Star wars jedi: fallen order review


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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order isn’t what I expected from a Star Wars game, và that’s ultimately a very good thing.

I spend a lot of time with our hero, Cal Kestis, as he slides down funnels of ice — or hills of mud, on some planets — timing my jumps lớn get me to lớn vines on which I can swing khổng lồ another slide. It reminds me more of Crash Bandicoot than Dark Forces or Knights of the Old Republic.

This is because Fallen Order isn’t an action or role-playing game; it’s about exploration và discovery. The traversal is the entire point. There are many moments in the game that feel lượt thích Lara Croft or Nathan Drake was handed a lightsaber.

And I despise the game for my first few hours. I never watched the Star Wars movies & thought, How cool it would be khổng lồ go rock climbing? I never wanted to lớn be a Jedi so I could be alone with my thoughts and my droid, swinging on vines & collecting new ponchos.

It doesn’t help that Kestis is such a vanilla character, with little discernible personality. The crashes, frame rate issues, and time I spent getting stuck in the game’s geometry made it hard to even want lớn continue, much less enjoy myself.

And then, slowly, across the next few hours, I began to warm to Jedi: Fallen Order, & then finally enjoy its charms, despite its flaws. It becomes one of the more interesting stories we’ve seen in a Star Wars game, with enough twists & surprises to lớn snare anyone who is a tín đồ of the lore.

There is no order

Cal Kestis was a padawan — an apprentice Jedi — when Emperor Palpatine sent out Order 66, a command that began the Great Jedi Purge, wiping out the vast majority of the Jedi order in a few minutes. Kestis is forced to lớn hide in a shipyard until he finds that he’s being hunted by the Empire, near the same time he learns of a possible way to lớn bring the Jedi back to the power nguồn they once enjoyed. But the Empire also has a few new ideas for how lớn track, & ultimately kill, the last remaining Jedi, và it begins khổng lồ race Kestis for control of an object of great power.

Time to raid some tombs! Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
Jedi: Fallen Order answers the question of what happens to some of the few surviving Jedi, và their apprentices, when their tư vấn structure and governmental authority is wiped out. Suddenly, fighting with a lightsaber is nothing but an advertisement for their own death. Doing what it takes to survive in that environment is a major theme of the game, along with trying to make things better for the Jedi, if such a thing is even possible.

Kestis is after a MacGuffin that may help him reclaim the Jedi order và restore it to some khung of power. He’s helped by a ship filled with the standard ragtag selection of gamblers and outcasts from the Star Wars universe, as well as a helpful & adorable droid named BD-1 who operates as his companion. BD-1 is played by Ben Burtt (the actual sound designer for the Star Wars movies) và has more personality and expression in his animation và vocalizations than Kestis is ever able lớn provide.

In fact, all the side characters in the game are more interesting than Kestis, with their own failures, triumphs, and arcs that make me wish more time was spent on them instead of the bland nhân vật we’re stuck with. This is often a problem with mainline Star Wars properties, although the most recent films have done a much better job of not just focusing on the one chosen dude who comes from nowhere và is great because we’re told he is. Kestis is a bit of a step backward, but at least the supporting cast và those you meet along the way are much more memorable than this eternally confused blank slate.

Tomb Raiding and lightsaber fighting

What I actually do in Fallen Order is travel lớn a variety of planets, raid tombs, explore jungles, swim under the legs of AT-ATs, và try lớn stay one step ahead of the Empire. My companions stay in the ship during my adventures, for the most part, & it’s up lớn me to explore each area lớn find clues about the next step in my quest.

The most pressing challenge is almost always trying khổng lồ figure out how khổng lồ get from point A to lớn point B, which is a refreshing shift for the Star Wars universe. There are battles, and some of them are glorious, but the vast majority of my time is spent solving puzzles and exploring, not fighting. I learn not khổng lồ worry if I can’t find all the secrets or access all the areas on each planet, because I can always go back when I’ve unlocked a new Force ability or a higher jump khổng lồ see more of each biome. It’s a structure, and pace, that often feels lifted from Metroid games, in fact.

You visit a variety of planets during your journey in Fallen Order. Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
This is all held back somewhat by technical issues, which plagued the trò chơi during the week I was playing before its release. Jedi: Fallen Order crashed on my Xbox One X multiple times, & another staffer reported similar crashes on PlayStation 4. There were often issues with dropped frames, và I would sometimes become stuck in a level’s geometry, ultimately having lớn restart completely lớn escape. The first pre-release patch helped performance on the Xbox One somewhat, và an Electronic Arts representative said additional patches are on the way. But right now, Jedi: Fallen Order doesn’t provide the level of performance, or even basic playability at some points, that I expect from a trò chơi of this stature.

It definitely takes time for this structure to start working và paying off, although that payoff is there. I’m pleasantly surprised at how satisfying the game becomes once I unlock a few upgrades và gain a greater mastery of my powers, making it possible khổng lồ explore more of the map.

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And the more I explore, the better it gets. Jedi: Fallen Order begins lớn give up the grand, epic set-pieces that I want from a Star Wars trò chơi as I continue, including a stunning battle in which I lay siege to an AT-AT in a scene that feels lượt thích something out of Shadow of the Colossus. The smart mixture of exploration, classically designed puzzles built into huge underground or jungle-based structures, & Star Wars lore works far better than the first hour or two would indicate. Và exploring each world to lớn find every secret and aesthetic tăng cấp once you have all your abilities is surprisingly enjoyable.

I also felt like I was being played with somewhat. In the aforementioned Shadow of the Colossus-like battle, the game briefly put me on a speeder xe đạp ... And promptly asked me to hop off, since it can’t be ridden. Why tease us with something lượt thích that?

Anyway, Jedi: Fallen Order is a trò chơi about traveling through space on your own ship, trying lớn find your place in the galaxy, & exploring isolated, hard-to-reach environments through a variety of traversal options. Combat must take a back seat, right?

No, it certainly doesn’t.

Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts

When you were swinging on vines, I was studying the blade

Combat is a bit dull, at first. All I have to work with are strikes, blocks, & rolls khổng lồ escape attacks. It’s rote, despite the inherent fun of wielding a glowing laze sword.

But as I gain skill points and unlock abilities that expand what Kestis is capable of, I begin lớn feel not only competent, but dangerous. I can lock onto a single enemy and circle them, waiting for them lớn attack so I can roll out of the way và counter. I can use the Force lớn push a stormtrooper, screaming, off a cliff. I can slow down their attacks and move into a better position. I can pull enemies toward me, & then throw them back at their friends khổng lồ break up groups. I can deflect blaster bolts with my lightsaber in between direct attacks.

Juggling various attacks with different lightsaber styles, while paying attention to lớn the limited amount of Force energy I have, is challenging but doable. Simple button presses for attacks make sense tactically, while the actual in-game animations make everything look fluid & choreographed. I have options; how I choose to fight is up to lớn me, và it changes depending on the situation & the number of enemies. & those enemies ratchet up in intensity, from local wild animals khổng lồ stormtroopers khổng lồ specially trained anti-Jedi forces and then ... Well, I’d rather not spoil it.

And the Empire was right khổng lồ send enemies of this stature after me, because I become that monstrous of a threat.

By the over of the game, I’m a killing machine, with a huge range of options when it comes lớn messing up anyone who crosses me. Và the fan hâm mộ service doesn’t stop there; Jedi: Fallen Order features one of the best lightsaber customization systems I’ve ever seen in a game, giving me the chance lớn pick the màu sắc of my blade, the material that makes up the hilt và its color, the emitters, the grips, & more. I unlock more & more options for my blade, và spend an embarrassing amount of time playing lightsaber dress-up và searching for more options for my blade.

And then blades.

Learning the ins & outs of the combat system is mandatory, unless I decide lớn play on the story-focused difficulty level. There are some long, technically challenging duels and battles throughout the game, including a few grueling moments where waves và waves of enemies are thrown at me. Learning how khổng lồ finish off my equal in combat is satisfying, but Jedi: Fallen Order often relies on number of enemies for its challenge, which is less interesting.

I skip a few of these moments by dropping down the difficulty level, & the trò chơi remains fun when I keep the challenge focused on exploration & cut through battalions of stormtroopers as if they were so much fodder. Even on the harder settings, learning how khổng lồ double-jump through the air và run across a steel wall on an Imperial base before killing a stormtrooper with one blow — as one long, fluid kích hoạt — feels amazing.

Which helps, because the way Jedi: Fallen Order handles death is strange, and doesn’t seem to serve much of a narrative purpose.

Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
I gain experience by killing enemies, scanning the environment with BD-1, & completing missions. Leveling up gives me points to use in the skill tree when I find glowing circles on which I meditate. But if I die before getting to one of these meditation spots, which let me cash in my character points, I đại bại those upgrade points as well as any experience I had built up.

To retrieve those resources, I need to spawn at the last save point, find the enemy that killed me, & then hit them again. I’m not sure what part of being a Jedi this Dark Souls-inspired death mechanic is supposed to lớn simulate, but it feels strangely out of place in this game.

The problem with prequels

It’s not a spoiler khổng lồ say that through all the Star Wars nội dung available lớn date, we’ve never heard the name Cal Kestis. The Jedi are not reformed in the most recent Star Wars films, which take place after the events of this game. He’s going lớn fail in his task, & maybe die trying.

So how bởi you create a story with actual stakes when we know the ultimate outcome of the quest? Jedi: Fallen Order mostly succeeds in pulling this off, and packs enough surprises lớn allow me lớn forget that I already know Kestis is bound lớn fail. Although it’s trodding on somewhat known ground now, one of the most satisfying reveals during the game’s finale is both ridiculously exciting và legitimately frightening. I may feel like a powerful Jedi by the end, but the truth is, I’m still a kid with a lightsaber, and being reminded of that fact offers a satisfying payoff. There are much more powerful forces out there, & they’re keenly aware of who I am and what I’m doing.

Setting a story with this much scope in this time period of Star Wars is a bold choice, & it forces these characters to lớn make interesting decisions about how to move forward in a galaxy where everyone is out to get them — although what they do, và how they bởi it, is out of my control completely.

The Empire has some new tricks to try khổng lồ wipe out the last remaining Jedi. Image: Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
Jedi: Fallen Order isn’t a game with decisions; it’s a linear narrative with enough juice to keep my interest until the credits. There’s nothing better for melodrama than khổng lồ put your characters in the most desperate situation of their lives, and Order 66 certainly does that for the Jedi. What would you bởi if you were being hunted by the government after years of service? What would you give up, or what power would you reach for?

Who would you betray?

This all happens in a game with so much sliding on mud and ice, và with puzzles that feel taken from adventure games in the PlayStation 2 era. It takes me a few hours to lớn get into the swing of what Jedi: Fallen Order is trying to do, và there are a few weird odds and ends that seem strangely underbaked, but that’s almost khổng lồ be expected in a game that takes such a recognizable universe and does something this unexpected with it.

This is one of the most exciting things about Jedi: Fallen Order. We’ve had so many Star Wars experiences that were first-person shooters, or kích hoạt games, or role-playing games, & of course all those điện thoại games. But this is a new idea for how Star Wars games can be structured, và shows how much room there is in this universe lớn experiment with new ideas of what we want to bởi in the land of the Jedi và the Empire.

Yes, there’s a lot about this trò chơi that’s awkward. But to vì chưng something different, you have to do something different, & that means it may take some time for a game to find its footing. Jedi: Fallen Order is enjoyable, with caveats about its performance và some aspects of its kiến thiết attached, but it goes places I didn’t expect, và it gets there by a route I would never have considered. That’s a bold choice for a trò chơi this inherently commercial.

Jedi: Fallen Order is a flawed, sometimes messy game, but it’s a Star Wars experience I didn’t know I wanted. And after finishing it, I definitely want more.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is now available on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. The trò chơi was reviewed using final “retail” tải về codes provided by Electronic Arts. You can find additional information about’s ethics policy here.