You had me at lightsabers

by | Jan 20, 2022 | Games | 0 comments

Ask any child from the Star Wars era whether they’d like to play with a lightsaber, and it’s a good bet you’ll get an enthusiastic “YES!” Yet from cardboard tubes to telescoping light-up plastic replicas, nothing quite did the trick.

Why?

First and foremost, you couldn’t actually cut anything with them. Naturally, since these toys and DIY weapons were meant for kids, nobody wanted them to be dangerous. And despite garage mad scientists’ efforts in the decades since, actual plasma-flamethrower versions require too much cumbersome equipment and safety gear to “play” with. Not being solid, the latter couldn’t be used in a proper duel no matter how much caution you threw to the wind.

Enter Beat Saber

It’s not billed as a lightsaber game or licensed by Lucasfilm/Star Wars/Disney (to the best of my knowledge). But come on. It’s a lightsaber rhythm game for VR. In a virtual space, you listen to boppy electronic tunes as blocks (a.k.a. targets) hurtle toward you. In time with the beat, you slash them in half. Haptic feedback in the VR controllers makes it FEEL like you cut something in half. There’s that barest hint of “just like butter” resistance that simulated how you’d imagine a lightsaber felt cutting through something.

While there is no combat mode or sparring or anything Jedi-like about the game portion, you could conceive of it as a training program for Padawans before they’re turned loose to train with real weapons.

You get to feel like a lightsaber-wielding badass for the length of your stay in VR space. (Just don’t let anyone take a video and show you later… it’s less spectacular from a spectator viewpoint).

…and now I’ve made myself want to find mods for Beat Saber with Star Wars music. *cue Mos Eisley cantina band*

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