> I've been an avid fan of Star Wars since day-one of the
original movie in 1977. You name it: theater, cards, video games, magazines,
comics, books, VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, digital -- I'm all-in. So every time
a company develops a new Star Wars game, I'm definitely going
to look into it.
> Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order takes place between the events
of Episode III: revenge of the Sith (5 years after) and Episode
IV: A New Hope. The player takes control of Cal Kestis (padowan
of Jedi master Jaro Tapal), a survivor of "Order 66" (to exterminate all
Jedi). The Empire tasked Trilla Suduri (a.k.a. Second Sister; Jedi padowan
turned Inquisitor) and the Ninth Sister to find Cal and the Jedi Holocron
containing names of Force-sensitive children. Cal teams up with former
Jedi Knight Cere Junda (Trilla's former Jedi master), pilot Greez Dritus,
and the cute new droid BD-1. Their mission to find the Jedi Holocron and
keep the Jedi Order alive will take them to various planets in a galaxy
far, far away...
> There has been tons of hype surrounding the release of the newest Star
Wars game. With Electronic Arts managing to alienate
a lot of their followers in recent years, there was legitimate concern
if they could pull off a winner. Is Jedi Fallen Order a microtransaction
disaster, or is it old-school play and enjoy the full game? Let's see how
> Jedi Fallen Order, like a lot of games, uses the Unreal
4 graphics engine. That's great -- I'm used to it, and it does a great
job of rendering 3D realms. A third person view is expected and welcome
for this genre. The various locales that Cal must adventure through are
beautiful to look at. Here's a few examples: Kashyyyk with its lush forests,
dangerous wildlife, and murky lakes never looked better. Dathomir is as
dreary, red tinted, and dangerous looking as one could imagine. Nur hosts
the Inquisitor headquarters, and features deep water swimming, a deadly
Inquisitor dojo, and an interrogation room the player will never forget!
Eye-candy is everywhere to be appreciated.
> The character animation is top notch. Every move, strike, and facial
expression is convincing. The special effects of light speed space travel,
laser blasts, stun bombs, lightsabers, flames, smoke, and explosions are
just as good. The only weak graphic effect is when the Mantis
(the player's spaceship) transitions from takeoff to space flight. Respawn
needed to watch how it's done in No Man's Sky -- end of comment.
> Respawn got a lot right here. However, I'm going to review
the gameplay from my perspective, not on mere technical achievement. So
naturally every button is used -- and a lot (my aching hand). Keep in mind,
I prefer simple play mechanics with tight action, instead of complication
with exact timing. Onto the good, first.
> Jedi Fallen Order is an action/adventure presented in third
person view -- check. The main controls are lightsaber attack, force attack,
dodge, and jump. Add to that run, heal, switch lightsaber type, use BD-1
(hack/scan), Force slow, Force push, and Force pull. No menu required to
use anything -- I like that. There's a skill advancement tree for Force,
fighting, and health categories that the player can assign earned points
as desired -- nice. The adventuring to find upgrades for BD-1 and one's
lightsaber are a nice touch. Also, the player can jump down from quite
a height, and his Jedi training won't allow damage to be taken -- good.
Next, onto the bad.
> If one has any hope of playing on more difficult levels, the mastery
of blocking, dodging, and when Force powers are available is necessary.
I'm no fan of that. One can't do more than a couple Force actions before
the meter is empty. Bah. I think even on Story Mode (easy), I may have
actually blocked an attack once every half hour. For sure some attacks
are unblockable, but too many attacks [seem] unblockable, and perhaps not
even dodgeable. Lol. Every area one visits will have a combination of platform
jumping, rope swinging, [nearly uncontrollable] sliding, climbing, and
puzzles -- yuck. I suppose there's technically nothing wrong with any of
these features, except they're not on my preferred list for action games.
All-in-all, the frustration level is manageable, and that's good enough
> So anyway, Cal has to traverse multiple, sometimes complicated worlds
(good map system) to acquire the Jedi Holocron, and thwart the Empire's
desire to exterminate the Jedi Order. All sorts of enemies must be defeated,
short-cuts unlocked, and save spots found (easily spotted). Large bosses
lurk in one's path in almost every area. Scanning things with BD-1, finding
treasure containers (with unlockables), and finding Jedi hot spots completes
the gameplay. Overall, a solid entry into the genre.
> The sound effects are great, as one would expect. Every blaster, lightsaber,
explosion, elevator, enemy, etc. has an appropriate sound. The voice acting
is excellent, and quite prevalent throughout the game. Saw Gerrera makes
an appearance or two, and sounds the same as in Rogue One.
Naturally, there's no Star Wars (in this time frame) without
Darth Vader, complete with heavy breathing and a deep, angry voice! Even
R2 droids make an excited noise while being split in half with a swift
lightsaber stroke -- I love destroying things!
> Of course, you can't go wrong with Star Wars music. There's
so much to draw from, and the new material fits right in. I do miss how
this franchise always used to begin with the original theme song, and the
story crawling on-screen. Oh well, no big deal.
> Jedi Fallen Order has a pretty good storyline, and comfortably
encourages one to see how it ends. I mean, there was really only one or
two surprises to it (which I won't spoil), but I'm okay with that. A decent
story with playable controls and manageable frustration awaits. Small beef:
it would've been super fun to encounter Darth Maul in Dathomir
-- yes, he's still alive at this point.
> So does Jedi Fallen Order provide an enjoyable experience?
It's pretty hard to make me dislike anything Star Wars related,
so the simple answer is yes, it's fun! The worlds are varied, while the
gameplay is challenging and can be mastered -- thank you, difficulty select.
My frustration level never exceeded certain limits, which would cause me
to prematurely quit the game. One source of frustration is the long load
times during each respawn. Still, the third person view is expertly rendered,
and rarely gets lost. Does one feel like a powerful Jedi Knight, perhaps
as in The Force Unleashed II? Not quite.
> I think EA is headed in the right direction, if they can
continue down the road Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has paved.
is to be commended, as they've developed an enjoyable, single player adventure
in the Star Wars realm. The best feature is unlocking the
Double-bladed Lightsaber -- my weapon of choice whenever it's in a game.
Could it be better? If mastering block and dodge, with a helping of puzzles
and platforming sounds enticing, then add another point to my overall rating.
Anyway, I'm pleased they left it open for a sequel -- I'll take it with
less caution next time, as long as EA doesn't overtly mess
with this game's success.
Pro tip: It's
a free roaming adventure, so make sure to visit Dathomir as soon as possible
to acquire the Double-bladed Lightsaber .
| Graphics: 9.5 | Control: 7.5 | Sound: 9.0 | Fun: 8.0