I got to spend the weekend with my latest friend, STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order, and I am thoroughly pleased with the experience. Not only is it one of the most gorgeous and polished games of 2019, it delivers on many different levels as both a Star Wars game and an action/adventure game.
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS JEDI: FALLEN ORDER. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
The Force is Strong With This One
STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order is proof that not all is lost for the Star Wars franchise. I have not played a game as polished and near perfect as Jedi in a long time. Sure, it remains safe within the boundaries of games like it in terms of gameplay and mechanics, but that was probably a good move anyway (considering EA’s rocky history).
For starters, the story is easy to follow, but deeply engaging. From the moment I met Cal, I felt sympathy for his circumstances and an urge to change them for the better. As a Jedi who lost his master during the Great Jedi Purge (Order 66), he successfully remains in hiding as a scrapper in a junkyard on the planet Bracca, up until he uses his force powers to save a friend and a nearby probe droid captures footage of him doing so. The Empire then sends two Inquisitors, the Second Sister and the Ninth Sister, to take him down.
The game is very similar to games like Uncharted, Tomb Raider, and Assassin’s Creed, though I have missed the option to be stealthy in Jedi. I feel like a stealth aspect would have made engaging with enemies even more exciting. The combat itself keeps you on your toes, as Jedi doesn’t really make you feel like a hero. If anything, it has made it very clear that I would make a terrible Jedi.
Instead of getting stronger as you level up, like you do in most RPGs, you are awarded with skill points to spend on new skills, including some health and force upgrades as well. This preserved the challenge aspect of the game, forcing me to experiment with different combinations as I encountered new enemies.
You can expect to encounter a good number of puzzles during your playthrough that offer a decent break from the chaos of combat. Some can prove to be fairly difficult, but only one left me scratching my head due to an avoidable design error. Luckily, I saved just before the room the puzzle was in, so I was able to restart the game and pick up right where I left off.
Although the story is not as long as some might hope, completionists will find the game taking upwards of 30 hours or more to complete. There are plenty of collectibles, including lore and cosmetics, scattered throughout each planet, and some can be very easy to miss. The discovery of most lore in the game also awards experience, which is a motivator most games don’t offer when it comes to discoverable lore.
Graphically, the game is undeniably beautiful. The animations are fluid and lifelike, and the character models are very realistic. When it comes to performance, aside from some dropped frames here and there, the game delivers. However, I played it on the Xbox One X, so other platforms might give some problems.
To put it simply, STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order is worth your time, especially if you’re a Star Wars fan. It is an almost perfect representation of what a Star Wars game should be, and it would probably behoove you to play it considering the release of the upcoming film.
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