Every Star Wars fan has been absolutely starving for a genuinely good Star Wars game that does the IP justice for the last decade. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order seems to fit that bill if modestly so. It’s definitely a much needed shot in the arm for the franchise in video games.
You never know what you’re going to get from games these days though, especially from triple ‘A’ publishers. Fallen Order is no exception. There may be a few things you didn’t expect or a few you regret by jumping in too quickly.
10 No Fast Travel
Talk of Fallen Order being a Souls-like game was circling around its release, perhaps due to similar-looking combat and safe spots in the form of meditation points. Unlike in Souls games though, you can’t fast travel between these spots.
Looking at it now, this does make some sense, considering Fallen Order is split up into planets that need to be traveled between via spaceship. This means that it’s technically not all one, big interconnected map like a Souls game. Thus, the risk versus reward of resting at a meditation spot and respawning enemies would be lost somewhat if you could just fast travel between all of them on a given planet.
9 How Convoluted Navigating The Maps Can Be
Did the maps in Fallen Order really need to be this complicated? Pathways with no way to go back the way you came, transports that are only accessible one way and not the other, those stupid mandatory sliding pathways to get to certain parts of some maps. And trying to figure out what leads to where to get where you’re going on some maps when planning out a route can be a nightmare at first too. The maps become easier to read and navigate as you keep playing, but geez, even Nier: Automata’s world map wasn’t this complicated to decipher initially.
8 Few Loading Screens
What a beautiful thing. As a result of no fast travel, Fallen Order features very little loading screens. This keeps you constantly engaged and immersed in the game. And even when it has to load a new planet, it’s masked by a conversation between the Mantis crew members during hyperspace.
It’s an absolutely excellent way to execute a loading screen mask. You don’t even notice it until maybe your fourth or fifth time traveling between planets because you’re still mesmerized by the fact that you’re actually in a ship traveling through hyperspace in, sort-of, real-time which I’m sure is bound to make any Star Wars fan giddy.
7 How Bland The Customization Is
It was in April 2019 during Star Wars Celebration in Chicago that CEO of Respawn Entertainment Vince Zampella spoke these sacred words: ‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will have no microtransactions’. And thus, so it was. But would the game have any free customization options at all?
Well, turns out it does and it’s pretty underwhelming. The game has little in the way of different outfits or accessories to choose from with alternate colors for everything being its only option. The lightsaber customization is kind of cool, but getting new parts for your lightsaber is about as exciting as getting a weapon grip from a loot box in Call of Duty: WWII.
6 Rehashed Concepts
It was also revealed before Fallen Order’s released that the narrative would be a Jedi story with no choice between the light and the dark side. Choosing between the light and the dark side has become somewhat of a shallow gimmick at this point, so it’s good to see the writers not having to pigeonhole themselves into this gimmick.
With that said, a story is still a story, and a lot of the concepts explored in Fallen Order’s story are concepts that any avid Star Wars fan is already well familiar with. If you’ve seen it before in a movie, book or other Star Wars video game, it’s probably here. As a result, the story and Cal’s character as a whole is pretty ordinary.
5 How Annoying Blaster Fire Is
Blaster fire in Fallen Order will certainly frustrate any new player. Hit-stun plays a big part in this. The game’s combat has a fair emphasis on hit-stun to both Cal and enemies. If you get hit by a move, you take hit-stun or knockback. This is to sufficiently punish the player for taking damage while rewarding them for hitting average-sized enemies at the right time.
The problem is that blaster fire also does hit-stun which can make it hard to take on some enemies while you’re constantly being pelted. It gets easier to manage with the appropriate upgrades, but when you’ve played The Force Unleashed games, it’s kind of easy to take blaster fire for granted in this one.
4 Turning Motion Blur Off Doesn’t Actually Turn It Off
Motion blur in games is pretty subjective. Some people don’t mind it, other people hate it. This is why games usually give you the option of turning this visual effect on or off, even on console. Unfortunately, Fallen Order still has motion blur enabled, even when you turn it off in the menus, at least on PC. You can remove it, but it involves downloading some software and then jumping through some hoops that might run the risk of screwing up your game, though you should be fine. With all the technical issues on console though, this motion blur problem has got to be the icing on the cake, if it exists there too.
3 Those Darn Launch Issues
Even a wholly single-player game is not exempt from a bug-free launch these days. Since its release, players have been experiencing a good amount of performance issues with Fallen Order. Texture issues, frame rate drops and load times just to name a few. The lack of polish here is pretty concerning, honestly.
Hopefully, Respawn is working hard to clean all this up promptly as another patch has just recently rolled out to address more issues. It’s just sad to see a single-player game still have the launch of an unfinished ‘games-as-a-service’ title. And with some of the ‘rewarding’ content in the game practically rivaling a ‘games-as-a-service’ title, it’s not a very good look.
2 No Completionist Payoff
For an entirely single-player game, Fallen Order is missing a few aspects that keep the single-player experience from getting stale too quickly. One of those aspects is player payoff. The art of properly rewarding your players for exploring everything your game has to offer is all but a forgotten concept in this day of gaming.
When you 100% the game in Fallen Order you get absolutely nothing. No special weapon, no cool or silly outfit to wear on a second playthrough, no nothing. It’s a real shame too. A single-player experience isn’t just about how good or bad the game’s story is. It’s also about the lasting appeal and the way it resonates with the player. The game just fails to give the player good payoffs that invite them to keep experiencing it.
1 No New Game+ Mode
Probably the most disappointing thing missing from Fallen Order, outside of the absence of the opening crawl text, is the lack of a new game+ mode. The game has upgrades and different abilities with no real way to properly put them to use in a normal playthrough. Besides just fighting respawning enemy mobs on every planet, you can’t go back through the story again with all of the game’s acquired skills to really test your knowledge of them. There isn’t even a chapter replay function. It feels like a real oversight that this is missing at launch, especially for a 3rd-person, melee-focused action game, and it kind of shows Respawn’s novice experience with the genre.