As the hype cycle for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, another Jedi title has come to steal Respawn Entertainment’s thunder — Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast VR (aka JK XR).
Available now on Meta’s Quest, Quest 2 and Quest Pro headsets, Team Beef’s JK XR conversion brings one of the most beloved Star Wars games of all time into immersive virtual reality. Finally, you can wield all manner of blasters, thermal detonators, force powers and, of course, lightsabers with full movement controls inside your VR headset. While games such as Vader Immortal tease the feeling of being a Jedi, Jedi Outcast VR finally makes you feel like a true master of the force.
Released in 2002 by Raven Software, Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is the third game in the Dark Forces series. Following on from Star Wars Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, you play as now non-canon bounty hunter/torn Jedi warrior Kyle Katarn. After cutting himself off from The Force at the end of Dark Forces II, you pick up the lightsaber again to battle a dangerous Dark Jedi: Desaan.
On PC and console, Jedi Outcast was already a fun, if unbalanced, FPS that let you fully embrace the power fantasy of being a Jedi far above that of the films. However, in virtual reality, you are now even closer to the action, aiming blasters, throwing savers and even pushing and pulling enemies with The Force.
The first level of Jedi Outcast VR immediately slaps you into the world of the galaxy far, far away. Forcing your way through a Remnant Imperial base, you use a variety of blasters to blast down Stormtroopers and Imperial Officers as you investigate the nefarious actions of the remaining Empire.
In VR, Star Wars’ iconic laser-spewing firearms feel incredible as you swerve around corners, duck away from enemy blasts and fire from cover. Using the power of your movement, you duck behind the iconic Imperial set dressing to take out foes hiding on ledges or behind glass.
The second location, an Imperial mining station, starts with you crawling through air ducks and mining shafts before becoming a prison escape sequence where you rally an army of rebels against massive turrets and AT-STs. It’s a fan fiction delight happening right in front of your eyes. No, it’s a fan fiction delight that you are directly a part of.
However, it’s when you finally get your lightsaber and Force Powers that the power fantasy of Jedi Outcast VR truly becomes something unforgettable. As soon as the game becomes a battle against the Empire again during the events of Cloud City, you are the one-man army that the Star Wars Legends continuity was made for. Move over, Revan, set down Legends Luke Skywalker, I’m the Master Jedi now.
With dismemberment turned on, your lightsaber cuts through Stormtroopers like butter. Opening a door reveals a room filled with space fascists, a push of your left hand sends a few sprawling on the floor. Turning around, you deflect a barrage of blaster shots with your saber as you advance before hacking through the iconic Star Wars villains.
Moments like these are when Jedi Outcast VR become more than just an awesome Star Wars game, but one of the best VR experiences in general. Since the launch of VR, gamers have wanted to be a proper Jedi. Modders have turned games such as Blade and Sorcery, Boneworks and more into Jedi simulators and, while their combat may be more VR friendly, Jedi Outcasts sheer power fantasy design puts them all to shame.
Of course, there are issues with Jedi Outcast VR. At the time of writing, the game’s force power crosshair can be a bit hard to see, making it hard to nail your impressive space powers. There are also a fair few bugs — many of which are likely leftovers from the original game — that can make the experience less than ideal. Furthermore, there’s the entirety of Nar Shaddaa, an awful level filled with grenade-throwing Greans and cross-map sniping Rodians. We will never forget.
If you happen to have an Oculus Quest VR headset, Jedi Outcast VR is a must-play conversion. With a Jedi Academy conversion also on the way from the wizards at Team Beef, and vetted mod support through their Companion App, there’s hours upon hours of Jedi fun to be had in virtual reality.
While we’re still excited for Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Survivor later this month, we can’t help but think: “Damn, but what if it was in VR?”
For more articles like this, take a look at our Opinion , Features , Star Wars , VR , and Entertainment pages.