Star Wars in VR – Gaming Special

Published Categorized as Gaming
star wars in vr gaming
Star Wars in VR

Contents

Star Wars Pinball VR | Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission | Trials on Tatooine | Rogue One: Recon – A Star Wars 360 Experience | Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay | Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire | Beat Saber


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I remember my father telling me that the first truly immersive experience he had was seeing Star Wars 5, then just, “The empire strikes back”, in the cinema. As a teenager, when the Snowspeeder flies over the icy wastes of Hoth at the beginning of the film. “For us in the cinema, it really felt like you were flying over the snow mountains,” he told me as a small child, looking at him with wide eyes. “Like you were really in the cockpit.” You have to imagine what wonderful times those were, when good old cinema could trigger such experiences.

Snowspeeder Rescue Scene ‘The empire strikes back’

But, boy, how times have changed. If something wants to blow our minds today, then the greatest chance of doing so is probably in virtual reality – the most immersive medium of our time. But with these tales in my head, even as a child, my greatest wish was to immerse myself in the world of perhaps the greatest film trilogy. And virtual reality was supposed to make that possible for me.

But wait a minute, did he just write a film trilogy? Aren’t there more films? The first Star Wars film was released in 1977, then only under that title, later the addition ‘A new hope’ was added. The second said part ‘The empire strikes back’ in 1980 and the third in 1983 with the title ‘The return of the jedi’. All parts were respectively expanded in Star Wars 4, 5 and 6. Then in 1999, 2002 and 2005, the prequels, ‘The Phantom Menace’, ‘Attack of the clones’ and ‘Revenge of the Sith’ or Star Wars 1, 2 and 3, which were disappointing for many fans, were released. But if we had known back then that part 7, part 8 and part 9 would cause a lot of disappointment and tantrums, the prequel trilogy might have been received differently back then.

When you realize that you’ve been wearing the same clothes to work as everyone else – again

That’s why there’s still a debate among Star Wars fans as to whether all the films after the original trilogy should be ignored (or just ‘The Last Jedi’ and ‘The Rise of Skywalker’, which everyone seems to agree are bad). At least the recent series ‘The Mandalorian’ and ‘The book of Boba Fett’ showed that there is still hope for good story material from a galaxy far, far away.

What defines the Star Wars Magic?

But back to the 90s – that’s where I had my own immersive Star Wars experience. In a then already run-down and outdated arcade with the eponymous vending machine title ‘Star Wars Arcade’. It’s a gift that the 3D space shooter developed by Atari in 1983, with its colour vector graphics, looks today as if a toddler had animated fan fiction with his crayon box. Because even back then, the machine looked more like an antique than high-tech. But that didn’t change anything about its Star Wars magic.

Star Wars Arcade (1983)

Because at that time you could really immerse yourself in the action with an X-Wing and really control this space fighter (today, when viewed with a little distance, the arcade game was actually just a rail shooter, but it felt like a space open-world title). On top of that, there was real voice acting by Alec Guinness original Obi Wan Kenobi – a sensation at the time. Not only for a Star Wars fan like me. In fact, the Arcade X-Wing Simulator wasn’t even the first Star Wars video game. Star Wars: The empire strikes back’ for the Atari 2600 had that title a year earlier, in 1982. But no matter how you look at it: Things have moved on a bit technically since then. And oh boy have we come a long way in the meantime.

Star Wars: 14 films, numerous spin-offs, 94 computer and video games

In the process, the game series is apparently proving to be as stubbornly long-lived as its undead antagonists. Created by the well-known devA whopping 14 films, series and spin-offs were made after ‘Star Wars – A new hope’. And a total of 94 computer and video games were to follow ‘Star Wars Arcade’. With the advent of virtual reality, the desire to finally fly an X-Wing (or Tie-Fighter), swing a laser sword and shoot a DL-44 blaster pistol grew. So, virtually real. Virtually real. How we fans wished for a good Star Wars VR game with the advent of the virtual reality medium. Because even Star Trek got a VR spin-off relatively quickly, in 2017, with Bridge Crew. But then it was forgotten again relatively quickly.

“Sir, there’s a Star Wars Gaming Special on the screen!” (Screenshot: Star Trek Bridge Crew)

Who still remembers Star Wars Kinect?

Resident EvOverall, historically, Star Wars history is also rather ambivalent in terms of computer and video game history. Classics like ‘Knights of The Old Republic‘, ‘X-Wing’ & ‘TIE Fighter‘, ‘Jedi Knight’ & ‘Battlefront’ are also followed by countless gaming cucumbers. Or does anyone remember ‘Kinect Star Wars‘ (Oh, the horrendous dancing) ? The challenge for a good Star Wars game is twofold: firstly, it has to be a good game, but it also has to capture the spirit that the films have conveyed. Whether you use the Force as a Jedi, hunt down the Empire, Separatists, Rebels or First Order as a starship pilot, or send whole squads of troops to the edge of the galaxy.

This special magic that surrounds Star Wars

In short, you want to feel like the moviegoers in 1980 when the gliders flew over Hoth. You want to feel that special magic of new worlds, fairy tales, philosophy, action, conflict, mythology, technology and of course space and distant planets. That’s because Star Wars has become a pop culture phenomenon from the very beginning. The multimedia franchise created by visionary director George Lucas, which includes video games, novels, comics and TV series, is valued at a staggering $70 billion.

Mandalorian VR Star Wars
“No, I’m not Boba Fett! I’m the Mandalorian!”

Because part of the magic is certainly being taken into worlds you’ve never seen before. So, the big question, do VR games manage to be good games and entertain us? But most importantly, what is the feeling like? Do we feel like we are immersed in the world of a galaxy far, far away or is the setting like any other x-rated space opera? Do we feel the magic that people felt when they flew over Hoth in a snow glider in the cinema?

Follow us into the virtual worlds and discover with us, if the force is strong with the following VR-Games and VR-Experiences:


Star Wars – Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge (Meta Quest [Oculus Quest] 1 & 2, Oculus Rift)

Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge takes us back in time between the events of The Last Jedi and Skywalker’s Rise and transports VR players to the planet Batuu. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge VR is based on rides located in Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, USA and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. USA. Something the game has in common with films like Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise.

Fun Fact

The character of Emperor Palpatine (Sith name: Darth Sidious), was first played in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ by a woman named Elaine Baker. Make-up artists also gave her eyes that resemble those of orangutans to make her look creepier. However, elderly actress Marjorie Eaton would be the one to appear in the final film.

On the run from space pirates

First, you take on the role of a nondescript droid mechanic working on an old cargo spaceship that is under attack by space pirates. In a mild panic, you jettison the cargo, leave the spaceship in an escape pod and are stranded on the green planet far out on the Outer Rim of the galaxy known in Star Wars, right on the border with the Unknown Regions. Once there, it’s a matter of recovering the mysterious cargo before the space pirates and their ruthless leader Tara Rashin do.

“Oops, I shot the wall again…” (Screenshot: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge)

Not too much to discover in the Black Spire Outpost

Climbing out of the escape pod, you first land in a bar in the middle of the Black Spire outpost, a settlement on the planet Batuu. The bar is suspiciously similar to the cantina on Mos Eisley in Tatooine, best known for ‘Star Wars – A new hope’ and ‘The Mandalorian’. However, if you expect, as there, various aliens, exotic music and anything at all like bar visitors, you shouldn’t set your expectations too high. The pub is empty – except for the bartender Seezelslak, who has as many eyes as he talks. The Black Spire outpost can only be seen from a window: You can’t go out into the settlement. At some point you can see the parked Millennium Falcon from the window. But that adds nothing to the story and is pure fan service.

Room with a space view (Screenshot: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge)

The Tube-like levels and always the same enemy types

After being instructed in the bar by the droid mechanic Mubo, you head into the wilderness of Baatu. From there, you shoot your way through a series of tube-like levels with various blasters. Here you encounter a handful of enemy types, but after a while you get rather bored with them due to their monotony. If necessary, you can take three flying drones to help you. They follow the player, automatically attack the enemies and are modelled on the training balls with which Luke Skywalker completes his first lightsaber training in ‘Star Wars 4’.

Shoot, throw away, pick up

The blasters and pistols discharge quite quickly – which is the equivalent of ammunition in our world. There are also such things as rifles, shotguns and pistols, at least they are modelled on these types of weapons. When you run out of energy, which is always the case, you can pick up the weapons of dead enemies that are lying around everywhere. So you are repeatedly in the rhythm of shooting and picking up.

In addition, there is repetitive screwing, welding and electric shocking: In addition to shooting, there is the multi-tool, which is used as a screwdriver, cutting torch or electric bruzzler depending on the situation. You can use it to gain access to equipment crates, short-circuit locked doors or repair damaged droids.

He’s looking at you, kid (Screenshot: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge)

The Space Western at the Galaxy’s Edge

The VR-exclusive Star Wars adventure produced by Lucasarts’ XR studio ILMxLAB feels primarily like a space western. This is roughly the same direction that ‘The Mandalorian’ and ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ are taking in terms of story in their respective series. In principle, this is not a bad direction, because the hardcore fans who were very disappointed with the most recent films could thus be brought back to the franchise a little. Obviously, they also tried to make this impact with ‘Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge’ – however, this is stretched so far that overall you almost feel more like you’re in a western than a Star Wars game.

Fun Fact

Yoda has a different number of toes – depending on which movie you see. In The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith, he has four toes. In The Phantom Menace, Yoda has three toes.

Developed from the ground up for VR and still not exciting

That’s why you get the feeling with the Resident Evil series that VR was The positive thing in advance: you notice that the game was developed from the ground up for VR. The VR mechanics were implemented very well. The “reloading” of the weapons leads to thrills in heated battles, the blaster shooting is fun in and of itself. Role-playing elements through the purchase of upgrades as well as the scarcity of ammunition actually provide increased gaming pleasure. The graphics and immersive sound are good.

Burn, baby, burn (Screenshot: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge)

But against this it must be said that the always same enemy types make you feel like you are in a monotonous ball pit. The multitool is supposed to provide variety, but its monotony is the main annoyance.

The story itself doesn’t knock your socks off either. The game is quite undemanding, highlights in the story are not to be found. This continues until the end: When you finally find the cargo, it comes to the first and last boss fight against the head pirate Tara Rashin, who you don’t really care about in the whole game. The fight ends unspectacularly, requiring neither much skill nor tactics.

The Star Wars feeling is unfortunately only slight

But the worst thing for fans (for everyone else who has a little experience with VR games, the game can only be recommended to a limited extent): There is very little Star Wars feeling. C3PO appears after two-thirds of the game (at least it’s nice that they were able to get the original actor Anthony Daniels to do the voice part), and R2D2 joins in the last section. Even the blasters have little recognition value. Overall, the immersive world of Tales of the Galaxy’s Edge, leaves the Star Wars heart pretty cold. The Force is not with you in VR.


Pro

  • Shooting the blaster, in and of itself, is fun
  • The upgrade and shopping system provide a little motivation

Contra

  • At its core just a shallow shooter game
  • No complex game mechanics
  • Relatively expensive for the length of the game

Game Rating: 3 / 5

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Star Wars Feeling: 2 / 5

Rating: 2 out of 5.


DLC – Last call : Star Wars Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge (Oculus Quest & PSVR)

The story of the expansion ‘Last call’, which was released on 15 September 2021, picks up seamlessly where one leaves off after the main game. If you buy Last call together with the main game, you won’t even notice the transition because both games are linked together. Often DLCs have the reputation of making a quick buck on the main game and just throwing in some uninspiring content. Last Call is a glorious exception here. The Star Wars VR game offers more scope, variety and fun. With three to four hours of play time and various additional missions, the so-called tales, with another 3-4 hours of play time, Last Call beats the main game Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge by far.

“Surreelly you can trust me!” (Screenshot: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge)

In the bundle you even get up to 13 hours of VR gaming fun

In ‘Last call’ we also find ourselves in Seezelslak’s Cantina on the planet Batuu. So everything is as usual – and that also applies to the rest of the gameplay. As in the main game, we wander through tube-like levels, shoot similar enemy types with the blaster, use the all-purpose tool (although here the annoying use has been minimised somewhat) and go shopping for improvements in the shop. And the puzzles are just as simple as in the main game.

Clearly more Star Wars feeling with ‘Last call’

But what is also very positive: The Star Wars feeling comes up much more than in ‘Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge’. This is partly due to the fact that the story is expanded by stormtroopers of the ‘First Order’ and Jedi temples as well as artifacts. You even slip into the skin of Jedi Knight Ady Sun’Zee, making lightsabers and Force usage part of ‘Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge’.

This also applies to the so-called ‘Tales’, an additional expansion. These self-contained episodes are even more undemanding than the actual game core in terms of gameplay, but expand the experience narratively. For example, one episode features the bounty hunter robot killing machine IG-88, known from a cameo appearance in Star Wars 5 ‘The empire strikes back’ and in conjunction with his colleague IG-11 from the first season ‘The Mandalorian’. In a very linear progression, we take apart a gangster boss and his cronies until a phone call leads to further targets.

“Really! That’s how big it was!” (Screenshot: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge)

Clearly more Star Wars feeling with ‘Last call’

If you have already purchased ‘Star Wars – Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge’, ‘Last call’ is practically a must-buy. The VR base game disappointed many fans, and not without reason. Something that they obviously wanted to make up for with the DLC. And they really succeeded in doing so. Perhaps they should try to deliver a full-fledged game in VR in advance, because the whole thing always has an aftertaste. In addition, the main game and the DLC are especially recommended for Star Wars fans. For all other VR gamers, the question is whether you really need the bundle, because there are of course completely different fantastic gaming experiences in virtual reality. Especially after the first playthrough, there is no long-term motivation to return to the end of the galaxy.

Pro

  • Although it is only a DLC, you get more than in the main game
  • More Star Wars feeling than in the main game

Contra

–  The gameplay is the same repetitive as in the main game


Game Rating 3 / 5

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Star Wars Feeling 3,5 / 5

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


Star Wars Squadrons (PC VR & PSVR)

I would never have thought that the cabin of an X-Wing is so small and can feel almost claustrophobic. Or that a Tie-Fighter can feel so fast in acceleration. And what can we say? Star Wars Squadrons not only fulfills the desire of an outstanding Star Wars space plane in VR, it reminds of the old, fantastic Wing Commander games. Or space operas with spaceships in general. Or the old X-Wing, Tie Fighter and X-Wing Alliance games that fans still rave about with shining eyes.

Fun Fact

Harrison Ford actually wanted his character Han Solo to die at the end of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ while being frozen in carbonite. George Lucas, however, refused to do so.

VR mode was developed in parallel with the main game

Back then, these games caused sales records, but nowadays space flight simulations are no longer a sales guarantee. Many younger gamers probably won’t even remember these titles. But perhaps another genre representative like Elite Dangerous is still a household name, though here the focus is on travel and trading rather than epic space battles. But even with Star Wars Squadrons, the VR mode was developed in parallel with the 2D mode and not added afterwards, as is the case with many VR adaptations. Only the cutscenes are shown in 2D, otherwise the entire game including the story campaign and multiplayer mode can be experienced in virtual reality.                       

Space junk, a major problem (Screenshot: Star Wars Sqadrons VR)

Like in the good old space simulations

In the single-player campaign, you alternate between the roles of Rebel and Empire pilots. You climb into the cockpit of X-Wings, A-Wings or even TIE Fighters, TIE Bombers and everything else you can fly through space in the Star Wars universe. In the cutscenes you can talk to your wingmen or officers and learn more about their background story. Unfortunately, there are no multiple-choice dialogs, you simply click through the dialog lines. This exudes the charm of old Wing Commander games, but you shouldn’t expect a branching mission structure or deep storylines outside the cockpit.

Exciting story, pleasantly staged

The story itself is surprisingly rich in twists, excitingly staged and pleasantly extensive. This also includes the cutscenes, which pass on a cinema and Star Wars feeling very well. There are a total of 14 missions to complete, with each itself lasting around 20 to 30 minutes. The single player part of Squadrons is worthwhile – even if you have no interest in multiplayer. The four adjustable difficulty levels, getting medals for optional objectives, and additional settings like flying purely with instruments and without a HUD are motivating. Also for playing through several times.

“Hello Ladies and Gentlemen … and Fishheads” (Screenshot: Star Wars Sqadrons VR)

Multiplayer cross-play mode provides for many teammates

The part of the game where you can invest the most time is the multiplayer mode. Star Wars: Squadrons supports crossplay across all platforms. Regardless of whether you play it with or without a VR headset. Unlike other VR multiplayer games, which often lack active participants, you should find enough teammates here. On the one hand, there are the classic dogfights, in which one squadron of the Rebels and one of the Empire fight each other. Ideal for a quick round after work. And then there are the Fleet Battles, the more complex of the two multiplayer modes with the goal of destroying the enemy flagship. The battle takes place in waves, switching between attack or defense phases, which has influences on tactics. It’s an advanced mode that is unlocked when you have enough experience in the dogfight mode.

Gamepad instead of motion controller

The game is best controlled with a gamepad like the Xbox controller. Real pros upgrade with a flightstick and thrust system. It is not recommended to play with a mouse and keyboard, because otherwise you would hammer blindly on the keyboard. The same problem that the VR mods of Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 8 (currently) still struggle with. The controls with the motion controllers don’t work. And that makes perfect sense. The dogfights are simply too fast and demand a lot from the player due to the enormous information content in such a space battle. If the motion controllers had been implemented and you actually had to operate every switch by hand, you would need an almost superhuman reaction time for pilots.

“Oh no, I left the stove on!” (Screenshot: Star Wars Sqadrons VR)

Cumbersome to enter VR mode

Squadrons supports SteamVR and OpenVR, so the corresponding VR glasses, such as the HTC Vive, Valve Index, Oculus Rift or Oculus Quest, run flawlessly. To ensure that VR works and the game does not crash, the headset and the corresponding runtime environment, such as SteamVR, should be activated before starting Star Wars Squadrons. However, you cannot put on the VR glasses directly, because you first have to navigate to the options menu in a very awkward way to turn on the VR mode in the VR settings. Of course, it would be easier if there was a direct option to start the title in VR mode and you did not have to make the setting via the monitor first.

Motion sickness risk – and yet better than other VR flying games

What also has to be mentioned: Star Wars Squadrons in virtual reality can sometimes make your stomach rebel. Especially if you are not used to VR. Of course, the fast and extremely agile flight maneuvers – especially the barrel roll – are responsible for the sinking feeling in the stomach, which can quickly turn into discomfort. Nevertheless, it has to be said that Squadrons is far ahead of other VR flight shooters here and the discomfort has been reduced to a minimum. Once you’re sitting in one of the eight ships, you can always use the cockpit itself as a reference point, whether it’s the metal struts in the X-Wing or just the peephole in the TIE fighter.

Best Star Wars game in VR

Star Wars Squadrons is worth a very special experience in VR. Even if it is a bit awkward to start the VR mode at first, this game is clearly made for VR through and through and should therefore be enjoyed in virtual reality. The color, light and shadow effects in space are impressive and make you really feel like you are in the Star Wars universe. The bombastic soundtrack and the guest appearances of well-known and popular Star Wars side characters delight the fan’s heart. Star Wars Squadrons for VR is without a doubt the best Star Wars VR game out there right now.


Pro

  • Best space flight simulator in VR
  • Best actual Star Wars Game in VR
  • Bombastic soundtrack
  • Great lighting effects and graphics in VR

Contra

– There could be a bit more variety between the missions

– The integration of the VR mode is a bit fiddly


Game Rating: 4,5 / 5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Star Wars Feeling 5 / 5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Star Wars – Vader Immortal (Meta Quest 2, Oculus Rift, PSVR)

Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series is created by ILMxLAB, the same studio behind Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s edge and Star Wars: Secret of the empire. Like the latter, Vader Immortal is set on the planet Mustafar and was also written by David S. Goyer, who had already written The Dark Knight Trilogy for the cinema. The three episodes are available individually or can be purchased as a complete package. And of course, the game revolves around Darth Vader.

Fun Fact

The sound of the lightsabers was discovered by accident. Sound effects specialist Ben Burtt happened to walk by a tube TV in his studio one day with a special microphone turned on and suddenly heard a strange humming and hissing sound. The microphone had picked up the electron beams from the TV’s cathode ray tube.

Once again we go to Mustafar

At the beginning of the game, Episode 1, you find yourself aboard a smuggler ship with the cheeky android Z0E3 as captain. While our companion incessantly taps one spell after the other, you quickly come into the field of vision of an imperial patrol including a star destroyer and are escorted to the gloomy planet Mustafar. A volcanic and lava planet that already appeared in ‘Revenge of the Sith’, ‘Rogue One’ and ‘Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker’.

“I’m not your father!” (Screenshot: Vader Immortal)

In the process of the game, the central game elements are introduced step by step. This gives each of the three episodes its own focus. While you learn basic mechanics (the somewhat awkward teleportation serves as a locomotion) and how to use the lightsaber at the beginning, the second episode concentrates on the Force abilities that our character inherits. With that, you can also solve the simple environmental puzzles. In the final act, there are encounters with stormtroopers, where a lot of blaster fire and thermal detonators are used.

No big challenges on Mustafar

Overall, Vader Immortal’s challenge is limited – both in terms of gameplay and the puzzles. The non-adjustable difficulty level is very low – they wanted to reach a particularly large target group: So rather grandma and grandpa than the hardcore gamer. However, you can’t blame Vader Immortal for that, because the developers never made a secret of the fact that the game was designed for the mainstream. Instead of action-packed fights and exciting twists, you experience a kind of action adventure that feels more like an interactive movie than a VR game due to the low gameplay mechanics.

Once again become part of a really very strange party (Screenshot: Vader Immortal)

VR and Star Wars always deliver a special effect

Nevertheless, it has to be said that even simple elements like pressing buttons, small climbing interludes, actions with objects and the deliberately imposing locations like huge caves or a large spaceship hangar have a special effect in virtual reality. Even flipping the lever to activate the hyperdrive conveys a great feeling. And there’s always a special energy when you can extend a lightsaber with the typical noise or hurl objects around with the Force. And the feeling of facing a virtual Darth Vader can best be described with a mixture of fascination and fear.

Don’t turn on the subtitles!

What’s annoying is the insertion of subtitles, as they not only follow the direction of view, but are often displayed in the middle of the picture, thus overlaying faces of characters and becoming an immersion killer. The story itself delves deeper into Star Wars lore, giving a look at Darth Vader’s personality and telling of the oppression and uprising of a people. Overall, not really outstanding, but altogether already entertaining.

“No, that’s wrong. The exit is just opposite!” (Screenshot: Vader Immortal)

Only 20 to 30 minutes of gameplay per episode

Besides the story, there is also the possibility to play in the lightsaber dojo. In different phases, enemies like stormtroopers or androids and their blaster fire have to be fought off. How you find this is probably a matter of taste, personally I never turned it on again after 10 minutes of trying it out. Overall, however, it can be said that you get far too little for your money for 20 to 30 minutes of gameplay.

As a game, Vader Immortal is not really good, but as a VR experience it is fun but over much too quickly. As a Star Wars fan, you can definitely take a look at the first episode. Whether it is worth investing the full price can still be decided for yourself. Vader Immortal has Star Wars vibes, but is nothing more than a Kowakian monkey-lizard snack.

Pro

  • Facing Darth Vader is cool and menacing
  • The Star Wars lore continues to expand

Contra

– The gameplay time and the game concept do not justify the expensive price in any case

– More of an interactive movie than a real game

– The “comical” comments of our robot sidekick are more annoying than they lighten up the situation

– Laser sword dojo training is rather boring and doesn’t justify the high price for all three episodes


Game Rating 2 / 5

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Star Wars Feeling 3,5 / 5

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


Runners up: Star Wars VR


Star Wars Pinball VR (Oculus Quest / PSVR)

Developed by Zen Studios, the same team behind the Pinball FX, Star Wars Pinball VR contains eight pinball machines, each based on a different Star Wars storyline. The target group is probably pinball fans who are also Star Wars fans and love virtual reality. For those, it is certainly a must-buy. For the rest, it is mainly a pinball simulation with a Star Wars background.


Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission

The VR mission is a free component of Star Wars Battlefront, a first- and third-person shooter from Electronic Arts (EA) that was released in 2015. In it, you take part in a space battle against the galactic empire in an X-Wing. The short but impressive VR mission inspired Motive Studios to develop the VR mode for Star Wars: Squadrons.


Trials on Tatooine

In Trials on Tatooine, you take on the role of a budding Jedi and have to repair the Millennium Falcon while being attacked by Stormtroopers. The five-minute VR demo looks a bit like the blueprint for Vader Immortal, but it was already released in 2016. For the price, it’s okay – the download is free.

Steam

https://store.steampowered.com/app/381940/Trials_on_Tatooine/

Viveport

https://www.viveport.com/apps/45701d46-b248-471a-be75-201378389125/Star_Wars:_Trials_on_Tatooine/

A beautiful sunset. With shooting Tie Fighters. (Screenshot: Trails on Tatooine)

Rogue One: Recon – A Star Wars 360 Experience

The VR trailer for the Star Wars movie Rogue One is produced as a high-quality 360-degree film in stereoscopic 8K resolution. For a short time, you experience a space battle in an X-Xing. Not spectacular but free.

The best experience is with the Youtube VR app. Start the VR app and open this video link:


Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay

The VR experience was released in 2017 to coincide with the release of ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’. You take on the role of a robo-mechanic on General Leia’s spaceship. You have to repair BB-8 and other androids. It really doesn’t get any more exciting than this.

Oculus

https://www.oculus.com/experiences/go/1769193356487183/?locale=de_DESteam

Steam

https://store.steampowered.com/app/726910/Star_Wars_Droid_Repair_Bay/


Vive

https://www.viveport.com/apps/e6e6e540-2f5f-4fdb-9c95-f20eb3a7543d/Star_Wars:_Droid_Repair_Bay/

“Number 5, are you alive?” (Screenshot: Droid Repair Bay VR)

Star Wars: Secrets of the empire

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire was a virtual reality experience developed for the location-based high-end VR arcade The Void. The game itself was produced by ILMxLAB (also Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge) and written by screenwriter and Hollywood director David S. Goyer (including Blade, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Batman v Superman but also Vader Immortal). With four participants at the same time, one infiltrated the Darth Vader stronghold Mustafar disguised as stormtroopers. Here you had to solve puzzles, fight lava monsters and shoot with the blaster.

The Void was probably the best-known VR arcade chain. Visitors wore VR goggles including a backpack PC and haptic vest on their bodies and were able to move relatively freely through virtual worlds in groups.

In the summer of 2020, there was a falling out with investor and licensor Disney – probably because of missing license payments. The company shut down a Void location at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and withdrew the licenses for the VR arcade. The Void was already in financial trouble before the 2020 covid pandemic, however, and the company leased many exclusive locations and fell heavily into debt.

The search for new investors has reportedly brought in as much as $20 million in venture capital so far. The former investor Adrian Steckel is now planning a relaunch in 2022 with former The Void managers, but it remains very questionable whether it will be possible to play Secrets of the Empire again then.


Beat Saber

Finally, Beat Saber is of course not a Star Wars game. However, if you feel like swinging lightsabers in a fun way, you can take a look at the VR superhit. After all, the idea has also been adapted from Star Wars.


Disclaimer:

We rate the overall experience in VR games, but we do not rate the individual mods – unless they are offered commercially. Our big thanks to all the modders who go the extra mile to make flatscreen games unique experiences. Thank you for your passion!

Only the VR experiences were tested and played first. The tester was not aware of the flatscreen version beforehand.

Title Sources, Screenshots and other Images:
Oculus / Meta

Fun Fact Images Source:
Star Wars Fun Fact 1: /StarWarsMagic

Screenshot Images:

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: Oculus / Meta
Star Wars Squadrons: EA
Vader Immortal: Oculus / Meta
Trails on Tatooine: ILMxLAB
Droid Repair: Disney

All other images:
Unsplash.com

By Christian

His passions are technology, everything digital and surfing. On waves. He is a long-time journalist and, of course, a VR, AR and AI enthusiast.

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