Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order DEALS
Now, there’s always been conscientious of video games and the film industry that when attempting to work together, hasn’t been a recipe for success. Though one film series has had some considerable success with video games, Star Wars. From the early days of games like Knights of the Old Republic, Battlefront 2 (the untainted one), and there have been some right stinkers – Kinect Star Wars, anyone?
As you sure know that EA has had a licence for some time. And have made a grand total of 2 games, Star Wars Battlefront which was alright but didn’t exactly set my trousers alight, and Battlefront 2 (the tainted one), which was a drab single-player campaign, with a multiplayer being built around a loot box economy. During a time where having lootboxes in your game was a death sentence, and created headlines and caused some politicians to take note. In their defence, they have removed them and it’s much better, but still has the stench of the past on the game.
Now we come to today’s offering, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order which comes from the team down at Respawn Entertainment (the guys behind the titanfall series, and recently Apex legends). With a single-player only, which given that in the past that EA came out and said that single-player games where dead. Oh, how foolish they were.
The plot takes place after Revenge of the Sith – 5 years to be exact. When after order 66, the Jedi are all but extinct except a few of them have managed to slip through the cracks. Like Cal Kestis (played by Cameron Monaghan), former Jedi Padawan hiding out on the planet Bracca. Getting by as a scrapper, until a work colleague almost got into an accident if it wasn’t for Cal using the force. Which reveals his identity to the empire which retaliates by sending Inquisitors after him, (folks who are on the dark side of the force, with lightsabers).
After a brief chase and a “boss” battle, Cal is saved by former Jedi Cere junda and four-armed pilot Greez. Which then the gang go to Bogano where an ancient vault is located, Cal meets BD-1 who then shows him a message from a former Jedi Master who hid a Holocron containing a list of force-sensitive kids which could help rebuild the Jedi. This is locked behind a vault and the only way is to pick up the trail – all the while staying one step ahead of the Empire. All that without delving into the Sarlacc pit of spoilers is pretty much the plot in a nutshell.
It wasn’t the world’s most exciting plot In the world, but has a sort of “camp” edge to it which makes it work. Good central core to the plot, characters with interesting Arcs, and there are some familiar faces like Saw Gerrera from Rogue One, and is voiced by Forest Whitaker as well. Which does win brownie points for authenticity in my books and there are other smaller stories dotted about the worlds which do help build the world and set the scene of the times. Towards the end it did feel a bit sped up a bit too much, it could have been placed a little bit better, but overall, I enjoyed the story. Kept me engaged all the way through.
We come to the gameplay. which is a blend of “Dark Souls meets Uncharted meets Metroidvania”. So the Combat is very much Dark Soulsian. Killing stormtroopers and other stuff earns you XP, which allows you to upgrade. If you die then you lose all your XP (but if you’ve earned skill points then that’s not affected). Which can be retrieved fairly simply by hitting the offender that killed you previously, and with bomb fires now as places to meditate – so far, so Dark Souls, but it has the distinctive Star Wars things as well.
You have the force at your disposal, you can push people, pull them towards you, and even slow them down. Which was it so if you had dreams of mind tricking a stormtrooper off a cliff, then you may need to leave that on hold. Still endlessly enjoyable to throw a squad of troopers off a cliff, or slow down a purge trooper for a free hit. It does need to be managed as you have a finite amount of force energy to use, but can be replenished by going on the attack, or later on in the game, there are a few upgrades that will help you with that.
Like Dark Souls you also have to manage your stamina, but it mainly applies to your defence which is a relief and easy, but if you want to parry or return blaster fire then it requires a bit of good timing. Also, unlike its counterpart is also has multiple difficulties. So, if you want the ballbusting difficulty it’s there, but if you want an easier time and just here for the story then there is an option for you. If you’re dismayed by the words “like Dark Souls” then don’t worry too much, but I enjoy the combat very much it challenging and captures the essence of being a lightsaber-wielding lunatic, and pushing bounty hunters off a cliff. But doesn’t make it too overpowered and paces well to the end on the upgrades as such.
Which then brings me neatly onto the Metroidvania comparisons. While the level design loops together and is quite big and expansive, you wouldn’t be able to explore every square yard from the get-go as there would be areas that you wouldn’t be able to access at first which will require certain upgrades which you pick up through general progression, so, it would be advisable to revisit previous areas – mainly for 100% completion, but there is some stuff that will help like upgrades to BD-1 and getting a double-bladed lightsaber. Although I do have a complaint that there isn’t a fast travel mechanic between those meditation points, or even another place to land your ship. Nothing against exploring but when you’re in the after game part and just have the planets to explore and looking for the 100% completion it would have been much more helpful in getting around.
Now, we come to the Uncharted comparison. Between the combat, there is a spot of platforming and puzzle-solving, which breaks it up well and is functional. This gets more complex as the game progress, and if you do get stuck then BD-1 and Cal will give out hints. Nothing really to shout about its functional and fine.
Putting it all together and is an enjoyable game. The combat does capture the feeling of being a Jedi and there is some variety to keep things fresh with some simple puzzles and platforming, the levels are a good size and enjoyable to explore – A fine experience overall.
Graphicly it looks alright and very Star Wars even when the game engine is Unreal which given anything by EA has the Frostbite engine plastered across it and marketed to hell and back. But if I had one issue is that it isn’t seamlessly optimized. To the extent where areas where they loading as I was walking through a passage, this isn’t great. Loading times are bad and can get on your nerves when you are in the “Edge of Tomorrow” cycle that these games will put you into. Oh, and the camera can have a mind of its own, so technically it could have been much better.
So the verdict? Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a good game. Very enjoyable and challenging combat and gameplay but yet still approachable. The story is very enjoyable, sure it may have been rushed towards the end but kept me engaged all the way through. There are one or two technical issues throughout, but I thoroughly enjoyed the game. See EA, Single-player games are good yeah?
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is easily the best game that has come out of the EA Sarlacc pit. Enjoyable and challenging combat, interesting worlds to explore and revisit as you get much more acquainted with the force. All the while being as approachable as a Labrador, but will still hold your hand slightly too much. Some technical issues with camera and optimization, but still an enjoyable game.
- Combat is challenging and enjoyable. All the while, approachable
- Enjoyable and fun story
- World to explore and get lost in
- Lack of fast travel
- Not optimized well enough
- The camera can have a mind of its own