Battle a Rancor beneath the volcanic surface of Mustafar using a variety of new Force powers.
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.
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 in the clutches of Vader after going back-to-back in a lightsaber battle against a wave of ancient guardian droids. Vader, satisfied with our skills thus far, has now promised to guide us in awakening our hidden Force abilities.
Guiding us through the ancient temples located beneath Vader’s castle, 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.
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. It’s here we become separated from the Sith Lord. After some brief exploration and several close encounters with the beast, you’ll reunite with your party, harness the awesome power of an ancient Lightsword, and do battle against the Rancor and 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 impact its replayability, but overall there are enough memorable moments to should have you coming back for seconds and maybe even thirds. Speaking of replayability, lets talk about Lightsaber Dojo II.
LIGHTSABER DOJO II
Arguably the most attractive aspect of Vader Immortal: Episode I was the Lightsaber training dojo. The lightsaber mechanics are easily one of the biggest selling points for the series, which is why it was smart for ILMxLAB to include a mode that offers endless amounts of lightsaber combat.
Lightsaber Dojo II offers the 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 crush enemies into one another.
The real fun, however, comes when you begin combining 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, other creatures will 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 by competing in the Dojo.
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.
Feature Image Credit: ILMxLAB