Force abilities add a whole new layer of fun to an already incredible experience.
I’m trapped within a sprawling underground manufacturing complex on the volcanic planet of Mustafar, my back to the wall as a massive Rancor makes several desperate strikes at me with its gargantuan claws. The only thing keeping me alive is a thin metal barrier positioned between me and the ravenous creature.
As the beast inches closer and closer, squeezing its claws through minor gaps in the barrier, I reach out to a lineup of explosive shells located to my left and — harnessing the legendary powers of the Force, I hurl several handfuls of the unstable bombs through the gaps in the wall, striking the reptilian predator and forcing it to retreat back into its lair.
Image Credit: ILMxLAB
This is just one of the many incredible moments offered throughout Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode II, the latest installment in ILMxLAB’s three-part prequel series. Whereas Episode I introduced players to the story and offered us the best lightsaber combat we’ve seen since Star Wars: Jedi Outcast, Episode II adds Force abilities to the mix, allowing you to manipulate both enemies and various objects with your bare hands.
And while the experience is a painfully short one, it’s also one of the most satisfying in terms of VR combat, especially when it comes to Lightsaber Dojo II.
**WARNING: Minor Episode I & II spoilers ahead.**
When we last left our Force-sensitive smuggler protagonist, we were back in the clutches of Vader after going back-to-back with the Sith Lord during a lightsaber battle against a wave of ancient guardian droids. Satisfied with our skills thus far, Vader has now promised to guide us in the ways of the Force.
Episode II begins with Vader guiding us through the ancient temples located beneath his Mustafar castle. It is here we learn that our protagonist is, in fact, the descendant of a powerful Force-user named Lady Corvax who created a legendary device capable of bringing the dead back to life in an attempt to resurrect her deceased lover. Naturally, Vader wants to harness this power for his own means, which could spell destruction for the galaxy.
Image Credit: ILMxLAB
After learning the basics behind wielding the Force, we soon find ourselves face-to-face with a Rancor, a terrifying four-armed monster with a considerable temper. After the floor beneath our hero crumbles, we find ourselves separated from the Sith Lord and exploring a vast network of catacombs solo. Following some brief exploration and several close encounters with that pesky Rancor, we reunite with our party, harness the awesome power of an ancient Lightsword, and do battle against the Rancor and numerous waves of sentinel droids.
It’s a solid follow-up to the campaign featured in Episode I, one that adds refreshing new elements to the experience while at the same time doubling-down on everything that made the original so engaging. That being said, there are a handful of painfully-slow moments that could potentially impact its replayability, but overall there are enough memorable moments that should have you coming back for a second, possibly even third run. Speaking of replayability, lets talk about Lightsaber Dojo II.
Image Credit: ILMxLAB
LIGHTSABER DOJO II
Arguably the most attractive aspect of Vader Immortal: Episode I was the Lightsaber training dojo. The lightsaber combat is easily one of the biggest selling points for the series, which is why it was smart for ILMxLAB to include a mode that offers an endless amount of sword-based action.
Lightsaber Dojo II offers that same nonstop lightsaber action you know and love, only now you can incorporate your Force abilities into the mix. The result is an entirely new experience that’s as hectic as it is fun. Using the same abilities used in the main story, you can now pick up, toss, and slam enemies into one another.
The real fun, however, comes when you combine Force moves with your lightsaber attacks. Faced with an enemy determined to keep its distance? Force pull that sucker up close and finish the job with a quick slice. You can even use your powers to control the lightsaber itself, allowing you to throw your weapon around the map like the world’s most deadly boomerang.
New enemies also present additional challenges to the experience. Standard droids will move in close for their standard melee attacks, while other creatures may keep their distance, harassing you with fiery projectiles from afar.
Other than that all your favorite elements are there, including the ability to customize the color of your lightsaber by unlocking different Kyber crystals.
Vader Immortal – A Star Wars VR Series: Episode II is available to download now on Oculus Quest and Rift/Rift S for $9.99. Those who purchase a copy for Oculus Quest will receive the Rift/Rift S edition for free and vice-versa.