Oculus Quest 2 enriches its catalog with a new, intense Star Wars themed shooter experience in virtual reality!
The ILMxLAB studio is a frequent visitor to the faraway galaxy conceived by George Lucas. Moreover, the work done on the trilogy of Vader Immortal, written by none other than David S. Goyer (if you want, you can read our review of Vader Immortal Episode 1 here): to make these interstellar journeys, the team has used Oculus’ enormous virtual reality capabilities several times, since that the standalone viewers of the Californian company seem to be the platform of choice with which ILMxLAB has demonstrated its capabilities. After entertaining us with a strongly narrative (and even canonical) experience in which we had the honor of meeting the Sith Lord, the developers take us back to the universe of Star Wars with Tales From The Galaxy’s Edge, a wider and more dynamic adventure than Vader Immortal, designed to highlight the muscles of the brand new Oculus Quest 2 (to know all the details, here you can find our Oculus Quest 2 review). Put on your helmet and get ready to explore the wilds of planet Batuu, but not before stopping for a “tasty” drink at the Seezelslak inn, ready to tell you some very interesting stories …
Another little story in a galaxy far, far away …
While Vader Immortal relied almost entirely on the story, Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge he chooses exactly the opposite: putting the narrative component in the background, the work focuses mostly on the gameplay, leading us to explore some macro-areas of Batuu as a simple drone repairman. The incipit of the story is certainly the most intense in terms of plot and staging.
While traveling aboard his ship, our protagonist is attacked by the troops of the Guavian Death Band, intent on stealing the cargo it carries. After a heated firefight, to save his skin, the poor repairman enters an escape pod in the direction of Batuu: Here, once he arrives at the Seezelslak bar, he earns his living by completing some recovery missions for the droid builder Mubo. Clearly, every assignment we face will be studded with dangers from everywhere, and as well as with fully armed soldiers, we will also have to survive the onslaught of local fauna. Fortunately, our protagonist is anything but a fool, and his firearms skills are certainly not inferior to those of a well-trained army.
As becomes easily understood after setting foot in Batuu, the plot of Tales From the Galaxy’s Egde it is nothing more than a pretext to push us to complete, in about three hours, all the activities of the main campaign, which certainly do not stand out for the diversification of the structure. Maintaining the plot of the story is a lively screenplay, which cleverly sacrifices epicness in favor of a light humor. This new Star Wars (unfortunately not translated into Italian, not even for subtitles) chooses to focus on fun, as if it were a playful attraction in the virtual reality playground.
If we choose to try our hand at some optional assignment, such as collecting raw materials or collectible droids, the longevity of the experience may increase slightly, but overall it is difficult for the whole VR tour of Batuu you take away more than 5 hours of gameplay: this is still more than enough duration for an experience that is destined to expand in the future, with two more acts coming in 2021. It’s just a pity that history hasn’t dared more, choosing to intertwine in the canon of saga in a more incisive way. Only if you bring to Seezelslak the ingredients it needs to compose its special drink, in any case, you will be able to hear (and experience firsthand) a story that will reserve you a beautiful, but very short, surprise to the sound of lightsabers and powers of the Force …
By virtue of the power of Oculus Quest 2, diving into Batuu offers a glance that, at times, manages to surprise. However, a precise distinction must be made between the polygonal modeling of the characters, the rendering of the internal settings and that of the external landscapes. In the first case, the work done is absolutely commendable: Mubo, Seezelslak, the adorable porgs and the droids we will meet (expect some old acquaintances!) Are recreated to perfection, and to find them in front of them in life size returns a feeling of genuine wonder that only reality virtual, as we often repeat, is able to offer.
A step below, but in any case of considerable thickness, is the reconstruction of the interior: the ship where the adventure begins, the Seezelslak inn and what remains of some structures scattered around Batuu benefit from an excellent level of detail and the feeling of really moving in those places, grabbing a glass or playing darts, proves to be deeply immersive. Less impactful is the yield of the external areas of Batuu. Each mission will lead us to visit specific wild places (reachable later also via the rapid journey) to explore in search of resources and to clean up from the presence of enemies, aliens and robots. In these cases, when the areas become larger and the player’s gaze rests on the distant horizons of the planet, the quality of the graphic outline weakens, partially dampening the beauty of some landscapes. When the light of the twilight paints the panorama, however, it will be worth stopping to take a glimpse of the panorama of Batuu.
A space shooter
As we have anticipated, our protagonist, despite being a simple repairer, is still quite skilled at handling firearms: that’s why we won’t have big problems in routing the enemy troops that populate the planet.
Tales From the Galaxy’s Egde is an adventure that takes on the features of a first-person shooter, since all the threats we encounter can be solved with laser bullets. The shootings prove to be sufficiently functional, without ever being particularly complex or too elaborate: the weapons, which can even be carried two at a time, do not have infinite ammunition, and we will have to supply ourselves on several occasions at the corpses of the opponents, replacing the equipment in our possession and gathering that of hostile troops.
Quick and quite precise, the shooting phases will know how to involve us without exalting us, suffering from time to time from some inaccuracy in the management of the hitboxes. Artificial intelligence unfortunately shows its side to some uncertainties, and the good degree of challenge is mostly linked to the number of enemies that we will have to face simultaneously. To get the better of the various threats, we can also resort to the use of combat droids, which occasionally will provide us with covering fire and which will be repaired on the fly with the multitool gadget that we will have supplied.
In this regard, during the exploration we will have the opportunity to come across metal crates that contain resources, weapons, health refills and credits to spend in the Mubo shop: before opening them, however, we will have to identify the correct way to unlock them, using the functions of the aforementioned gadget. Nothing particularly elaborate, but a properly implemented interlude to catch your breath between shootouts.
Without shining for variety, Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge in short, it entertains with a good dynamism of the action phases, some of which, depending on the conformation of the settings, can also extend vertically thanks to the jatpack that we mount on the shoulders, and which allows us to rise in the air for a limited amount of time . Even if it does not excel in the various aspects that make up its playful formula, therefore, the latest work of ILMxLAB is a potpourri of adventure, exploration and shooter that will involve you with its charisma, its conceptual simplicity and its flashy shot. eye.
Star Wars Tales from the Galaxy’s EdgePC Analyzed VersionLight and fun, imbued with a good dose of humor, Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is a product that fully exploits the potential of virtual reality to immerse us in a new, lively Star Wars epic. The work works without too many qualitative bends throughout its duration, even at the expense of a not particularly remarkable variety and some stumbling blocks related to the shooter phases. ILMxLAB knows how to wonderfully reconstruct the atmospheres of the saga conceived by Lucas and also has a certain familiarity with the distinctive characteristics of Oculus viewers: from this awareness a pleasant experience is born, in which Star Wars fans, of course, will love to dive, waiting for the next episodes arriving in 2021. With the hope that the stories told by Seezelslak can prove even more compelling.