Review: Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge


Tales from the Sith crypt

As Disney continues to throw a ton of Star Wars stuff at the wall to see what sticks, some of it is landing. The Mandalorian and the recent season of The Clone Wars are really resonating with people, in part due to the efforts of Dave Filoni: who should be the Kevin Feige executive equivalent for the property.

In the meantime, Disney is content with trying new stories and cashing in on nostalgiaTales from the Galaxy’s Edge tries a bit of both, but comes up short because of it.

Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge review

Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge (Oculus [reviewed with an Oculus Quest 2])
Developer: ILMxLAB
Publisher: Disney
Released: November 19, 2020
MSRP: $24.99

This brand new VR romp from Vader Immortal studio ILMxLAB is a not-so-subtle mainstream introduction for Batuu: the planet setting of Disney's new theme park locales.

You'll play a droid technician who gets unwittingly entangled in a smuggling scheme, while characters voiced by Bobby Moynihan and Matthew Wood enter and exit the stage around you in a rapid-fire fashion. It's a first-person shooter by trade, complete with options for comfort VR teleporting or natural locomotion; as well as the "equipment is on your chest and at your sides" VR staple inventory management.

At this point, a lot of these VR mechanics are expected and on auto-pilot. If you want a gun you can grab your holster, while your tools (like the door/chest-opening multi-tool) are on the front of your person. There's just enough item diversity to necessitate a pouch to hold things in without having everything get out of hand. Outside of a few collision issues when grabbing my gun from a holster, everything works as it should.

"Rapid-fire" describes a lot of Tales from the Galaxy's Edge actually, as you're going to be moving from place to place, chucking disposable upgrades and weapons quite a bit. It's refreshing in a way that things move so quickly and don't feel super linear, but after about an hour or so you'll have seen everything there is to see. Even after picking up a jetpack and discovering the hover ability, you won't be able to stray too far from the limitations of the sandboxes you're given.

It's all mostly fine. The subplot involving the aforementioned conflict, which ends up vaguely having to do with the First Order (read: the Empire redux villain faction from the new film trilogy), is fine. The shooting mechanics are fine; pretty fun even when the AI is putting up a fight. But there isn't enough of a storytelling push to really center you to this world, nor are the gameplay mechanics advanced enough to push you to improve your tact.

The other component of Tales from the Galaxy's Edge is the nostalgia side of the coin. The big draw, in theory, is the multi-chapter tale set during the High Republic era past, where Jedi roamed the universe. Don't get too excited though: only the first part is out in time for the launch of the game and it's roughly 15 minutes long. While it is enjoyable (as is the brief, but appropriate appearance of Master Yoda), it mostly functions as a tech demo of sorts, only offering short jaunts of lightsaber and force combat.

To be clear, there's no open world to explore here, and the inventory system from the core Batuu adventure is out. I think there was room here to expand upon the actual "tales" section here, as the framework of having the main game's barkeep explain them to you during a drink is clever. As-is, it just feels way too disjointed: like something to put in a trailer to get fans going.

As Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge continues to evolve, it could get more interesting. Right now, it feels like a decent early VR title that was merely expanded upon. That's not necessarily a bad thing! I just wish several aspects of it were more fleshed out. It's still more captivating than the recent trilogy.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge reviewed by Chris Carter



Slightly above average or simply inoffensive. Fans of the genre should enjoy it a bit, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled.
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Chris Carter
Chris CarterReviews Director, Co-EIC   gamer profile

Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! ------------------- T... more + disclosures



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