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Published December 1, 2019

2019 is coming to a close, which means the fall games season is just about over after big releases like The Outer Worlds, Modern Warfare, and many more. As we came to the end of November, there was one last triple-A game left to drop. Little did we know is that it would easily become one of the best games of the year. That game was Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. 

EA’s latest Star Wars title takes elements from games such as Uncharted and Dark Souls/Bloodbourne and brings it to a galaxy far, far away. While this can be seen as a negative, for EA’s first foray into solo Star Wars games, an original story with fun combat mixed with some mechanics that we know and love worked tremendously well.

Enough with the intro, let’s jump to hyperspace!

Story

Since Disney purchased Star Wars back in 2012, there hasn’t been a game that covered the time period between Episode III and IV, so it was a breath of fresh air to see that Fallen Order’s story was exploring this period. Roughly 5 – 10 years after Revenge of The Sith, Fallen order puts you in the shoes of Cal Kestis, a young Jedi who’s in hiding after surviving Order 66. Without going into much further detail than that, the story sees you travel the galaxy on a quest to restore the Jedi Order. 

While the overall story to Fallen Order is great, what really takes the cake are the characters. Cal and his crew take a bit to get used to, but I quickly found myself becoming more interested and caring about them as I progressed. Respawn did an excellent job creating the character’s story and I found it kept me engaged and wanting to learn more about this band of outcasts. 

The only downside I had with the story was the very end. The final mission is an amazing sequence that will get you amped up and excited, but once it hits its big peak, it slams hard on the breaks. While it is good, I just wish it spent a little more transitioning from the crescendo to the fade-out. 

Gameplay

I’ll be honest, I’ve never really enjoyed a soulsborne game. When I first heard that Fallen Order was being compared to the Dark Souls series, I was a little worried. I’m so happy this isn’t the case as the combat is SO. FREAKING. GOOD. I played through on the Jedi Knight difficulty and found that the game had the perfect balance between enjoyment and difficulty. It was easy to learn but hard to master. 

One thing I really enjoyed was dying. Like the soulsborne formula states, when you die, you lose all your XP. Fallen Order was a little nicer and made it so you regain your XP when you attack the enemy that killed you. Not only did this make the game a bit forgiving for when you were stuck, but it also brought a level of strategy to the game. Do you rest and get your health back but have a difficult group of enemies respawn or do you press on and hope you can survive long enough to reach the next mediation spot. 

One thing I hope they change in the next game is heavy attacks. Heavy attacks use up force, which I found made me limit my use. By the end of the game, I was barely using them. While not a huge problem in the grand scheme, I’d love to see the next game include a stamina meter for blocks and heavy attacks. 

Design

I don’t need to spend a lot of time talking about the graphics because they are stunning. Even playing on a near launch Xbox One the graphics are beautiful. The characters look great but the worlds themselves are a true testament to the design of the game. The best example is a screenshot from Reddit below. Simply stunning. 

PC: Reddit User StarWarsMemequels

You can tell Respawn took their time for the level design of each of the worlds and it showed… mostly. Many of the planets you visit are vast worlds with many nooks and crannies to explore, some larger than others. I found myself putting the story aside just to look in every corner to see what I can find or learn from the force echos. I just hope Respawn uses slides a little less in the next game. While there are a few great moments, it gets old quick.

There is one planet however that I can’t stand, and that’s Kashyyyk. While it is home to everyone’s favourite Wookie, I found that it was the least enjoyable world to explore in the game and every time I had to go back I tried to rush through it as fast as possible… because spiders are gross. 

Overall 

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order is the first, truly solo Star Wars game EA has made since it got the license back in 2013 and Respawn blew it out of the water. They managed to create a fun, story-driven game that keeps you coming back for more. Even after beating the story, I’ve gone back and collected all the achievements and am STILL playing because the combat is so good. Despite a few hiccups, the game still proves to be one of the best Star Wars games ever made. 

Pros

  • Interesting story and characters
  • Fun, engaging combat
  • Beautiful design
  • Large, open worlds you want to explore….

Cons

  • Pacing abruptly slams the breaks at the end of the game. 
  • Heavy attacks = force 
  • …except Kashyyyk 

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