I've decided to do my student's choice presentation on the VR game Vader Immortal
Vader Immortal is a VR star wars game intended to make you feel like your in the world of star wars. You are a smuggler operating near Mustafar, the fiery world Darth Vader calls home. When you are unexpectedly pulled out of hyperspace, you find yourself uncovering an ancient mystery at the behest of the Sith Lord himself. With the help of your droid companion, ZO-E3, you will navigate the dangers of the fortress, hone your lightsaber skills, and meet new characters along the way as you discover what Vader is up to.
In Vader Immortal the menu is pretty standard and allows the player to choose whatever option they want by pushing the indicated buttons. When you first launch the game it asks you the type of VR experience you wish to have. These choices only affect the way the player wishs to move within the game. Standard VR Mode allows you to be able to use the teleport function to move the player around and in Comfortable VR Mode the player can move using a joystick or pad. It is stated that only those who are comfortable with movement in VR should pick this setting. Custom VR Mode is exactly what you think, the player can customize movement, height, and anything else that applies to the player.
On the next menu after you select what type of VR mode you would like to play in is the game main menu. On this menu
you can start the game, go into the lightsaber dojo, go into chapter select, or go into the setting. What you can
do in the setting will be discussed later.
In the lightsaber dojo you will practice attacking and defending yourself with a lightsaber. Robotic orbs will come out of the ground and fly around you. You can cut them down before they get into position to practice your saber swings or wait and be able to practice deflecting lasers. The orbs will move into your field of view so if you turn around the orbs will move so they are in front of you. This training simulation has an interface at the top that you can see which displays info about the game and the player. From left to right the indicators are Training mode level, Player health, Level tries, and time remaining to complete a level. The player can get hit 6 times before failing a level and you only get 3 tries for each level. Each level increases in difficulty with more orbs appearing that you have to destory by either cutting them down or deflecting their laser back at them. After completing a level you will receive symbol points which are used to unlock different types and colors for lightsabers. Back all the way to the main menu settings is where you can customize your lightsaber and the arena where you do training. While in the lightsaber make sure not to move too much as the game will prompt you to move back into the play area.
In Vader Immortal there are various game mechanics that affect the players game exprience. On the spaceship there are visual intructions on what to do in order the continue the story. These hints will pop up later on if the player gets stuck and takes too long. After the inital sequence the player will be able to move around the space ship and interact with some of the objects. Player movement will be different depending on what VR Mode the player chose. If the player chose standard VR mode then teleport movement is enabled and the color of the teleport indicate will tell you whether the player can move to the highlighted area or not. If the light is blue the player can move, if the light is red the player cannot move there, and if the light is gray that means movement is disabled. Some items that the player will find include a helmet sitting on the bed. The player can put on and take off the helmet whenever they feel like it. However the helmet does cover up some of the screen so players usually choose to take it off otherwise you can have it on for the entire duration of the game. Other ojects as seen in the pictures below can also be interacted with. Upon picking up a certain item your AI droid companion, ZO-E3, will give you some history and back story on what the item is, where you obtained the item, how you got the item, and other kinds of dialogue. After playing around the stuff in your ship you are prompted to help analzye the ship and see what kinds of damage the ship has taken. The ships interface is very easy to navigate and has colored indicates on what to do next.
As seen in the pictures only the players hands will be visible as well as any in-game objects the player picks up. The player cannot see their body and their hands can have full motion capabilities which means they can individually move their fingers if the user possesses the hardware capable of such actions. As you explore the world of star wars and go through the story there are various things you have to do to progress the story. One of these things is using tools, as you progress through the game you will find tools to help you in your struggles. Whenever you find a new tool it is then automatically added to you tool belt. Unlike other games this game does not have a user interface of viewing inventory and such. In this game all your tools hover around you at your waist and become visible when any tool from the belt is needed. The player can pick up any tool from their belt and use it. The player can also throw the tool away however, the tool just teleports back to the players belt. In the pictures below you can see the tools around the player, the player being able to pick up the tool, the player using the tool, and the world responding to the players action. Along with using tools the player can interact with some of the world directly however, this is only when the player needs to climb up and down ladders and structures.
We can't forget the most important tool in star wars, which is the lightsaber. Below you will see that the lightsaber has been added to the players belt and will hover there whenever the player needs it. The lightsaber has the same mechanics as it does in the lightsaber dojo. The player is able to cut down only enemies and certain objects. Sadly you can't just go around cutting everything you see to pieces that would break the game. Instead the game shows you like a welding cut effect whenever you try to cut into anything you're not suppose to. The accuracy of the lightsaber is really well done as it shows some of the streak marks on the objects and enemies you cut. It also accurately cuts objects at the position where the player cuts it instead of playing an a set animation when it comes in contact with the lightsaber. It also accurately deflects lasers and other lightsaber hits. Deflecting lasers is harder than it looks, the game doesn't just auto reflect the projectile back at the target it requires the player to put in some skill to be able to return the laser back to its sender. As for deflecting other sabers it does a really good job at collision detection and really feels like you are in a saber fight. Of course the lightsaber swings effects and sound are included mechanics in the game and can actually be quite disorienting or annoying if you keep mindlessly swinging at high speeds. Another cool mechanic that I know people were wondering about is that no you can't kill yourself with the lightsaber it just goes through the camera where you head is suppose to be. The lightsaber will only interact with visable objects in the game. The being said yes you can try to cut your hands with the lightsaber however, the saber will automatically retract. The game isn't fast enough the catch the collision to retract the exact moment your hand touches the saber, so it can go through your hand but, you won't get hurt.
All images are from screenshots collected from these gameplays with the exception of the Lightsaber Dojo Reward Settings PageLightsaber Dojo Reward Settings Page. https://i.imgur.com/sD3NcyO.jpg
Overall, this game is amazing it is very well detailed and you really feel like your in the world of star wars. A couple
things that I thought were done really well was the AI. The AI was simply fantastic your robotic companion really pushs the
story and guides you through the world along with being very talkative. You can feel and hear the emotions in her voice despite
being a robot. The detail and precision of the tools is really good as well, some things require the player to grab and pull in
a certain direction, some require the player to pull things out and plug things in, some require the player to grab and twist. The
types of interacts are great and make it like your trying to solve a puzzle. While puzzles in other games feel unnecessary the puzzles
in this game really fit the settings that its in and they don't feel like gruely boring puzzles like in zelda games. The story is well
thought out and interesting. The ending for the first episode leaves you on a cliffhanger wanting more and the second episode really
delievers that. The soundtrack is great, especially when you hear that iconic vader music. Things that could have been done better is definitely the lighting. Everything seems so dark in the game thats
its hard to see what is happenning or what it is you need to do, although the game tries to counter balance it by having bright
lights and indicators it is still somewhat of a nuisance. I was going to add that being able to use the force wasn't in the game, however
it was a mechanic added in the second episode so I ain't complaining. I tried to review the game as best as I can without ruining any
of the story or key points of it. There is still one more episode that has yet to come out but overall with the series as it is now I
rate it a 9/10. The Vader Immortal Series is currently only availble on the Oculus Quest and might be availble on other platforms in
the future. Below are links to the oculus site to purchase the current episodes.
Vader Immortal Episode I
Vader Immortal Episode II