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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 28 - 2019

Force push this game to the top of your list, Star Wars fans.

 
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away there was a movie called Star Wars. This quickly became a trilogy of movies which, over time, became a trilogy of trilogies. Along side the movies, there came comics, books, toys, TV shows and every imaginable form of merchandising. There were also video games, but they were of such mixed quality that no one could guess from one release to the next if they would even be worth playing. EA’s own Star Wars Battlefront games looked and played really well, but were lacking in some areas and downright offensive in others, and so when EA announced a single player Star Wars game that would be developed by Respawn Entertainment, hope was high but expectations were tempered. Now, with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order out in the wild, players are able to experience the best Star Wars game in many years, even though it actually does very little new.

 


 
A large part of why Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is so good comes down to the way it fits within the Star Wars universe. The game is set five years after the conclusion of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and follows young Jedi Cal Kestis. After Order 66 set the Clone Troopers against the Jedi, many Jedi went into hiding. Cal is one such Jedi who has since found himself scrapping star ships on Bracca as he tries to stay under the radar. However, at the very beginning of the game, an incident makes him use his force powers and it is not long before the Empire sets an inquisitor on his tail. What follows is an incredibly impressive escape sequence which ends with Cal being rescued by a former Jedi master. From here, Cal is tasked with finding a Jedi Holocron that contains the details of force-sensitive children, with a view to rebuilding the Jedi order.

 
The story is well written and perfectly fits in with the surrounding movies and lore. While the lead character Cal may not be the most engaging character ever seen on screen, his personal progression makes him likeable, and the surrounding cast of characters, both good and bad, give the player plenty to invest in. With some truly epic cut scenes and plenty of twists and turns to the story, Fallen Order places itself well as an essential experience for any Star Wars fan that wants to piece all of the franchise together. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the game is absolutely gorgeous, or that Cal’s accompanying droid, BD-1, will quickly rise to the top of the Star Wars droid pile. There are even some guest appearances along the way that will have the fans simply wetting themselves.

 


 
Fallen Order at times feels like a full on cinematic experience, but in-between those moments the player will have to entertain themselves with some gameplay. The game play is why Fallen Order feels unoriginal, as it seems to have taken very obvious inspiration from a number of other games. Don’t get me wrong, each aspect of the game is very well done and works as it should, but when they all come together it becomes apparent that there is no real unique aspect to the game, other than being set in the Star Wars universe, that is.

 
So, Fallen Order takes a slice of Uncharted in the way that Cal is able to climb around the environment. Right at the very start, when Cal is negotiating his way around the space ship scrap yard, and across the various other planets that the player will visit that just so happen to have trees or rocky outcrops to climb in order to reach areas, the smooth and simple climbing will feel right at home to Uncharted players. I would never have expected such a mechanic in a Star Wars games, but it works well and allows the maps to pack in the secrets.

 
As the game progresses, there are other influences that make themselves clear, such as the Metroidvania backtracking to reach new areas once new abilities are unlocked, or the Zelda-like puzzles and dungeons. However, the most blatant influence comes from the combat, which almost smells of Soulsborne. A pair of simple lightsaber attacks are complimented with parry and block options that give the combat a much more considered feeling. Combined with an ever-growing selection of force abilities that can be used in inventive ways, fighting the games enemies feels empowering. While Fallen Order is no where near as tricky as a proper Soulsborne game, difficulty levels can be tweaked to add more challenge for those that need it.

 


 
To top off the Soulsborne influence, Fallen Order also employs their own equivalent of bonfires. These Meditation points allow the player to save the game. They also restock the player with stimpacks while resetting enemies. Further, Cal will be able to improve at these points through experience, which will give rise to increases in health or force, or whole new skills such as being able to throw the lightsaber.

 
The course of the story will take Cal to a variety of different places, each with their own environments and themes, where the player will be free to explore within the confines of the area. Following the main quest can be quite linear, but there are plenty of secrets to be found along the way, and new areas can be reachable when the player unlocks new abilities down the line. BD-1 will help along the way by administering health as needed or scanning the areas to get as much information as possible. Hidden areas will often lead to new cosmetic items such as skins for BD-1 or new ponchos for Cal to wear. While this may not make the most compelling reason for revisiting areas, it’s nice nonetheless.

 
There are a couple of wrinkles in the formula though. Backtracking is something that players will get used to, but reaching a goal and then having to trek back to the ship seems to take far too long at times, which is frustrating. It also doesn’t help that the holographic map, courtesy of BD-1, can be quite difficult to read. Some glitches along the way can take off the shine as well. These are all minimal complaints of a game that really is very enjoyable.

 


 
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order runs for around 15 hours, which turns out to be just the right amount of time. The Star Wars feel, combined with meaningful combat and exciting exploration, results in the sort of game that will interest both Star Wars fans and those looking for a single player action adventure. EA and Respawn have hit the spot with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and I can’t wait to see more.

 

 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 



 

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