I don’t want to be praising Electronic Arts right now. There is a reason they’ve practically become synonymous with all the horrible things people who who play video games hate in video games. Loot Boxes (oh, I’m sorry. “Surprise Mechanics”), horrible sports games with even more loot boxes, “acquiring” studios and then running them into the ground, and I will […]
I don’t want to be praising Electronic Arts right now. There is a reason they’ve practically become synonymous with all the horrible things people who who play video games hate in video games. Loot Boxes (oh, I’m sorry. “Surprise Mechanics”), horrible sports games with even more loot boxes, “acquiring” studios and then running them into the ground, and I will never forgive them for what they did to the Dead Space franchise. But, as the title of this article says, I need to give credit where credit is due in saying that I’m having a great time with the recently released Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
To be fair to myself, I’m less praising EA more than I am praising Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind the game, as well as a list of other genuinely great games. Right now they’re mostly known for the guys behind Apex Legends, but before that they were the guys who made the Titanfall games, games that are CRIMINALLY underrated. Titanfall 1 was a pretty generic FPS with mechs thrown in and a lot of movement options and no single player content. Titanfall 2 came out 2 later and rectified that with what is all honestly one of the best FPS single player campaigns I have every played, and improvements to pretty much every mechanic they put in the game. In a perfect world, that game would be a smashing success, but sadly, EA decided to be EA and launch it with practically no marketing support and ON THE SAME WEEK as EA’s other shooter Battlefield 1. You know, the game they did put marketing support behind. So while i’m not too keen on the idea of supporting EA and their shenanigans, I am okay with supporting the guys who made Titanfall 2.
So with that out of the way, Let’s talk about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
The Fallen Order is a 3rd person metroidvania type game with combat around based around blocking, dodging and stamina management. Think less a dark souls type game and more of a Sekiro type one, with a lot more verticality and moment options because you’ll be running and jumping around the environment constantly. As you play the story, you’ll be unlocking more abilities that have both combat utilities as well as environmental ones, opening up new paths in places you’ve already been, which is where the metroidvania comes in. I honestly can’t think of any other Star Wars game like this because it’s not a franchise that typically dips into the Soulsborne/Metroidvania genres. The closest I think they ever came was The Force Unleashed series, but that was mostly linear and combat focused, where as this is all about landing on a planet, exploring the map and using your lightsaber.
(Slight Spoilers for like the first hour of the game ahead)
The story takes place about 4 years after the events of Star Wars 3 and the empire has pretty much wipes out all of the jedi. You play as Cal Kestis, a former Jedi Padawan, who’s in hiding on a junkyard planet, trying to avoid the empire and pretty much stay out of sight and mind. That plan goes to hell, however when he gets found out pretty much the moment the game starts and he goes on the run again from the empire and their Purge Troopers, led by the Inquisition. You are saved by Cere Junda, ship pilot Greez Dritus, who pretty much recruit you into figuring out a way to rebuild the Jedi order. It’s a serviceable story, nothing too groundbreaking and some plot twists that are kind of easy to read from a a mile out, but it does enough of it’s job that makes it easy to care about the characters and their plight. It also does a good job of trying in your character’s progression of abilities into his narrative arc, which allows for Cal’s growth of character tie directly into his abilities, allowing the gameplay to open up.
This will be my “gripes” section, and while none of these are deal breakers for the game because a good number of them can be fixed with a patch or two, I felt that they should be mentioned going in. The games has a rather large number of technical bugs at the moment, ranging from clipping through the environment, being stuck in a falling animation on the ground, and animations from characters just being generally clunky. During combat, you can occasionally get stunlocked by attacks resulting into a good chunk of your hp gone (especially on higher difficulties), and it also seems to have inherited the camera problems the Soulsborne games have where it occasionally gets stuck in walls and other objects, usually resulting in your death. The game is also rather short, I completed my first runthrough in about 20 hours, so if you’re rushing through everything, you might now be there too long.
So while it is by no means a perfect game, the exploration and combat are fun and engaging enough to enjoy my time playing it. I’m enjoying figuring ways to use what abilities I’ve acquired to get from point A to point B. I’m enjoying the block/deflect/attack nature of the combat against the different enemies types with varied attack timings and attack patterns. And I’m enjoying experimenting with the skill tree abilities you unlock as you progress the game.
Does it have flaws? Yes.
Do I still recommend it? Yes I do.
While I still find the idea of giving EA praise, I am more than willing to support a good single player game by a studio that clearly put in the time and effort to make it so. So, credit where credit it due, I do recommend you play Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Posted by Austin Hamblen, Owner and Main writer of Endlessmonkey.com