Sony’s brand new PlayStation VR2 is upon us – launching February 22nd globally and, with that, comes an impressively large line up of launch titles. One of which is ILMxLAB’s Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition, which originally released for the Quest 2 back in late 2020, albeit not in its ‘Enhanced Edition’ form, thanks to the extra processing power and additional gameplay mechanics now possible with the PS5 and new PS VR2 headset.
Does this ‘remastered’ version of the game impress enough to stand out from the large launch games crowd? Read on to find out in our review of Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition.
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition offers a single-player, story-driven campaign. It sees the player take the role of a humble droid technician on a routine mission to deliver some cargo. As you’d expect, things go disastrously wrong.
The game begins with a well-realised tutorial mission that allows the player to get to grips with the UI and basic mechanics while driving the story forward. During this section, you discover that your boss has some slightly less than legitimate cargo on board and things start to really go awry.
While attempting to offload the cargo, you come under attack from galactic space pirates known as the Guavian Death Squad. At this point, your mundane life as a mild-mannered droid repair guy is turned upside down.
In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I won’t reveal any other plot points. All I will say is that from here, you may or may not encounter some mainstay characters from the franchise along the way. If you’ve spoiled things for yourself a little by watching the trailers, this won’t be much of a surprise. The story is moved along through some charmingly written dialogue. Mid mission dialogue and action set pieces continue to motivate you within a storyline that adds up to a series of reasons to keep moving and shoot various bad guys.
This time around ILMxLAB have decided to forgo the force-based elements of the Star Wars canon and deliver some slightly more grounded Sci-Fi fare. Gone are the Sabers and mystical powers of previous franchise instalments. Instead, Tales from The Galaxy’s Edge arms you with diverse blasters and thermal detonators that fans of the series have come to love almost as much. Additionally, the ability to use different types of Remote Droids (the floating spheres that were shooting you in the Lightsaber Dojos of the earlier ILMxLAB games) provides instantly recognisable Star Wars based combat mechanics.
There are four types of guns at your disposal. Although they all have much fancier names, they are effectively the Sci-Fi equivalents of a Semi-Automatic Pistol, Revolver, Shotgun, and Assault Rifle. Guns are readily available, so Ammo is not an issue. Each gun comes with a specific amount of charge and can easily be replaced when that is exhausted. You do still need to reload (or “vent”) the weapon by pulling back a catch, or using a pump-action for the shotgun.
The combat is reminiscent of cover-based shooters of old, and the landscape is conveniently littered with a mix of waist and shoulder height items that you can duck behind. Make no mistake, this is definitely how the game wants you to play it. Damage is taken relatively quickly, with 2-3 hits equating to death even on normal mode. Learn to use your environment or die trying.
The AI is decent, but not impressive. Enemies move from cover to cover to close in and surround you, and most of the environments allow for a verticality which adds to the challenge. Once I got the hang of their routines, it became easier to navigate combat. Still, at first, I found myself being ambushed or flanked while I was focusing my fire on a single target ahead of me. I genuinely enjoyed the sense of tension and heightened immersion that comes with always having to look over your shoulder.
The UI is a very polished, well-designed affair and makes navigating the inventory and menus a breeze. All the interactions seem designed to be immediately accessible for new players. I can imagine that for many people entering VR for the first time with their newly acquired PS VR2, this game is going to be mind-blowing.
Guns can be holstered by the hips, health packs clipped to the forearm, and the storage pouch and ever-useful multi-tool self-adhere to the player’s chest when not in use.
There’s a decent level of interaction with the environment, facilitated mainly through the multi-tool that the player carries. The multi-tool has three heads and is used in different ways to solve some relatively simple interaction-based puzzles, open doors and weapon caches, and repair damaged drones.
Outside of the main story missions, Seezelslak’s Cantina acts as somewhat of an in-game hub, giving you a place to relax in between missions. Complete with mini-games, a jukebox, and some additional challenge missions, the Cantina offers some nice touches to the overall feeling of polish. However, it is pretty superficial in terms of actual content.
To give the title an edge are the new parts taken from the ‘Last Call’ DLC, which allows players to use other characters with unique abilities, thus expanding the game formula. The aim of this Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition is to vary the experience as much as possible to make us experience different iconic moments from the Star Wars universe and this idea works quite well in the end.
The Sense Controllers of the PS VR2 are well utlised and add a new level of immersion to the title with the haptic feedback in both the controller and headset impressively transfer the feeling of incoming enemy fire or the recoil of the weapons, while the adaptive triggers lets you experience the resistance of the blaster trigger, for example. It’s all very effective and it’s great to see ILMxLAB make the effort to incorporate these new features in such an impressive way.
Star Wars: Tales from The Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition does a lot of things right, and the quality of the visuals and audio is no exception, especially when powered by the PS5. You can tell that this game had a lavish budget. The VR visuals in the PS VR2 headset were great, with lovingly detailed environments and vistas and an extremely impressive HDR implementation which helps things like shots from your blaster really pop off the screen. The character animations are also top-notch, my particular favourites being the hulking figure of Seezleslak and the diminutive Mubo.
The audio is a highlight of the game, and although much of the audio assets from the Vader series have been recycled, it does not detract from the experience at all. Instead, it adds continuity and helps ground you in the larger Star Wars universe. Another reason the audio is so successful lies in the voice talent employed. The voices of original cast members and some brilliant performances really help sell the plot and engage the player with the story.
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition is well polished, well-conceived, and, ultimately, fun. For a huge number of new PS VR2 gamers, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition will be an incredible experience that will set expectations for many new games to come. It’s definitely one of the PS VR2 launch titles you should seriously consider picking up.
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition Pricing & Availability
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition is available exclusively for PlayStation VR2 via the PlayStation Store for €49.99. The game is also getting a physical edition, thanks to Perp Games, set to launch April 7th.
REVIEW: Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge - Enhanced Edition
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition is well polished, well-conceived, and, ultimately, fun.