A series that has stood the test of time for over 40 years. A series that brings wonder and awe with each new addition. Star Wars has embedded itself within our culture. When George Lucas created ‘A New Hope’, he didn’t just create a blockbuster, he created a lifestyle, a way of life. Star Wars is very near and dear to a lot of people’s hearts, and while the fandom has been very divisive of late, I’m here to talk about the good, and what makes Star Wars, Star Wars.
With 9 main films, 2 spin-offs and also past and upcoming series, Star Wars lore stretches over countless books, graphic novels and games. Even if a lot of that lore is now classed as Star Wars Legends and not part of the Official Lucas Film timeline there is a lot of new Lore to explore in the official Canon. EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) brought together the events that stretched between the close of Return of The Jedi and the start of The Force Awakens. Now we have a game taking place in my favourite era of Star Wars. Just after Revenge of The Sith and during the Rise of the empire. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order is the latest Star Wars game to be released under the helm of EA and developed by Titanfall creators Respawn Entertainment. So, what do we know so far? “Fallen Order is a 3rd person action-adventure, focusing on Story and immersive cinematic combat. You play as Cal Kestis, a former Padawan on the run from the Empire, you must complete your training before Imperial Inquisitors discover your plan to revive the Jedi Order. Aided by a former Jedi Knight, a cantankerous pilot, and a fearless droid, you must escape the evil machinations of the Empire in a story-driven adventure”. Right off the bat, that official Synopsis has me Hooked!
So, let’s take a look at the game.
Let’s start with the story.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
It’s been five years since Order 66 was initiated by the Emperor, turning the faithful clone troopers of the republic on their Jedi generals. 5 years since the purge of the entire Jedi order. Five years of hiding for Cal Kestis.
We start off on Bracca, a junkyard planet where Cal has been hiding. He has assumed the role as a member of the scrapper’s guild. A role the empire does not suspect. Shortly after, an accident that leaves Cal with no other option than to use to force to save his friend transpires and his identity as a Jedi is revealed.
The empires inquisitors (that were introduced in the Star Wars rebel’s series) appear on Bracca and you must then escape from them via a high-speed train sequence. This then leads to a head to head lightsaber battle with the second sister inquisitor introducing the blatant fact that this isn’t just another Star Wars game. This is a Star Wars game where combat is at the heart of the gameplay.
You are then introduced to the other main character of the game. Cere Junda, a fallen Jedi who has cut off her connection to the force, Greez Dritus the pilot of the Mantis, and BD-1 a droid who becomes Cal’s Faithful companion. The main intention then becomes clear. You are on the hunt for a holocron containing all known force sensitive children to start a new Jedi order. Your Obstacle though is that the formidable empire wants that holocron in order to put an end to the Jedi for good. And so begins your quest.
Now initially I was really struggling to get into this game. I’m used to Star Wars games (where you play a Jedi) like the force unleashed for example, where your character is matched to the enemy and it’s not a chore to take them down. This did tire out in the end by those games becoming too easy and not challenging enough. However, that being said, I play a Star Wars game for the story. So, I was pleasantly surprised with the gameplay in Fallen Order being challenging. You could actually call this game Dark souls fallen order, because that’s what it feels like. You have to be patient and plan your attack. If you’re going into this game thinking it’s going to be an easy ride to the finish like I did, think again. The combat is tactical, smooth and fluid. Never have I played a game where the sword play feels more like a dance than a button masher. Every time I ran into a staffed purge trooper I was already thinking four moves ahead. Go in, slash, block, step back and circle around. You feel in the moment. Every battle is exhilarating. Yes, dying over and over can become tedious, but the payoff is rewarding. On my first trip to Dathomir I was met by two Night brothers. I died multiple times, but then I started planning my moves while I parried their attacks and then I was able to overcome them. I can’t get over the combat in this game. It’s a massive surprise (and a good one) as it is not at all what I was expecting. I had in my mind a button masher, but instead I was met with a combat system that felt so fresh and thought out.
Now you’re a Jedi. Yes, and with that you expect to have certain Jedi abilities. However, you unlock them through lessons throughout the game. At first, I thought this was annoying. I’m a Jedi, let me be a Jedi. Yet Cal’s connection to the force was weakened during his time hiding after Order 66. Once I accepted this I understood it was to coincide with Cal’s story of redemption and becoming the Jedi he was meant to be. Once you have all abilities unlocked though. Wow. That feeling of I’m a Jedi really pays off. Force pull, force push, double jump, force freeze and even lightsaber throw.
There is an element of personalisation to the game as well. You can unlock (with the help of BD-1) new cosmetic upgrades for the Mantis, your clothing and BD-1. You can also upgrade BD-1 with new abilities. My favourite customisation of all though is that of your lightsaber. First a single blade, then duel blade. You unlock different emitters, switches, sleeves and materials. It’s only after I leant the origins of Cal’s lightsaber and building a new one, that I decided to have one end dedicated to its origin and the other end with my own personal stamp. And my lightsaber colour?? Light Cyan.
One key moment in the game that I do want to point out above all others is the sequence that depicts the events of Order 66 (the Jedi purge). Being there in that moment as a young frightened Cal really added depth to his character while also adding gratifying fan service to finally acknowledging the events of the prequel trilogy in this post Disney Star Wars.
Even though I really enjoyed the game there were bits that brought it down. Graphical glitches for example, where there would be a weird fuzzy outline surrounding characters. Moments where the audio would be out of sync in cut scenes. My biggest gripe was to do with enemies respawning after you rested at a meditation spot. You just took down a difficult enemy, you rest to regain your health only to find it’s respawned again near to you. Over time I used this to my advantage to help me level Cal up, but it got some getting used to.
All that being said the good certainly outweighs the bad here. I was very impressed by the facial animations, especially with the eyes of the character models. The eyes really looked real, which in turn helped me connect with each character.
The seamlessness of stepping into the Mantis on one planet and charting a course to the next and not being met by a cutscene or loading screen, but instead looking out the cockpit window as the ship is gaining altitude, leaving the atmosphere and then entering hyperspace, all the while being able to move freely about the ship.
The combat is some of the most fluid and challenging combat I’ve played in recent games.
The voice acting and motion capture, especially from Camron Monaghan. Dude I see you as the dark twisted Jerome from DC’s Gotham, but in this, I see you as the strong and kind Jedi that Cal is. That guy has certainly got talent.
Overall Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was a pleasant surprise. One which I wasn’t expecting to enjoy as much as I did, given that I didn’t hold up hopes after Battlefront 2 didn’t live up to what I wanted it to be. Respawn have defiantly put a lot of time and love into this game and it really, really shows. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen order gets a solid 9 out of 10 for its efforts in restoring the hope in Star Wars during the franchises divisive time.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was reviewed on PS4
- Developer: Respawn Entertainment
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
A new Jedi story begins. As a former padawan on the run from the Empire, you must complete your training before Imperial Inquisitor discover your plan to revive the Jedi order. Aided by a former Jedi Knight, a cantankerous pilot, and a fearless droid, you must escape the evil machinations of the Empire in a story-driven adventure. Explore and overcome a wide range of challenges focused on combat, exploration, and puzzle-solving.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 59.99
Product In Stock: SoldOut