As anyone can tell you, Star Wars games don't have the best reputation these days. Ever since EA was put in charge of getting Star Wars games into the hands of fans eager for video game content based on the billion-dollar brand, it seems as though they haven't been able to succeed as much as we'd hoped.
Of course, this phenomenon actually dates back past EA's acquisition of the production of Star Wars games. 2005's Star Wars: Battlefront II was actually one of the last, best Star Wars titles. With a massive fan following that warranted two remakes (essentially), it's clear that the game succeeded on many levels. With great online play, a fun campaign, and engaging mechanics, the game had "winner" written all over it. Unfortunately, that game was followed by other, less exciting Star Wars titles, including PC's Star Wars: The Old Republic, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, the other Star Wars Battlefront games, and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars games.
And, being frank, many of the Star Wars games that came before weren't spectacular either. The original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic installments may have been instant classics, but for every one of those or, say, Rogue Squadron, there were subpar movie tie-ins, repetitive Lego Star Wars games, and other unmemorable titles. The Star Wars brand hasn't exactly been graced with a constant flow of Knights of the Old Republic-level classics.
So, what's to make us Star Wars junkies think that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will be the saving grace for the Star Wars video game branch? Frankly, EA's handling of the franchise doesn't give us too great of a reason to think it will be. Regardless of their mismanagement of the Star Wars brand, between the underwhelming Star Wars Battlefront (2015) and exploitative Star Wars Battlefront II (2017), they have shown in recent years that managing their own brands is hard enough. For instance, Mirror's Edge: Catalyst appeared to be a poor attempt at recreating the experience that Mirror's Edge fans are so fond of in an unideal open-world setting. Furthermore, the Battlefield series suffered with last year's Battlefield V, following the success that was Battlefront 1.
The Sims, Anthem, and Mass Effect are also prime examples of properties that have had trouble registering with fans of the respective series whose undying love has faltered due to some poor decisions made by EA.
As such, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, while a game that shows promise, isn't a basket that gamers should put all their eggs in. Appearing to have interesting mechanics blending the best of those of different, beloved series, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order seems to be a game that could draw impressive reception, though a surprising lack of coverage of the game shows that EA might not be willing to show it off for underlying reasons.
The Star Wars brand is absolutely deserving of great games. As a beloved film series with a fascinating expanded universe, Star Wars needs more than just Knights of the Old Republic and Republic Commando. Fallen Order needs a single-player experience on par with that of the most beloved Star Wars films with compelling mechanics (and without EA's predatory nonsense). If EA can avoid anti-player monetization and allow Respawn to work some magic, then Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order may have a shot at reviving the Star Wars video game brand.