Gaming

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (Impressions)

For the first time this year I paid full price for a game. That game was Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Other than me being a Star Wars junkie, what sold it for me was another gamer compared this new Star Wars game to Dark Souls. I’m a huge fan of the Dark Souls trilogy and was excited to play Fallen Order over the weekend.

My pics are of the tourist guide variety. Thought I’d leave the enemies and monsters a surprise.

I’ll get this statement out of the way first. While it may surprise some with the change in game mechanics compared to Dark Souls, Tomb Raider and Uncharted I’m still thoroughly addicted from the 10-15 hours I’ve put into the game. While it is great game it isn’t perfect and their is room for improvement, which I’ll talk about shortly.

The Good.
I spent a good portion of my weekend playing the game. I’m really enjoying the story, and even though the main protagonist (Cal) has echoes of Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker for me (not necessarily a bad thing) I am becoming invested in his character. The other characters in the game also flesh out the story quite a bit, and it definitely feels like old school original trilogy Star Wars.

Crashed Star Destroyer

Customising your lightsaber is simply so damn cool. I’m definitely going out of my way to find as many hidden caches as I can, in order to have more choice in developing my own kick ass lightsaber. I was quite lucky in one of the earlier planets I went too (quite hard actually) as I managed to find an upgrade to allow my lightsaber to be a double bladed one. That definitely has some advantages in combat when you are faced with multiple enemies, and is great at crowd control. Once you’ve unlocked this upgrade you can switch between single and double bladed any time you like.

Graphics and sound. Overall this is an amazing looking game, with plenty of great original sounds and some atmospheric music. I have noticed some bad texture clipping with player models passing a little through walls and floors, but overall it very impressive in looks and animation. The voice work is fantastic. I love how you come across groups of Stormtroopers and they are just bantering away until your lightsaber comes alive. Sometimes they’ll then say “We’ve got this. You are dead Jedi.” but as you whittle down their group they actually verbally express their worry, “Am I it?” These little touches of humour really make the world come alive. Unlocking force powers and other upgrades for BD-1 (your droid) as your progress through the game is pretty great too.

How did I end up here?

Could be Improved.

The holographic map is amazing to look out but quite cumbersome to use. If R2-D2 can map out a way for Obi-Wan to get to the right area to disable the shields in Star Wars, surely BD-1 can mark a path to the objective you set in the map? The maps are quite huge and it is quite easy to get lost. This does encourage exploring and I love doing that, but if you want to get somewhere in a hurry setting a way point with directions (think Dead Space with the line showing the way forward).

Combat is good, but doesn’t seem as refined as Dark Souls. For those who haven’t played Dark Souls there is just so much freedom in how you tackle combat it is still some of the best 3rd person combat ever played. While the combat is serviceable here, and has some amazing animation, I find the parry system just not as finely tuned as Dark Souls. I’m still trying to get my head around the health and stamina bars of the enemies too (maybe I need to read a manual). I swear I’ve bought an enemy down to zero stamina, only to go in for the kill and get my ass kicked because his stamina bar is completely full again. This could be me not understanding the mechanics, but it still feels a bit weird and I think it could do with some further tweaking.

The graphics are amazing.

Strange that apart from upgrading your skills there isn’t any levelling system as per a standard RPG. Even Dark Souls had this, and it worked really well. I’m quite happy with the system we’ve got, but I’m also curious as to whether their will be a New Game + mode at the end of the first play through. I hope so.

I’m playing on the Xbox One X, which overall is fantastic but I am finding some frame rate drops in 4K. Normally it isn’t very long and it hasn’t happened in a crucial fight moment so I’m willing to forgive the game.

Summary

I know based on some of my criticisms that you think it may not be worth getting, but overall I’m absolutely loving this game. To finally have another single player Star Wars action game, including no form of micro transactions is just fantastic. I am hoping this trend continues and the horrible couple of years where we’ve had some pay to win scenarios are over. I can’t wait to face off against another boss tonight and try and work out how to beat them.

Did you end up getting Fallen Order? If so, what do you think so far? Leave your comments below.

Reviewed on the Xbox One X. Also available on PlayStation 4 and PC.

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