Jedi: Fallen Order Review
After almost 15 years without a Star Wars singleplayer game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was delivered to us by Respawn Entertainment. During those 15 years, Star Wars fans have been starving for a good Star Wars game encapsulated in a singleplayer experience. So how well does the game fare?
Help Me Cal Kestis, You’re My Only Hope
The events of Jedi: Fallen Order are taking place five years after the events of Revenge of the Sith and Order 66. Cal Kestis, a young Jedi Padawan who survived Order 66, is hiding on Bracca – a planet which the Empire had yet not reached. But when the Empire finds Cal, he is forced to join the Mantis crew: Cere Junda – a former Jedi, and Greez Ditrus – the pilot. Together, Cal, Cere, and Greez are set to find a Holocron which contains a list of force-sensitive children and raise a new generation of Jedi. But the Empire is trying to get the Holocron too, setting off a race to be the first to get to it.
Throughout the game, we can see how Cal slowly reconnects with the force and overcomes the trauma caused to him by Order 66 and the death of his master. Most of the other characters also have a good character arc, and they feel human (as much as you can say they are humans) and very lifelike.
Use the Force, Cal
So Where to Now?
In Jedi: Fallen Order, one of the main things you will find yourself doing is exploring planets. There are four planets you can explore: Bogano, Zeffo, Dathomir, and Kashyyyk. Each planet has its own unique atmosphere, environment, enemies, boss fights and puzzles.
A prominent feature of the game is getting lost. A lot of getting lost. Especially in the maze-like planets (E.g. Zeffo), the map can come in very handy. The map shows you where you where you are, where the objective is, where you can go with your current abilities, and where any currently impassible pathways lie. A cool thing about the map is how it’s projected by BD-1 – your cute robot companion. Although it is cute as well as being a neat way to display the map, the map view can be obstructed by rocks and walls since it’s not displayed as a traditional screen.
Is exploring worth it? Yes! By exploring you can find chests containing Lightsaber parts, BD-1 and Mantis skins, and ponchos for Cal to wear. These are completely cosmetic, but style is very important for a Star Wars character. You can also find Health stems which heal Cal, health upgrades, and force upgrades. There’s also force echoes, which, when found, provide information about the place you’re exploring.
Oh Boy, He Looks Angry
In Jedi: Fallen Order, you fight your way through Stormtroopers and other Empire soldiers. You can fight enemies with your Lightsaber and use the force to your advantage. You can slow down enemies, push and pull them off of ledges and more. The combat is satisfying and allows you to utilize much of the powers you’d expect a Jedi to wield.
You can also block enemy attacks using your Lightsaber. Blocking attacks drains your stamina, and when you’re out of stamina, you cannot block anymore. Most of the enemies can block your attacks too. To drain the enemies’ stamina, you can either attack them until they’re out, or parry their attacks, which drains their stamina a lot quicker. When parrying plain Stormtrooper blasters, the lasers return to the Stormtrooper, which feels like such an awesome thing to do, as if you’re in an action movie. If you feel overwhelmed by the enemies, you can always change the difficulty at any time. Difficulty doesn’t affect your health or damage dealt, but the parry window, incoming damage amount, and enemy aggression are altered to make it so you’re either fighting like a Padawan or a true Grandmaster.
This is the Weapon of a Jedi Knight
One of the things that Jedi: Fallen Order offers is lightsaber customization. You can change every part of your lightsaber, from the material it’s made out of to the color of emitted light. There are a lot of parts scattered throughout the game, making the number of possible lightsaber combinations very high. It may be only cosmetic, but it feels so sweet to make a lightsaber your very own.
The Force is a Pathway to Many Abilities
Throughout the game, there are meditation points which Cal can meditate on. When Cal meditates, much like Dark Souls, he can restore his health and force, as well as automatically respawning all enemies. But unlike Dark Souls, Cal can also acquire new skills. At first, not all skills are unlocked, but as the game progresses, Cal reconnects with the force. When Cal does that, he also unlocks new skills to acquire as well as new abilities such as force push and pull. The unlocked skills almost always correlate to the new abilities, or are simply force and health upgrades. This property makes it easy to upgrade the skills you use and like. The skills are diverse and interesting, and just feel fun to use.
When meditating, Cal can enter meditation training. Cal can either face waves of enemies belonging to a specific planet or enter the battle grid. In the battle grid you can choose whatever enemies you like to fight with. You can face the bosses again and even fight multiple bosses at the same time. You can also fight bosses that don’t appear in the game, like evil Cal and Jaro Tapal. The meditation training provides additional challenge, and it can make the game worth coming back to even after it’s finished.
The Dark Side of the Force
There are unfortunately some bugs and glitches that may appear. Falling through floors, enemies not attacking Cal, textures not loading and more. Together with slow loading time and random loading screens (if you’re on an HDD), it can sometimes make the game irritating to play. But, these issues aren’t frequent, and you may not even encounter them at all.
Jedi: Fallen Order has an awesome story with a great ending, fun and satisfying combat, and good explorations systems. The game offer a lot of reasons to come back to it even after it is finished, such as exploring all planets to 100% and completing all the meditation training challenges, and more.
Although it is not free of bugs and isn’t completely flawless, Jedi: Fallen Order rightfully claims its throne next to games like Knights of the Old Republic. I would recommend the game to you even if you aren’t a Star Wars fan, and if you are a Star Wars fan, you’ll love it even more.