AMD & NVIDIA GPU VR Performance in Trials on Tatooine

Author:Kyle Bennett

Date: Thursday , August 11, 2016

Anyone that buys into an HTC Vive headset will almost assuredly want to wield a lightsaber...for free. This short VR demo built by Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB aims to put you in a photo-realistic Star Wars environment. Trials on Tatooine is not easy going on all GPUs though and not all will provide a premium VR experience.

What is Trials on Tatooine?

Trials on Tatooine is "A Cinematic Virtual Reality Experiment." In short it is a VR demo available on Steam at the low low price of $0. As mentioned above, it allows us to get our hands on a "real" lightsaber for the first time. I have probably played through this 7 minute demo at least 50 times now and the novelty of handling the lightsaber has not worn off yet. If you are a Star Wars fan, you will want to give this a try. An HTC Vive is required as you might have guessed, since you will need a handheld motion controller in a roomscale environment.

Lucasfilm's ILMxLAB built the demo. This "secret shop" seems to be working on all sorts of VR and AR experiences as you can see in this video.

Commence your Jedi training in this Star Wars virtual reality demo experience. Repair the Millennium Falcon, defend it from attack by Imperial Stormtroopers, and wield a LIGHTSABER.

Trials on Tatooine was released on Steam about a month ago. Besides being able to jump into the Star Wars universe, this is what caught my eye as I was searching through VR titles to review here.

Recommended Graphics: NVIDIA GTX TITAN X

This is the first time I have seen any GPU above a GTX 980 suggested if I recall correctly. Needless to say, Trials on Tatooine was immediately put onto my short list for reviewing. This will mark our third VR-centric GPU performance review, with The Gallery Ep. 1 Call of Starseed and Raw Data being the focus of our first two.

The Experience is Different this Time

The Trials on Tatooine demo is very much different from either of the other two games we have covered. First and foremost, it is not a "game" but rather an "on-rails" linear experience. There is nothing you can do in terms of "gameplay" that can change the story and the timing of what goes on; at least not that I can identify.

It is not near as forgiving in terms of visuals as was Call of Starseed or Raw Data. Where Starseed is a slow moving exploration game, and Raw Data is fast moving but in a dimly lit environment, Trials on Tatooine takes place on the well lit planet of Tatooine (surprise) before sunset(s), and has fast moving spacecraft as well as a lightsaber to fling around as wildly as you want. These factors contribute to being able to easily identify artifacting caused by Reprojection, which is the technology that the HTC Vive uses to combat motion sickness when the headset's framerates drop from 90fps to 45fps. We will talk about that more in our analysis.