Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is by far the most competent Star Wars game to come out since EA acquired the license to make games on the IP. Given its competition, this is hardly a surprise. Respawn Entertainment has done a commendable job in attempting to bring the Star Wars name out of the mud that EA has dragged it through for the last few years in video games.
Even so, the engrossing experience of becoming a Jedi in the game can be broken by a few things that just make you raise a brow here and there. Big or small, this list will go over some of those immersion-breaking aspects that just make little sense when it comes to design or gameplay. Spoilers ahead.
10 The Breather
During a stint on Kashyyyk, Cal receives a piece of gear that allows him to breathe underwater during gameplay. By this point, the player has probably swum through at least a couple bodies of water with some featuring collectibles beneath the water’s surface that are unobtainable.
By receiving the breather, Cal can now dive under the water. This raises the question of why he couldn’t dive underwater regardless of whether he has this piece of gear or not? Can he not hold his breath? It’s just a very nonsensical way of denying the player such a basic ability that just about every game that features underwater swimming mechanics have by default.
9 Lightsaber Slashes Vanish
In any game that features an emphasis on combat, the resulting collateral damage during a fight and the observation of said damage is always a satisfying gimmick to the player. This can be conveyed through a destructible environment or the bodies of your slain enemies lying around the battlefield. In a shooter, bullet holes from a gun are an important aspect that contributes to a player’s immersion.
It’s no different here when it comes to the lightsaber causing slashes to form in the environment. The melting effect it causes is pretty cool, but once that wears off, the tear it made into the environment disappears along with it. This is pretty disappointing considering other games with impact effects last much longer, and at times stay there until the player leaves the area. Even grass reforms after cutting it down.
8 Cal Tries To Turn On His Lightsaber After Breaking It
This one is a pretty specific case. When visiting the Zeffo tomb on Dathomir for the first time, Cal fights a phantom version of his deceased master, Jaro Tapal. The fight results in Cal’s lightsaber being broken. In normal gameplay, if you try to use the broken lightsaber, Cal will remind the player that it’s no good in its current condition.
But if you visit a worktable that allows you to customize your lightsaber, the animation of Cal checking the blade after leaving the worktable will still play, making him look incredibly silly as the lightsaber will refuse to ignite but Cal will still observe the missing blade as if it’s still working.
7 Cal Doesn’t Seem Too Cold
Fallen Order feels very Tomb Raider-ish in nature with some of its features. From the mandatory sliding sections to the acquisition of different pieces of gear to help you on your quest to an in-game codex that builds with every new piece of information. What it didn’t take from Tomb Raider though is the attention to detail when the player character is in different weather conditions.
In the Tomb Raider, namely the reboot games, when Lara is in cold weather, she’ll often hug herself in an attempt to keep warm. She’ll shiver, inhaling and exhaling stuttered breathes to convey to the player that she’s freezing. Lara’s clothes also stay wet for longer periods after leaving water than Cal’s does. When Cal complains about how cold it is on Ilum when first visiting the planet during a freakin’ storm, it’s hard to take his word seriously when he isn’t even shivering.
6 You Can’t Check The Map While In Water
A pretty mundane design choice, but an arbitrary one nonetheless. When swimming, whether floating along the water’s surface or underneath it, you are unable to bring up the planet map.
Bodies of water are few and far between on most planets and areas, but it can be an inconvenience when you have to find some land to stand on just to double-check where you’ve been when searching around an area with water. If BD-1 has no problem with being completely submerged underwater, how hard is it for the little bot to bring up the map for you?
5 Shyyyo Bird Just Vanishes
When making his way up the Origin Tree on Kashyyyk, Cal catches a ride on the Shyyyo bird, a giant and magnificent creature that Cal befriends after helping it with its wounds. The cutscene of the ride is quite a sight to behold, but once you’ve reached your destination at the chieftain’s canopy, the Shyyyo bird just disappears after dropping Cal off and control is returned to the player.
This is hardly a deal-breaker, but it would’ve at least been nice to see it fly off especially since it’s waiting to take you back down the tree just on the other side of the canopy.
4 One-Way Transports
Throughout your journey on various planets, you’ll unlock different pathways serving as shortcuts via transports. While some will travel both ways, others will only let you access them one way. This forces you to take pathways back to areas that mostly involve sliding your way down.
Again, a somewhat minor inconvenience, but one that really has no business existing, especially since the pathways that involve sliding run the risk of losing health by falling off the map or running into hazards along the way. They also really start to wear out their welcome after the sixth or seventh time you traverse them.
3 No Gibbing Human Enemies
It was well known even before the release of the game that there’d be no dismemberment when fighting humanoid enemies. While the reasoning behind this can be debated as helping or harming the experience of the game, it still makes no sense in general context.
In its defense, other games like The Force Unleashed didn’t allow the player to cut humanoid enemies in half during normal play either. So this problem isn’t exclusively a Fallen Order one. It’s just really weird how so many mainstream Star Wars games follow this rule. It’s an incredibly silly artificial limiter to just how brutal the combat could actually look like for the sake of being ‘cinematic’ or whatever the excuse is.
2 Enemy Awareness
This is a pretty tricky one. On one hand, the player does get a moment of reprieve. On the other hand, it looks incredibly silly and is way too abusable in some areas. Are troopers' visions that limited that they can't see someone standing a few yards away from them? Or are their helmets too thick that they can't hear their allies screaming in pain around a corner?
Finishing off a couple of enemies just to run into another group right around the corner as if they didn't know someone was there in the same vicinity is very off-putting. Granted, this happens very rarely, but it still makes no sense when it does and there could've been other ways to split up areas like this.
1 No Opening Scrolling Text
By far the most notable thing that makes no sense in this game is the egregious absence of the opening scrolling text at the beginning of the story. It’s a Star Wars staple for crying out loud! How do you forget this? The opening scrolling text is what sets the mood of a Star Wars story on screen.
You don’t even get the ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…’ message either. Even 2017’s Battlefront 2 at least had that at the beginning of its campaign. For a game that’s trying to be as cinematically faithful to the movies as it can possibly be, the absence of this trait that defines the beginning of the movies is practically unforgivable and makes absolutely no sense for it to be missing at all.