- Game narrative and story telling
- High fidelity while still running smooth
- Lots of collectibles and upgrades to achieve
- Combat system
- Upgrade system
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Review
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the new much-anticipated Action/Adventure title for PC, Xbox, and PS4. The buzz around this game has been staggering. Many factors lead to this game either looking like a giant dumpster fire or a candidate for the game of the year.
For starters, the last Star Wars game released was BattleFront 2. That game released to huge controversies over in-game loot boxes and items locked behind paywalls. Respawn Entertainment, the makers of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, stated there would be no loot boxes the internet remained rightfully skeptical. Time and time again we’ve have been fed that line only to be shown later that it was a complete and utter liar. Now on the other side, Respawn entertainment is widely renowned as one of the better developers in the industry. They are the company responsible for all of the Titan Fall games and the record-breaking BR Apex Legends.
Design and performance
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is quite the site the behold. The visuals are on par, and I would even say better, than most recent triple-A games. Each level is packed with well thought out and fully fleshed environments. The levels are packed to the brim with foliage, hideaways, and a plethora of little collectibles to make it all feel overflowing with life.
One of the only real downsides I had to the games level design was how much it was on rails. While you can go down paths and gather some collectibles, each of these excursions only lasts a few minutes and is often ended by an unlockable door that comes into play later. Now I’m not saying it’s entirely negative, this game was never meant to be a crazy open-world adventure. But a little more exploration beyond heading straight to your next task would have been a welcome feature.
Okay so it looks great but how does it play? Well to be completely honest we are a bit indecisive on which direction to go on this one. Combat in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a little bit of a mixed bag. While the actual mechanics are solid and relatively intuitive, they are pretty simple and seem to follow the Dark Souls approach to combat. What that means is you will spend the vast majority of your combat rolling and dodging from attacks instead of actual up close and personal lightsaber combat. Now we admit this may be their design choice. This may have been entirely what they wanted it to feel like, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. Combat timings are incredibly difficult to master.
While you can parry enemy attacks it almost feels impossible. The timing of triggering parry events is incredibly slim due to animation timing. By the time they are animating for an attack, you have a very short window to hit parry. If they manage to get one attack off you may as well just forget parry exists because you will be stun locked in a “damaged” animation that will persist long after their next attack in the chain. Even with all that said, we still want to lean on the side of decent for combat mechanics. They aren’t terrible and were certainly not bad enough to hamper our enjoyment from the game.
Now the real place this game shines is the level traversal. This was one of the mechanics that had that holy shit I’m a Jedi feeling. To complete each level you will need to run along walls, swing from ropes, use the force to overcome obstacles, and just overall be a Jedi badass.
One thing we were happy to see in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was the inclusion of a rare mechanic in games these days, puzzles. Most games these days are focused on the action and never really stop to think about how to spice up the filler. Games of old were notorious for including tons of puzzles to solve along the way. Games like Zelda, Tomb Raider, and Myst were all great examples of that. Now we aren’t saying that the puzzles in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen order are going to ravage your brain and make you think. But they provided just enough stimuli while exploring to keep your mind fresh.
Finally, we come to the “RPG” elements to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. While the game is not marketed as an RPG, rightfully so, it does include some RPG game elements. As you play you will level up your Jedi and unlock points to spend in a skill tree. There are three different branches to choose from and a variety of skills to choose from. I would call the skill tree very “RPG lite”.
While there are three branches to pick and choose from we found by the time we were 10 hours or so in we had unlocked enough points to just buy everything, this made the whole different branches idea kind of moot. While we appreciated the inclusion of some RPG elements they felt like they were not needed. A more traditional automatically unlocking new skills probably would have made more sense here given that deciding what to spec in really made no difference.
Overall Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a very welcome addition to the Star Wars universe of games. Respawn appears to have created a Star Wars game a notch above the others. No microtransactions, no purchasable add-ons what so ever. The game styling in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is beautiful and very well fleshed out. Combat is a bit lackluster and mainly involves rolling and dodging out of the way. This system is not our favorite choice. Especially when the combat is centered around something like a lightsaber.
Adventuring and exploring, while a bit restrictive and on rails, is fun and includes a lot of little puzzles and collectibles. Overall we would highly recommend Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. If you are a fan of the Star Wars universe then this is a must buy. Otherwise, it is still a solid choice for anyone looking for a new action/adventure game.
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