missions flawlessly eventually. It isn’t a complicated or hard game but it can be if you want it to be and that’s neat.
“So, I’m putting together a crew…”