Trials of Tatooine is an immersive room-scale single-player action game for the HTC VIve. The game takes place on a beautiful desert Star Wars theme. The player needs to repair the Millennium Falcon, a spaceship used by the Rebel Alliances against the Empire. You have your own Jedi lightsaber that you’ll need to use to protect our most beloved Star Wars droid hero R2-D2 from incoming stormtroopers.
This experience is brought to us by Industrial Light & Magic, a visual effect company owned by George Lucas. From what I understand, ILMxLab teamed up with Lucas Film to be an exclusive creator of immersive story experience for Star Wars. ILMxLab was created to create immersive story-based experiences. It seems that ILMxLab wants to create, and I quote: “A new type of cinema” (via the ‘Join the Force’ YouTube video). Several of the leading minds and creative people in the industry are working in ILMxLAB to use virtual reality to deliver the best possible virtual reality experience like never seen before.
ILMxLAB is doing lots of experimentation to find out the winning formula that will make people super immersed, engaged and entertained from its experiences it produces. We can see that right now it includes virtual reality experiences, but it might be interactive movies or full games in the future.
Trials of Tatooine feature photo-realistic graphics that makes the whole experience really believable. The game can run in different graphics settings, and while the minimum system requirement is the Vive’s one (Nvidia GTX 970), for the best experience you want to play it on a high-end machine with Titan X GPU, that will run the game at the highest possible graphic setting. The game also supports SLI graphic card configuration, so if you have that configuration, you might be also playing the game on the highest settings possible.
This was one of the main goals of ILMxLAB, the developer of this experience. To take advantage of high-end gaming PCs to create a powerful Star Wars experience that won’t be forgotten so quickly.
What can I say, the game looks out of this world and one of the best things about the game is that you can finally get to really know how it feels to hold a real Jedi lightsaber with all the beautiful effects and sounds like in the real Star Wars movie.
The game starts with the famous Star Wars intro and soundtrack and you watch the intro text fades away into the distance, again, the same as all Star Wars movies - but this time, you are the main hero, and you are the one who gets to hold the lightsaber and fight against the stormtroopers.
In Trials of Tatooine you play as a Padawan, or in other words, an adolescent who trained in the Jedi Order to one day become a Jedi. You are in the desert, waiting for an important delivery from Han Solo, your teacher. His ship is landed on the planet. A few second later you are being attacked by Imperial TIE fighters. The ship was damaged and it doesn’t look too good. You lower the inverter and R2-D2 star scanning it, and from that point on you need to help Han Solo and his fellow crewman Chewie to fix the ship and continue to defend the ship against Imperial attacks.
When the enemy forces arrive, R2-D2 gives you a blue lightsaber, which you need to use to deflect projectiles. This is the most amazing part of the game, it feels to natural and you finally get a sense to feel how it is like to fight as a Jedi, OK, a Jedi trainee, a Padawan.
This free experience is very short but very satisfying. It certainly leaves a lot to be desired. The visuals are great though, but I did notice that even without all the computing power needed to run this short experience, R2-D2 doesn’t even have shadows. Maybe I am missing something I don’t know, you tell me.
Anyways, I think they could have done much more with this experience, and maybe it’s just a showcase of what’s coming next. It certainly has a huge potential as a full game with more challenging levels, but it was a nice free experience after all.
If you have the HTC Vive, head to Steam and download Trials on Tatooine for free.