Vader Immortal: Episode I Oculus Quest Front Cover

Available now on: Oculus & Windows (Reviewed on Oculus Quest 2) – Price: £7.99 (Oculus) – Developed by: ILMxLAB

The first in a three part series that released in 2019, Star Wars: Vader Immortal sees players cast in the role of a smuggler, operating near the fiery world of Mustafar, which fans will recognise as the site of Anakin Skywalker’s ‘death’ – and consequently Darth Vader’s ‘birth’. Captured and imprisoned by the Empire and coming face to face with Lord Vader himself, you’ll uncover some seriously dark goings-on – with the infamous, imposing Dark Lord of the Sith taking centre stage in the proceedings.

Billed as a canonical part of the Star Wars saga, ILMxLAB have created an incredibly compelling tale that has a phenomenally authentic-feeling Star Wars atmosphere from beginning to end. Though it can feel at times like a bit of a passive experience, the audiovisual production is completely involving and there are a number of great action sequences dotted throughout its running time. Though it only lasts for around 45 minutes (an hour, max, depending on how much you explore and interact with your surroundings), it manages to fit in some phenomenally impressive set-pieces and brilliantly implemented, very responsive lights Aber combat. An unusual highlight comes in the form of a beautifully told, artistically breathtaking piece of backstory – accompanied by some stunning visuals – that fills in the history behind Vader’s current nefarious plans. The references and lore place the experience very firmly in Star Wars continuity; it’s a hugely satisfying ‘missing’ piece of the saga and Darth Vader himself is every bit as imposing and intimidating as you’d expect.

Vader Immortal: Episode I Screenshot

Despite its short length, it’s an unmissable experience for Star Wars fans and there’s more than just the narrative to explore – a bonus element included is the Lightsaber Dojo, in which you can train using various iconic lightsabers from the movies and beyond. At £7.99, the episode – and Dojo – is fairly priced in my opinion (without the bonus feature of the training area, I still wouldn’t have felt that the price was too much to be honest – though don’t tell Disney that), and as a showcase for what the Quest can do (I tested it on a Quest 2), it’s a wonderful use of the technology. Not to mention the fact that it ends on a cliffhanger that’ll have you rushing back to the digital store to buy and download Episode II. Wielding a lightsaber, deflecting lasers and blocking against other lightsaber blows is what every Star Wars fan dreams of – and Vader Immortal makes it feel like that dream has come true. It’s superb – the nearest thing to a killer app as I’ve found on the Quest so far, though as a Star Wars fan since the 70s I may well be somewhat biased.

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