Last weekend, Star Wars rolled into London big style with the Star Wars Celebration. It’s an annual convention that normally convenes in the US, but instead makes its third return to Europe and second outing in London.
In one corner of the show floor, VFX design house Industrial Light & Magic set up shop with a large booth kitted out with tens of wee rooms for individuals to enjoy their own wee slice of Star Wars VR heaven.
Trials of Tatooine was built as an experiment in VR for the firm, and those at the Star Wars Celebration were able to try out the first public unveiling of the demo. No worries though if you missed out and happen to own an HTC Vive; the demo has since been posted on Steam and can be downloaded for free.
The demo places you as a Padawan learner that joined Luke Skywalker’s freshly minted Jedi Order. You’ve been stationed on Tatooine to help Han Solo with a small delivery, but are encountered with malfunctions on the Millenium Falcon and some potential trouble brewing.
The demo starts off simply, helping to fix the Falcon with a few button pushes using the motion controller. Just when everything seems alright, Stormtroopers descend on the area and it’s up to you and the lightsaber delivered by R2-D2 to deflect blaster fire and defend R2 and the Falcon.
That description is rather brief of what the VR demo contains. Yet that’s as much as I experienced with the demo. It lasted no longer than a few minutes, but it didn’t matter.
I had so much fun wielding a lightsaber in VR.
It was also my first time trying out the HTC Vive in a standing environment. Being able to walk around and swing my saber was such an incredible feeling. For a while, I forgot that what I was holding was a controller with buttons. Configured into some form of longer lightsaber-em-up, I would regard this form of Star Wars VR as a really big hook to attract me into upgrading my PC rig for VR.
Check out the trailer below for Trials on Tatooine. If you have an HTC Vive, here’s the Steam link to the demo.