philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


‘Galaxy’s Edge’ lets you choose your own ‘Star Wars’ VR adventure

After finishing up the latest episode of The Mandalorian, I slipped on my Oculus Quest 2, loaded up ILMxLAB's Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge, and was immediately thrust right into the world I was watching on my TV. It was one of the most uncanny pop culture experiences of my life. And it was a reminder of the power of virtual reality to deliver a genuine sense of presence. I wasn't just playing a game -- I was standing in a dirty spaceship, chatting with a sassy Droid and so close to living the Star Warslife I've always wanted.

Vader Immortal, ILMxLAB's previous VR series, was a classic narrative told across three episodesTales from the Galaxy's Edge — which launches today on the Oculus Quest store for $25 — is something different. Taking a cue from the Disney theme park of the same name, the game is focused on immersing you in the universe of Star Wars and giving you the freedom to play it however you like.

You play as a lowly Droid repair tech who gets into a skirmish with the Guavian Death Gang (as one does), and finds shelter in a cantina on Batuu. Once there, you can wander as you see fit. Play a game of darts, chat with the barkeep Seezelslak (played by SNL's Bobby Moynihan), or explore the wilds of Batuu. I spent several minutes just drinking in the atmosphere, like the porgs strewn throughout, and the out of place '50s era jukebox. But eventually, Seezelslak mentioned that he could tell me a story if I brought him enough ingredients for a drink. So off I went, blasters in hand.

 -- you're stepping into the shoes of someone who doesn't normally star in a Star Wars film. 

Tales from the Galaxy's Edge looks fantastic on the Oculus Quest 2 as well. It's a far brighter and more colorful game than Vader Immortal, and the headset's improved resolution made everything look sharper. 

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