Over the weekend we learned that ILMxLAB would be bringing the experimental Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine cinematic VR experience to Steam for free for all HTC Vive users to try out. The developer initially made headlines back at GDC this year when the experience was first playable and have since been tight-lipped about its viability as a commercial product, until now.
Those expecting a fully realized VR Star Wars game should quell their excitement a bit, as this is clearly marketed and described as a short, cinematic experience more than it is a completed game. The Steam page describes the experience in totality:
The creative minds of Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB present a virtual reality experiment set in a galaxy far, far away…Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine. For the first time ever, wield a lightsaber as you leap into action in the most immersive Star Wars virtual reality experience ever. Be transported to the desert world of Tatooine, repair the iconic Millennium Falcon, and defend the plucky droid hero R2-D2 from incoming stormtroopers in this captivating experience set after the events of Return of the Jedi.
The Steam page also includes usage notes outlining tips to maximize your performance since it’s one of the more visually demanding VR experiences on the market.
We’ve played a number of games that seem inspired by Star Wars, including Lightblade VR and Raw Data — games which give you blades that can deflect incoming energy beams just like a Jedi. In the official VR experience, though, you are immersed in all the sounds and sights you would expect from a title officially sanctioned by Disney. It’s not a long experience, but it’s free and there’s nothing quite like using an actual lightsaber to deflect fire back at actual stormtroopers running your direction.
Anyone with an HTC Vive can download the brief romp across a galaxy far, far away on Steam.