CS Plays: Vader Immortal Review & Walkthrough Video
As a long-time fan of the PlayStation’s VR offerings, such as Sparc, Beat Saber and PistolWhip, I was positively trilled at the opportunity to experience Vader Immortal: A Star Wars Series! Vader Immortal is a three-episode VR experience that blends immersive interactive gameplay with a brand new Star Wars story, written by David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). After its initial launch in 2019 on PC & Oculus Quest, Immortal is finally available on PSVR, and today we are going to take a quick look at episode one. Check out the Vader Immortal review and walkthrough video below!
The game starts with the ten best words to kick off any space adventure, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… you begin as the captain of the Windfall, a smuggling ship, and you’re on the run from the Huts after making off with a little “spice” to, uh, smuggle… an all too common scenario we of course all can relate to. Your first mate ZO-E3, or Zoe to her friends, is voiced by SNL alum Maya Rudolph. Zoe gets you started by telling you how to flip the right doohickey and turn the right whatchamacallit and punch the Windfall into hyperdrive to make a quick getaway.
After a thrilling escape, you are free to move about the ship and explore a lot of really well done set design and artwork. Some of the objects you can interact with, which is a lot of fun, but it’s not long before you’re asked to spring into action once again when you are unexpectedly pulled out of hyperspace by Admiral Karius of the Galactic Empire, and an Imperial Interdictor vessel. You are led down to the planet Mustafar, where you are greeted by some very blaster-happy troopers, and Admiral Karius. Karius explains that you, smuggling scum, will be assisting our titular character, Anakin Skywa…I mean… Darth Vader…
Obviously I was really excited to see Darth Vader. It was a really really cool reveal and I got to say that when he does walk up to you it’s pretty imposing. It does present a little silly at times with some of the more mystical aspects of Vader’s history or character, but in this game he is nevertheless still a very threatening FORCE not to be reckoned with. Once you open the Tesseract or MacGuffin box or space Rubik’s cube …you meet Vylip Foma, an imprisoned Mustafarian and lore master of his clan. Vylip helps you and Zoe escape the holding cell and puts you on a lift, or as I called it the Darth-Ele-Vader, hehe, sending you deep into the Mustafarian caverns to find the Priestess, and get you off the planet.
This part of the game featured a lot of the aspects that I kind of loved and hated, while I will be talking about both things and why, first wanna talk about things that I loved. First being the interaction between you and some of the set pieces. There are a lot of unique and intuitive ways to twist knobs and turn dials to get you onto the next steps in the quest, After you spend some time learning the movement mechanics you do traverse the map pretty easily by point-and-click or grabbing handles and ladders and pulling yourself up this is one aspect of the game that I did really enjoy but I did notice a few glitches where you would kind of drift in and out of the geometry and also there were a few points where it was a little difficult to tell whether or not you were on the ground. But once you got the hang of it you did move through these obstacles fairly quickly with a little difficulty.
Zoe then leads you to what I consider my favorite section of episode one, the light saber room. Here we find a light saber sitting on the podium and when you pick it up you immediately feel this sense of childhood astonishment and wonder. It is at this point when we meet a training droid and the tutorial begins.
The fighting mechanics are actually really tight, and the Move motion controller is the ideal standin for this iconic weapon. With big wide swipes or quick blocks, you really do feel like no power in the verse can stop you. Er… did I reference the wrong space movie? Anyway… once you and Zoe climb and scale your way through more Mustafarian terrain, you come to another aspect I really enjoyed about this light saber, talk about machete order, this thing cuts through beams like vines in a jungle.
After some very chilling eavesdropping on Vader and his cloaked companion, you discover that you might be one of the last descendant of “Lady Corvax”, and that is why you could activate the artifact. You also learn that Vader is up to his old tricks again, trying to gain mastery over death itself.
After finding your way though more caverns you and Zoe are attacked by storm troopers with blasters! So be thankful that they couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn as you attempt to deflect the blaster fire back at the troopers. I enjoyed this fight from an arcade shooter perspective. The blaster deflections feel great and the artwork and animation work so well together that it makes this almost seamless.
You and Zoe find the priestess in a massive temple hidden in the caverns, and after a short conversation, she does the chosen one thing, and we are told the story of Lady Corvax. The actual backstory of Lady Corvax is fairly contrived and we’ve heard it 1 million times before in 1 million other stories, but that’s not the thing I want to pay attention to here. The thing that I really wanna focus on is the art. I really love this massive fully immersive 360° painting that is constantly flowing around you like water it feels like you’re in a planetarium made out of paint …like a paintarium… But the story itself is not the main focus.
I would argue that it’s told in a very interesting way, not fairly unique because we’ve seen very similar stories play out at the beginnings of lots of movies like black panther or even the latest Hellboy which if you didn’t see it on him that’s most of us… But just because it’s not refreshing doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect. I would say that this way to tell a story is a very nice break from the usual exposition from another character while you walk through the Corredor so thank you game for at least trying to be different.
But all good things must come to an end as you wake up to find the Priestess trying to convince you to help Vader In his quest to find the bright star and master death itself.
Hands-down my biggest complaint about this game is probably the segment. There’s just too much going on for you to really control the movement, and fight off all the robots very easily. You sort of have to click around a lot. It’s a lot of clicking with one hand and defending with the other. It just feels very repetitive in a way that can kind of take you out of what would otherwise be considered some pretty cool action so I do appreciate where this game is going this is probably my least favorite section. That being said you are rewarded at the end by Vader doing probably the coolest move I’ve seen which is force taking your light saber And just dual wield killing the last droid. It’s definitely worth the wait, and feels almost like a Mortal Kombat fatality… Almost.
Vader senses a latent force ability within you, and tells you that you will need the force if you are to survive the road ahead, so moving forward I am assuming that Darth Vader is going to train you and that is the coolest thing ever? But if you wanna find out what happens next you gotta play episode two. This is the end of episode one. Over all I really enjoyed the experience. I’m looking forward to checking out the other installments in the series and I look very forward to the future of VR storytelling in video games.