PlayStation 4 owners will soon be able to swing lightsabers in virtual reality as Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series is coming to PlayStation VR, the console maker announced on May 4, known as Star Wars Day.
While no release date for Vader Immortal is set, developer ILMxLAB said it expects the experience to release sometime this summer. The PlayStation VR version will include all three episodes originally released separately on Oculus platforms. The chapters were listed at $10 each initially, but there hasn’t been a price point given for the PSVR release.
The first episode allows players to work with Darth Vader as he looks to uncover an ancient mystery. Players also use a droid companion to help learn more about the Star Wars universe and can hone their lightsaber skills through training. The second episode sees players learn to master the Force as they take on enemies and learn about the planet of Mustafar. The finale, which came out in November 2019, let players get face-to-face with Vader in a lightsaber duel.
“Our goal was to tell a new and unique story about one of the most infamous villains in the galaxy,” Mark Miller, ILMxLAB executive creative producer, wrote on the PlayStation Blog. “We wanted to bring you into the world of Star Wars in a way that could only be done through immersive storytelling in VR. This would put you right in the middle of the action to connect with amazing characters as your actions move the story forward.”
Vader Immortal is part of the current Star Wars canon and delves into new details about Darth Vader’s past. Miller previously worked with the LucasFilm Story Group to develop stories for films and used a similar process to come up with its story alongside writer and executive producer David S. Goyer.
Gameplay was an iterative process that saw ILMxLAB collaborate with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice developer Ninja Theory to make sure that wielding a lightsaber would live up to fans’ dreams. Working together, the two studios improved combat by giving players the freedom to block blaster fire and parry attacks with the iconic weapon.
Despite receiving some complaints about the first episode feeling like a tech demo, Vader Immortal persisted, and the final chapter received critical acclaim. It was awarded the Best AV/VR Game at the 2020 Game Developers Choice Awards and won the Producers Guild Innovation Award.