Oculus Quest (and Quest 2) exclusive VR title Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is a tie-in to the themed areas at various Disney Parks, which are set on the planet Batuu. The Star Wars themed attractions have already been featured in comics, novels and even in video games, with a Sims 4 DLC pack that adds Batuu-related costumes and objects to the perennially popular life sim.
Starting out on a ship that’s attacked by the Guavian Death Gang, it isn’t long before you crash land on Batuu. From there, you adventure out into the planet’s wilderness after visiting the cantina owned by friendly, chatty Azumel bartender Seezelslak.
It’s all very atmospheric up until that point; the opening, space-set sequence is fantastic for introducing you to the general mechanics of using tools, weapons and drones and there’s some lovely little interactive sections of Seezelslak’s Cantina.
However, the bulk of the game is taken up by frankly dull, repetitive shooting sections, which – despite the game’s relatively short length – seem to drag on and on, not helped by the limited ammo in each weapon you use or the far too distant gaps between checkpoints.
The inventory and waypoint systems are brilliantly implemented, however – as are the healing, multi-tool and drone support mechanics – and the whole experience does have a fantastic soundtrack as well as superb visuals. It’s definitely got a very authentic-feeling Star Wars vibe throughout – and there’s a few surprises in the game’s narrative that I won’t spoil here (though there are spoilers even on the game’s cover art).
It’s just a shame that it falls into the trap of being yet another VR shooter, when there are so many others already on the Oculus Quest platform – and many of which are more interesting than the quite bland shooting on offer here. There’s an expansion due soon, which should hopefully bring a bit more variety to the core experience – but a tighter focus on narrative as seen in the fantastic Vader Immortal titles wouldn’t have gone amiss in Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, which attempts to be open and less linear, but often feels empty and aimless in its boring wilderness, dearth of enemy types and lack of much variety in its arsenal.
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