Electronic Arts have a lot riding on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. After the terrible launch and loot box debacle that was Star Wars: Battlefront II, this could be the publisher’s last shot at redemption.
Disney needs Fallen Order to be a hit both critically and commercially. With Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker just around the corner and the new series The Mandalorian on the newly launched Disney+, they can’t afford to have another game that could potentially hurt the brand the same way Battlefront II did. The last big single-player Star Wars games were Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which is arguably one of the best RPGs of all time, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Let’s see if Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order lives up to the expectations set by its predecessors, or surpasses them.
10 Worst: No Light Or Dark Options
The story in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a good one. It’s uncomplicated, fun, and, most importantly, it feels like Star Wars. However, it’s a story that is meant to be played exactly how the developers want it to be.
There are no choices to be made and, aside from its Metroidvania style level design, it’s as linear as an Uncharted game. Even Star Wars: The Force Unleashed offers players the choice between light and dark sides of the force. This mechanic offered players replay value, different powers to play with and different endings.
9 Best: The Level Design – Metroidvania
There were a lot of gamers who watched the gameplay unveil for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order at E3 and were left feeling a bit underwhelmed. While the combat looked fun, the game gave the impression that it was a totally linear experience.
Instead, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a Metroidvania in the style of a Dark Souls and the recent God of War. There’s a lot more to each level that first appears and, just like the aforementioned games, previously visited areas open up and become interconnected.
8 Worst: Cal Isn’t As Good As A Lead As Starkiller
The last single-player videogame in the Star Wars franchise was Star Wars: The Unleashed on the last-gen consoles. The game featured an interesting and conflicted lead in Galen Marek who was also known as Starkiller.
Unfortunately, after Disney picked up the rights to the Star Wars franchise, The Force Unleashed is no longer considered canonical. As a result, a new hero in Cal has been introduced in Star Wars Jedi and, even though he’s well-performed, he doesn’t quite have the depth or the drive of the Starkiller character.
7 Best: Challenging Combat
The level design and environmental storytelling isn’t the only thing that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has in common with the Dark Souls series. Just like a Soulsborne game, it has a light and strong attack with timing-based parrying to pull off incredibly satisfying finishers.
Despite the similarities, however, the combat feels authentic enough to be its own game. The combat is exactly what a Star Wars fan would expect. The battles with the lightsaber-based bosses are always entertaining and capable of really drawing the player into the excitement of the fight.
6 Worst: No Fast Travel
As mentioned, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a Metroidvania-style game. This means that the player needs to revisit previous worlds and unlock previously inaccessible areas. Going back to these areas means that there a lot of shortcuts to be unlocked to make the journey a little easier.
However, there is still a lot of backtracking that needs to be done to unlock the unexplored areas. A fast travel option like the one seen in the Dark Souls games at the later stages really should have been implemented here.
5 Best: A Great Single-Player Experience
In recent years, there has definitely been a growing trend of developers focusing more on online multiplayer or always online shared-world experiences. The rise in popularity for battle royale games like Fortnite and Respawn’s own Apex Legends are huge moneymakers for – and the perfect platform for – microtransactions.
Thankfully, there’s no multiplayer option at all or microtransactions of any kind. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a totally committed and driven single-player game with a great Star Wars story.
4 Worst: Can Struggle On Base Consoles
At the time of writing, the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has been confirmed to struggle a bit during some of the games more intense moments. The framerate can drop during big battles scenes and there is some texture pop-in with shadows appearing out of nowhere at times.
In fairness to Respawn, these moments are rare and, for the most part, the game runs incredibly well at launch. Furthermore, these little hiccups are something that can be addressed fairly quickly with a patch.
3 Best: Environmental Storytelling
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order tells an interesting story through the use of its cutscenes, great facial animation and motion capture. However, the game’s story isn’t just limited to the cutscenes as the game makes use of environmental storytelling too.
There is a lot of Star Wars lore for fans of the series to discover as well as historical accounts and descriptions of those who fell victim to the Empire’s rule. Exploring every inch of the maps and locations on offer will also reveal Force Echoes which are like the audio data points from Horizon Zero Dawn.
2 Worst: The Hair Looks Like Plastic
In almost every single area, Star Wars Jedi looks fantastic thanks to the use of the Unreal Engine 4. Environments and foliage are beautifully rendered and the Wookie homeworld of Kashyyyk looks especially nice.
What doesn’t look nice, however, is the hair effects and the Wookies, in particular, look quite bad. They look like mounds of walking plastic which is disappointing considering how well the hair effects look in the new Tomb Raider series. The lead protagonist’s hair also hasn’t escaped the weird hair effects and looks like its made out of orange plastic.
1 Best: Faithful To The Source Material
There is so much about the Star Wars franchise that makes it special. Everything from the music, to the authentic sounds of the Tie-Fighters, lightsabers, Wookies and more is distinctive and instantly recognizable to fans and even non-fans of the franchise.
Thankfully, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order perfectly captures every aspect of what a Star Wars game is supposed to look and sound like. The attention to detail is incredible and it’s quite easy to state that this game is the best in the franchise since Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.