Lightsabers Aren't The Best Part Of Star Wars VR Games

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Lightsabers Aren't The Best Part Of Star Wars VR Games
January 6, 2021

While lightsabers are iconic and synonymous with Star Wars, they aren't the most important aspect of the franchise's virtual reality games.

 

Given the nature of the series, Star Wars is a perfect setting for virtual reality games, and lightsabers are certainly the first thing players will want to use, but they're not the best Star Wars VR games have to offer. While lightsabers are iconic, it's all of the other aspects of the Star Wars universe that make the virtual reality experience come together.

 

When thinking of Star Wars, lightsabers are almost assuredly the first thing to cross a person's mind. The iconic Force user's weapon is the clear star of the series, and it's why they're almost always featured in the climactic moments of stories. There's an obvious draw to Star Wars' lightsabers that has understandably extended to virtual reality, where players now have the ability to physically wield the lightsaber in their own hands.

 

Lightsabers are incredibly cool and they can be a lot of fun to use in virtual reality, but they aren't the best that Star Wars has to offer. Exploring alien worlds, interacting with various characters and tinkering with droids, is what gives Star Wars its identity. Without those elements, players are just waving around a bright sword. The ability to place the player on Mustafar in Vader Immortal, Batuu in Tales from the Galaxy's Edge, or even just a gigantic space battle in Star Wars Squadrons, and feel immersed in those stories, is what makes those games feel like Star Wars, and it turns them into a complete virtual reality experience.

 

Lightsaber Gameplay In Star Wars VR Games Isn't Great

A huge flaw with lightsabers in virtual reality is that players can't use them in combination with movement. For lightsabers to work well, players need to either be rooted in a single position or put on rails to fight waves of enemies coming directly at them, and there is absolutely a shelf life to that. Virtual reality just isn't in a state where players can run around and truly maximize the use of a lightsaber in the same way that a regular game like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order can. And, as a result, gameplay with blasters or the use of Force abilities feels significantly better a lot of the time.

 

Lightsabers are great and there are sequences in both Vader Immortal and Tales from the Galaxy's Edge that are really well-done with them, but neither game feels like the lightsabers are what makes them worth experiencing. Flying through space in Squadrons, standing face to face with Darth Vader, walking through a Jedi temple in a flashback to the High Republic, and repairing R2-D2 after a run in with the Guavian Death Gang are all great moments that have absolutely nothing to do with the use of a lightsaber. Virtual reality will continue to develop and improve lightsaber gameplay, but it'll never be the most important aspect of a Star Wars VR game.

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