It’s been nearly 10 years since we’ve had a proper single player Star Wars video game. In that time Disney have bought Lucasart, we’ve experienced soon to be 5 new movies as well as countless novels, comic books and content building on a brand new canon. Also a couple of Battlefront games, I guess, but let’s try to ignore them.
But fret not, dear force users, as the wait is over – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is here!
Set between Episode 3 & 4, follow the story of Cal Kestis, a former Padawan who managed to escape the Jedi slaughter of Order 66. Never finishing his training, we find him as a scrapper, surviving on an imperial junk planet. After an altercation with a gang of the Empire’s Jedi execution squad, Cal is saved by former Jedi Master Cere Junda. Together with her surly alien co-pilot – Greez, you’ll soon be whisked away on an adventure to rebuild the Jedi order.
But after so many misfires, has EA & Respawn finally released a decent Star Wars game? Watch on to find out….
Starting with the story, the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s VERY Star Warsy. It hits all the plot tropes and cliches that we’ve come to expect over the years, without trying anything too off the wall. For example, Cal is your typical Jedi who you can project yourself onto, while the supporting cast are left to chew the scenery and steal the best one liners. Whether you like this will be very much down to taste, but it definitely feels like it was written with longtime fans in mind. And as one of those long suffering nerds, I can confirm the story works for me in a big way.
This storytelling is also augmented by the world-building. Conversations between Storm Troopers, and random encounters make it feel like a rich, lived in universe. It’s a testament to the writing that you’ll find Storm Troopers far more endearing than you ever have before. Don’t believe me? You’ll just have to play it to find out.
And yes, there is at least one High Ground reference, to the delight of memelords everywhere.
I’m also happy to report the gameplay is just as good, and pulls from a surprisingly wide range of inspirations. Lightsaber swings have a weight like the melee attacks in God Of War, the multilayered levels have a Metroidvanian appeal, and punishing yet rewarding enemies could’ve been pulled straight out of a Soulsbourne. It’s a great mixing pot that helps it become something familiar, but decidedly unique.
The only thing that really lets it down is occasional performance dips. I reviewed Fallen Order on the Xbox One X and noticed that entering certain areas caused major frame rate drops. Luckily none of these were while I was in combat, and they quickly fixed themselves, however even these were enough to break the immersion, and if I don’t feel like a Jedi 24/7 I’m not living my best life – and you can take that to the bank.
To wrap up, this is THE game that Star Wars fans have been waiting for. It captures the charm and essence of what makes the franchise great, and combines it with great gameplay, with only a few wobbles. Sure it plays it safe, relying on a lot on the series’ tropes, but dammit the fan service works for me!
But did it work for you? Let us know if you enjoyed Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe for more reviews and great content every week!