Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge feels like a Star Wars game built specifically for me in one obvious way, and in one completely random and ridiculous way. First of all, it’s Star Wars built for virtual reality, which I love and is the gaming medium that gets me the most excited. The second and ridiculous reason is this: you play the game as a droid repairman. I spent over a decade as an appliance repairman, and that is obviously the same thing. Washing machines and dishwashers are like droids for regular people, and these types of swashbuckling adventures are always happening to those of us in the appliance/droid repair game.
But seriously, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is yet another game set in a galaxy far, far away from the same developer, ILMxLAB, that brought us the Vader Immortal series. That series focused on theatrics and lightsabers, while this one is basically a first-person shooter on the planet of Batuu. Aside from playing as the intergalactic Sears repairman, and featuring some fine voice work from Saturday Night Live’s Bobby Moynihan and the great Anthony Daniels, the story is not what will keep you coming back. Although for those fans who are always anxious to get more Star Wars, like me, Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge was a treat.
As far as the gameplay, it often reminded me of two of my favorite VR games. Some areas of the planet Batuu brought me back to blasting the face-jumping aliens in Farpoint, the PSVR shooter from a few years back. As a full-blown arachnophobe, I’m thankful there weren’t any spiders here, instead just members of the Gauvean Death gang and other humanoid aliens up to no good. The gunplay here feels damn good and I even used my MK111 gunstock from Virtual Rifle Systems whenever I used the rifle. But you’ll also use a pump-action shotgun and a couple of blasters, including the iconic blaster used by Han Solo. The other pistol and the common Storm Trooper rifle blaster have a vent release valve that needs to be pulled back when it overheats, mimicking chambering a round in a real-life weapon. I used the rifle blaster a lot because it was everywhere (and because it worked great with my gun stock), but it was seriously underpowered. Han’s blaster, on the other hand, was a beast, killing most foes in one shot. It is only a temporary weapon, however, as it seemed to only have one “mag” in it. So after 6 or 8 shots, it’s a paperweight.
In addition to the typical blasters, you’ll also find a ton of flying remote droids. You might remember these as those hovering droids that helped Luke “take his first step into a larger world” in Star Wars: A New Hope. These come in handy, especially if you play the game on the hardest difficulty. You’ll need these droids to mark enemies, draw enemy fire, and even help with their own attacks. You can have 3 of these deployed at any one time. You simply throw them into the air and they go to work. You can attach these droids to either your left or right hip holster or put them in your pouch on your chest.
This pouch acts as your inventory and worked great. This is where you stashed your various remote droids and anything else you manage to scavenge on the way, like space junk and money. What I really liked about the inventory setup is that I could easily access it with one hand. If I was holding a blaster with my right hand, I could pull the pouch from my chest with my free hand and the contents would float in front of me, allowing me to grab what I was looking for, namely a remote droid or three, without ever dropping the weapon in my other hand. This was also helpful if the tiny bacta spray canister that attached to my right wrist ran out. In a firefight, the bacta spray that regenerates your health is within easy reach on your right wrist, but it only has two doses per canister, so inevitably you’ll need to grab an extra canister from your pouch. With a little practice, this inventory setup works great and shows me that ILMxLAB has an excellent grasp of the VR space. This is great news for future Tales in this series and hopefully many more VR games from the Lucas Effects studio.
This is a first-person shooter at its heart, but you’ll also be solving some puzzles as well. I mentioned that Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge reminded me of a couple of my favorite VR games. The shooting and locale reminded me of Farpoint, but the puzzle-solving using a multitool is right out of the Half-Life: Alyx playbook. Throughout each level, you’ll find various computer terminals or safes that will need to be repaired or broken into. Whichever the case, your handy multitool will get the job done. Sometimes it’s as easy as using the nut driver portion to remove the bolts, or the blowtorch to cut through the metal. Once inside, you’ll need to use your tool to solve some randomly generated puzzles. Most of these puzzles were easy to solve, but the tool was surprisingly fun to use, so I enjoyed it. Once you managed to get inside these randomly placed metal loot boxes, you’ll find money, space junk (which you can trade for money), weapons, and bacta canisters. This repair tool can also be used to repair your remote droids when they become damaged.
As you can tell, I enjoyed my time in Batuu, but the journey was far from perfect. The game somehow manages to be both very polished and yet it still feels unfinished. Don’t get me wrong, it looks great, the music is superb, the voice acting is great, and the writing is well done, but it all manages to feel like a three-hour intro to a much bigger game. The money you receive and the space junk you can recycle for cash makes this feeling even worse. I enjoy scavenging as much as the next guy, but I wasn’t able to use the money until the very end of the game. All of this makes it feel like I’m only getting started in this game, which is actually true, I guess. The “tale from the galaxy” we actually get after the main game is only fifteen minutes long or so, but more are coming in the next year. Will the next Tale be free DLC? Will there be a steady diet of upcoming Tales? I don’t know the answer to any of those questions, but I do know that the core game here is just what I was looking for and I can’t wait for more. If I had to guess, I’d bet the next DLC will be free and anything after that will cost us something. I’d be more than happy with that. It took me four hours to finish the game but I had some difficulty defeating the final boss. The normal difficulty setting offered a decent challenge and felt perfect for me. If you want a real challenge, you can set the difficulty to max which sees you killed after taking only two shots.
Another issue that annoyed me was needing to use teleportation to reach heights or drop off of ledges. They make this easy to do and seamless within the gameplay, but it still breaks immersion. I know jumping in VR isn’t for everybody, but jumping or climbing would have been preferred for me. They somewhat deal with this by giving you a jetpack. That sounds awesome, right? It should have been, but this jetpack only goes straight up. You can’t fly around, strafe, or do anything but go straight up. It was an obvious crutch to avoid doing anything that would make newcomers to VR feel uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, that is very important, but it felt very ‘gamey’ and it took me out of this otherwise awesome Star Wars Universe and reminded me I was in my living room, annoying my family. And don’t even get me started on not having an option for smooth turning! Click turning only isn’t something we should still be seeing this late in the VR lifecycle. Thankfully, the Quest is wireless so you can simply turn in real life, but c’mon. Otherwise, the game ran smooth and the only glitch I found would see my left hand disappear repeatedly. This happened several times throughout my playthrough. I suspect that will be patched very soon.
For me, four fun hours in a good VR Star Wars game well worth the $30 asking price. But then again, I love a good FPS and Star Wars, so this one pushed most of my buttons. I guess I don’t mind playing games in an episodic fashion as long as the episodes aren’t too short or too expensive. I’d rather get the whole game at once, but I’m not sure that is the world we are living in anymore. If you are a Star Wars fan, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy this game right now. For everyone else, waiting for the next installment or waiting on a sale may not be a bad choice either. I’m personally glad I played it and I’ll probably play it again soon.
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge Quest 2 Review
Game title: Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge
Overall - Fantastic - 8/10
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is a better than average first-person shooter with a ton of potential. The three to four-hour campaign gives us something most Star Wars games don’t, a hero with no special powers, but the one “Tale” we get reminds us how awesome it is to wield a lightsaber in VR. And hopefully the “Tales” we will get soon allow the team at ILMxLAB to give us all of that and more.
- Its a shooter, so it was important that the weapons felt great and they do
- It’s Star Wars so the music is epic by default
- The voice acting from Star Wars vets and newcomers alike is awesome
- The potential for future tales is off the charts
- The potential for future tales is only potential until they get here
- No option for smooth turning is very disappointing
- Teleporting to change levels is an epic immersion breaker
- The combat could have been repetitive if it had lasted longer than the 3 to 4 hours it will take to finish the game
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game bought at the expense of the reviewer. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using Oculus Quest 2.