Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge PSVR 2 Review
There’s still something about the grimy, lived-in sci-fi galaxy of Star Wars that is so captivating, and many fans jump at the chance to explore any new corner of it they can find. Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is a chance to do that in VR, and it’s been enhanced for PlayStation VR 2.
Originally released for Meta Quest in late 2020, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge took inspiration from the Batuu setting and cantina that opened in Disneyland the year before. Casting you as a nameless, voiceless droid tech who ends up on the wrong side of the Guavian Death Gang, you find yourself stranded on this planet, getting yourself roped into fighting this local gang and taking on a bunch of missions for the Resistance.
At least that’s the first half of the game, but this also includes the DLC Last Call, with a trip or two back to Seezelslak’s bar, and there’s more tales to visit, whether they’re stories told by the hulking barman or missions handed to you by his seemingly singular patron Dok-Ondar.
The game has had a serious glow up when compared to the original Quest headset release, going way beyond what the standalone VR unit can do. It takes a step away from the flatter environmental tones and more cartoony appearance of characters, to featuring more of a metallic sheen on its metals, glossier alien skins, and better contrast and lighting throughout. It can be a seriously good-looking game on PSVR 2.
From getting through the world to the combat, the fundamental controls are solid enough. Playable in standing or seated mode were both nice and comfortable,, with plenty of options and settings to tweak. For movement you can either point and teleport, or use the analogue sticks to move smoothly – there’s no jogging motion movement in this game. There are many inventory points scattered across your body, with a weapon holster on each hip, a health spray point on each wrist, a multi-tool on your stomach and then an inventory pouch that you can drop everything else into. That’s not the most convenient thing when you want a thermal detonator to throw at enemies, especially with throwing things in VR being a bit… unpredictable, so I found it easier to just have seeker droids floating around and to go in blasting.
I really quite enjoyed the simple interactions that the multi-tool gives to looting the world. It features a screwdriver, electric arc, and blowtorch, and you’ll encounter service panels, locked crates and busted electrics that you can crack open with all three. The end result is either mission progress, some guns and gear, or maybe the freeing of a Porg – I’m not sure they entirely make sense on Batuu, but they’re cute. It’s a solid reward for the first few goes, but after a while, the loot boxes lose their lustre when you can just grab the exact same weapons from fallen enemies.
The guns all feel solid, capturing the spray and pray nature of the weapons of the Star Wars universe, and with a bunch of familiar-looking pistols and blasters to pick up. Since the enemies tended toward faster-firing blasters, that’s what I gravitated towards as well, compensating for the somewhat wayward laser bolts with rate of fire and time between reloads. The original array of weapons are a bit one-note because of this, but things get much more interesting as you get deeper into Dok-Ondar’s story in the second half – one blaster has charge-up mechanics, another weapon fires timed explosives, and so on.
Things get much more interesting as you get to play the other people stories, as told by Seezelslak. Embodying a Jedi for a while – they couldn’t make a VR Star Wars game without handing you a lightsaber could they? – and the robotic body of bounty-hunting assassin droid IG-88, with its Terminator-style implacable approach to combat. IG-88’s mission in particular has you working your way up through a tower like it’s a Star Wars-y The Raid, blasting all the gang members in your path on the way to the gang leader.
The game does get a little messy with how these stories are doled out to you, though. I actually found myself ambling into the Dok-Ondar missions by mistake, well before completing the first narrative arc, which in turn meant that I hadn’t been to one of the environments where I could earn the resources to unlock the first Jedi Padawan tale. Keep tabs of the missions options in the menu and you should be fine.
It does also feel like this game wants a full, more ambitious sequel to really take advantage of PSVR 2. After playing Horizon Call of the Mountain it’s strange having to teleport between platforms instead of jumping, and while the jet pack is eventually upgraded to allow you to move around in the air, it’s a very digital feeling device – you’re either up in the air, or you aren’t – and is mainly a tool to give you the angle with which to teleport. Then there’s enemy variety, which does feel a bit strange to complain about considering the decades of Stormtrooper battering fun, but when you’ve got a gang in red jumpsuits with what might as well be targets on their masks? It’s a bit on the nose, and means the game does feel like a shooting gallery a lot of the time.
These are certainly limitations of the game’s standalone VR headset origins, but it still feels a little staid and mechanical at times and lacking for what PSVR 2 can do, with the sights, sounds and overly familiar characters of the Star Wars setting doing a fair bit of heavy lifting.