This deal is getting worse all the time. Hot on the heels of Electronic Arts’ latest controversy involving their ridiculous rebranding of loot boxes — now opting to refer to them as “surprise mechanics” — an inside look at the upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order given to IGN contributors Ryan McCaffery and Sam Caliborn has revealed that the violence in the game may have been toned down at the behest of Disney.
Fans were a little less than pleased with EA’s E3 segments featuring the game, as many felt that the bits of gameplay presented felt drab and uninteresting. While it’s hard to say what that will mean for the final product, it does seem that the corporate overlords now in control of the Star Wars property may have had something to do with the game’s tonal censorship.
While the two journalists invited to play the game insisted that the combat is actually significantly deeper than what was shown at E3, they also included a quote from the project’s Senior Director Justin Perez concerning dismemberment mechanics in Jedi Fallen Order.
“We use it in select cases,” he said, with the IGN contributors later paraphrasing that “basically, droids and spiders and the like can have their legs and arms (if applicable) lopped off, but not humanoids. Blame the Disney branding folks for that one, it seems.”
The article also mentions how, in just about every instance, protagonist Cal’s lightsaber instantly cauterizes every incision it makes. This isn’t really anything new in the Star Wars universe. While a fish-like alien by the name of Ponda Boba was shown to have bled following a slice from a saber in the original movie, we’ve since seen Count Dooku lose both hands and Darth Maul be entirely bisected without the slightest hint of gore. Aside from one brief smear of red stuff in the introduction of 2015’s The Force Awakens, Disney has stuck to that same mentality.
While Star Wars is, at the end of the day, intended for all ages, this does feel like a bit of a letdown. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will be the first single player-focused sci-fi outing for EA since acquiring the rights to the license back in 2013, and it will essentially have the job of atoning for nearly ten years of lackluster franchise releases. Obviously, gore isn’t a requirement, but the fact that both Disney and the development team seem to be willing to sidestep and censor certain elements of the game doesn’t exactly bode well.
While this probably won’t cause anyone to cancel their pre-order for the game, it’s another worrying piece of information in a long line of less-than-stellar updates on the game’s development. With EA attempting to redefine what exactly a loot box is, it could be that Jedi Fallen Order will release with a bunch of unwanted surprise mechanics alongside a hearty dose of censorship.
Of course, both of EA’s most recent Star Wars-branded outings were fairly light on visceral moments, and the first of these games would actually have been well-received were it not for a lack of content at launch. Yet, if Jedi Fallen Order pulls too many punches, it’s not inconceivable that we could end up with yet another forced experience devoid of any real soul.