Gamescom 2016: Star Wars Battlefront X-Wing VR Mission Almost Made Me Weep

Gamescom 2016: Star Wars Battlefront X-Wing VR Mission Almost Made Me Weep

Richard Walker

Upon first hearing that Star Wars Battlefront will be getting an X-Wing VR Mission for PlayStation VR, my initial reaction was to shrug. I love Star Wars, but it could so easily be a thrown together gimmick; a way to dupe fans into blindly purchasing virtual reality hardware for their PS4. I don't think I've ever been proven more wrong in my entire life. Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission (to give its full title) is sublime; a work of true beauty that actually puts you into the Star Wars universe.

Our demo begins in a sparse X-Wing hangar, our red R2 unit beeping and booping as it wheels around the the bay, waiting until I climb the ladder into the Rebel fighter and make my first voyage into battle. Sat in the cockpit, grinning like a goon, developer Criterion Studios guide me through the various sights surrounding me, including a little red button that opens your wings into attack position. Yes!

Once I've had ample time to soak in the confines of the X-Wing cockpit, it's time to head off on my first space flight, rendezvousing with the Rebel fleet above a blue-green Earth-like planet, moments before an Imperial ambush sends a swarm of TIE Fighters flying into the vicinity. Controller in hand, X-Wing VR Mission plays exactly like Battlefront's Fighter Squadron mode using the left stick to adjust the balance between thrust and weapon power, while the right stick manoeuvres your ship. L2 locks on to your target, and then you can blast your enemy with lasers and proton torpedoes.

As far as mixing up the gameplay goes, X-Wing VR Mission isn't really pushing the boat out all that much, but then Fighter Squadron doesn't really need altering, especially as it's familiar and immediate pick up and play fare. Within seconds we're shooting down TIEs like Luke Skywalker channeling the Force having had loads of coffee and his favourite breakfast cereal. Looking to the side at our targeting computer, we think how little we need it. No wonder Luke turned it off.

Spinning my head round a little further, I shoot my R2 unit a glance as the next wave of TIE Fighters swoop in to attack the fleet once again. Soaring past a Rebel transport and a Corellian Cruiser, while dispatching more TIEs, we take a second to look up, our jaw dropping as a Star Destroyer ominously glides overhead. We're really in the thick of it now, and I find myself starting to get a little emotional, as the VR Mission's power of wish fulfilment finally hits home. For all intents and purposes, I'm in Star Wars; a Rogue One pilot defending the Rebel fleet from the evil Empire.

Look down towards your feet and you'll see hands clasped around the X-Wing's joystick, your avatar (you) decked out in the fetching orange flight uniform worn by the Rebellion's pilots. I've barely played 10-15 minutes of a single mission, and I find myself unbelievably smitten by X-Wing VR Mission. The detail on show serves to make the entire experience feel entirely authentic, making for a slice of virtual reality Star Wars that's guaranteed to have every full-blooded Star Wars fan's Stormtrooper underwear in a twist. For the record, I actually own Stormtrooper underwear. Perhaps that's a little too much information.

To think that there's even more of this on the cards for the full DLC add-on when it launches later this year is exciting. Take into account the fact that it'll now include additional Rogue One content, and Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission makes a compelling argument for picking up a PlayStation VR headset and if you don't have it already, a copy of Star Wars Battlefront for PS4. This truly is set to be a definitive Star Wars VR experience, and even if you're only a casual fan, you're going to want to play this. Seriously.

Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission will be available as a free DLC on PS4 when it launches this holiday.

  • I got excited until I saw "VR". Not that I'm a VR hater. Just that everytime I see the Star Wars logo; I'm hoping that it's some Death Star DLC gameplay. My body is SOOO ready for the Death Star DLC lol.
  • Sorry richie but no. Ive absokutely NO DOUBT the awe and amazement will be an immense feeling. But gie it 1 hour and i bet the novelty factor will have qell and truly worn off.....spend £340 for a 15 minute wow factor? No thanks
  • Haters gonna hate. I wish all the haters swift deaths when VR gains ground and then they all be on the VR bandwagon
  • @3 I accidentally gave a thumbs up instead of a thumbs down. I apologize for the mixed signals. But really? Swift deaths to those people? There are much worse people who "deserve" to die.
  • @#3 The funny part is, I'm willing to bet that you've never even touched a VR headset lol
  • @3 I've got bad news for you. VR is a gimmick and it will never gain ground completely. Game companies will be pushing it hard for 2-3 years but eventually both them and game developers will realise that most people are still playing games on good old TV screens. The main problem with VR is its limitations: space, controls, comfort, and of course the price. VR games will never make more money than regular medium.
  • @6 For gaming it's just a cheap gimmick. But for other areas like surgeon training or actual combat practice for the army.
  • Most journalists reactions have been similar to yours, Richard. Leaving people giddy and excited despite having journalistic professionalism and standards to uphold. I have to raise an eyebrow at those scoffing at the idea of paying $399 for a cool tech demo such as this because you know, you can play other things on VR too, you don't JUST have to play this mission. Of course, if this is literally the only thing that has you excited about PSVR then -of course- it's not worth the asking price. I mean, DUH. But if you're excited for Rez, Batman Arkham VR, Ace Combat 7, Eve Valkyrie and the future of PSVR then it's worth the asking price. I'm trying it later today at Best Buy before I decide to buy but as if this moment I don't have it pre-ordered and don't have any intention of buying. But you know people, it could very well be enjoyable, even if it's a gimmick.
  • Haha I just love all of the psychics on here telling the future. Any one of you have the future winning powerball numbers by any chance??
  • i love it
  • OMFG you guys need to get over yourselves, we see you don't like VR, that doesn't mean its a flop, the market will show weather it is or isn't. But get real, and understand how the world works, IT WILL be a gimmick if no one buys it and the industry fails, BUT if people support it and it sells well(Vive, Oculus and PSVR) then there will be Gen 2 and Gen 3 and so on. If you don't think so ask people who were around in the early mid to early 80s about video games, at that time it was seen the same as you see VR a potential gimmick(and there are still people to this day who say ALL video games are gimmicks.
  • @11 get a grip. VR is a gimmick, a big fat expensive gimmick just like 3D. How can/could people say consoles were/are a gimmick? They serve a purpose, they play games. VR does not play games it is merely a viewing device just like 3d are severely clutching at straws. I Bet you've got PS VR pre ordered and never tried it havent you?
  • @3 I wonder how one can get onto the VR bandwagon, after he swiftly died ;)
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