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Mission 13: Fire in the Heart

What is it ? : The final mission you'll fly for the Empire, Varko Grey tells you about his time as a Police Officer, how the red tape caused as many problems as cornering the gangs and criminals. He tells you that power determines what is right, and when you're flying you have the power, and you've earned it.
Terisa Kerrill tells you she knows that Lindon Javes has personally joined the battle, leading the remains of Anvil Squadron, she suspects this is to draw her out and focus on him, but she orders you to focus on the Starhawk and destroying it, bothering only with Lindon if he presents himself as a target.
In the briefing, you are told that the Rebel cruiser Temperance has broken away from the Starhawk to divide the targets, but the Empire is to focus on taking down the Starhawk which has had now time for repairs, so targeting it's tractor beam core should turn it into a timebomb.
The Rebels have called in Anvil Squadron for support, but they are still undermanned from the battle at Mon Cala. Sensor scans have located an undetonated Baradium Missile in the Starhawks hull, you are to target it to blow a hole into the superstructure, then enter the massive vessel and target it's Tractor Beam core, starting a core overload, then escaping before it explodes.
Outside, Rella Sol tells you she looks forward to when the political power comes from Imperial Heroes like you, rather than from Death Stars, Kerrill expresses gratitude at having you in Titan Squadron, and LT-514 tells you that it has been satisfying to watch your performance. Shen remarks that the war won't end with the destruction of the Starhawk, any more than it ended at Endor. Vonreg comments that the destruction of the Starhawk is only one ship, and won't change the fight afterwards.
In this mission you are able to swap ships mid mission, but must configure them all at this time, or be stuck with the default load out, having done this you launch.
An Imperial Raider is ordered to accompany you, and you quickly are ambushed by Anvil Squadron who field X-Wings supported by U-Wings, which should be dealt with quickly.
Next you must deal with the Nebulon-B frigate which has remained with the Starhawk, but taking this out just makes the Rebels field another Nebulon-B, this time supported by a pair of Corellian Corvettes. However when these are dealt with, your attack on the Starhawk is clear, although it's turrets are still active, so it makes a dangerous opponent on its own.
The unexploded Baradium missile is at the front of the vessel, so you must attack from the front, creating an opening into the interior of the vessel. Inside there is a beam of energy powering the tractor beam, but this does not damage your ship, although pushes it away. The tractor beam core is surrounded by eight emitters which must be destroyed, but upon the final emitters destruction you must leave, but as you race out, Kerrill warns you that the core is about to explode, and the blast launches you forwards at immense speed, meaning that you must be perfectly aligned or smash into the Starhawk and be destroyed.
You are fired out into space, where Lindon Javes awaits, your squad mates are elsewhere dealing with the rest of Anvil Squadron. He attacks you head on, allowing you to divert power to your weapons and take out his shields. While he repairs these he leads you on a chase around the Starhawk, and you are told by LT-514 that Javes shields are down, to which Javes replies that this just makes it like a Tie Fighter. Finishing him off, his X-Wing crashes into the Starhawk, seemingly destroyed and the mission ends.

High Points : It's nice to be able to swap between fighters as mission requirements demand, however whichever fighter you enter the Starhawk in, is also the one you'll use to fight Lindon Javes, so probably should be an Interceptor.
The gravity effects and energy beam inside the Starhawk are interesting rather than just deadly, which makes that section the best of the death star runs the game has had.

Low Points : The fake out death of Javes is ridiculous, but I'll moan about that more in the next review, but apart from that this level isn't too bad, some ace starfighter enemies, so capital ships, and then the Starhawk tractor beam core run. All capped off by a skirmish with Lindon Javes himself, makes for a lot of variety, and quite a lot of fun.

So what do you really think ? : The core run on the Starhawk does introduce a few little gameplay tweaks, which make this at least slightly different to other similar missions we've played already. But the main draw is the skirmish with Lindon Javes, which does manage to feel quite climactic, even if it will all prove to be for nothing.

Final Words : While the mission itself is fun, the storyline is rubbish, as after all, all you've done is destroy one capital ship, of a type we know will take part in the Battle of Jakku. It all feels quite pointless really. Which could have been a good thing if the game made a point of lots of pointless actions, all joining together into the war effort, but instead it tries to make this one victory feel like it has some importance that it really doesn't, and a victory which shall be robbed further of its significance during the final level of the game.

Score : 8.5/10

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