Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Review
We’ve mentioned Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, or Fallen Order moving forward, on our backlog in anticipation of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor releasing later this month. It was offered as one of the free PS Plus games back in January, making it a no-brainer for it to be part of your playlist.
Fallen Order tells a story of a padawan survivor, Cal Kestis, who is living day to day hiding from persecution. After narrowly escaping the Inquisitors, he finds himself allied with a motley crew searching for a holocron that holds information on force-sensitive children throughout the galaxy. Seeing it as a way to rebuild the Jedi order, Cal and his companions scour the galaxy for this artifact to stop the Inquisitors from getting their hands on it.
Is Fallen Order a necessary experience to play Star Wars Jedi: Survivor? Read on, Padawan, to find out more!
May The Souls Be With You
Fallen Order has been touted as a soulslike by many over the last three years of its run. I definitely have to agree that it incorporates many elements to make it relevant to the times, but I would suggest that it isn’t a negative comment on the title as a whole. Instead, it works with these said elements and mechanics to deliver a solid single-player experience that many players can get into and enjoy.
First of all, Fallen Order has a difficulty selection that allows you to cater to your sensibilities without it being too daunting, something that isn’t usually offered in similar games. I would suggest selecting the “Jedi Knight” difficulty to give you enough challenge to make it worthwhile. While some may choose to go with the story mode route, the Jedi Knight difficulty is perfectly balanced, and I very much enjoyed my time with it.
While there is no actual stamina meter, there is a block meter ini Fallen Order that limits your defenses. A good strategy would be to learn how to parry, as that would be a good skill to master early in the game. Enemies respawn when you save in your meditation pods (save points) and if you die, you will lose the experience earned until you claim it on your next playthrough. Sounds very “soulslike,” eh?
Unless you crank up the difficulty to Jedi Master, the soulslike similarities end there. Personally, like Control, the barrier to entry of Fallen Order isn’t too intense, and it is quite accessible to genre newcomers. As you “remember” your training, you don’t really become invincible compared to other action games of its type, but it will make it a better experience. As you improve as a Jedi, you also see the improvements as you make your way through the game.
To round off the combat, you do have quite a number of different enemies to fight, including the diverse flora and fauna located on the different planets you visit. You will take on different ranked members of the Empire Army, from the lowly stormtrooper to the highly trained Purge troopers, who will take a little bit more to defeat.
Enemy aggro varies, and the challenge changes depending on whether you are facing a crowd or are taking on a one-on-one duel. As you progress, you will encounter specialized bosses such as bounty hunters and species variants that pose a more difficult challenge. Story bosses such as Inquisitors will also serve as set pieces that highlight your progress as a Jedi Knight.
Just like its souls brethren, there are always ways to cheese and go through battles with the freedom to choose how to approach it should the difficulty prove too much, but this really isn’t permission to not learn its systems, as tougher enemies will require a much more refined strategy.
I appreciate that the loot you get from the game is more cosmetic in nature, highlighting the initiative to focus on your actual player skill rather than working towards a boring incremental increase on your gear. I feel that this move towards a non-gear-centric paradigm brings back the fun for the player and places the focus on the action and skill compared to overpowering opponents.
A Galaxy Not So Far Away
Fallen Order is a game that is pretty substantial in length. Taking around 20-25 hours to complete (we completed it in 27, with some exploration in between), there’s a lot to conquer, and many secrets to be found. The galaxy feels vast, with different planets to uncover and fully explorable areas that branch off to massively built stages.
Each planet has its unique flora and fauna, different levels of verticality, and fun areas to platform and revisit once you’ve gotten hold of more advanced traversal techniques. As you improve, you’ll learn how to wall run and somersault to reach secrets and chests that improve force and life gauges. It allows for better replayability, extending your experience of the story, and even as a way to take a break from it.
More than anything, the story Fallen Order lets players experience is a very good one, something you don’t normally say with Star Wars games. It is not overwritten and even provides some moments of heart between the characters. While the focus circles around a few key characters, this serves to develop them further.
I hope that some of the quality-of-life features could be improved for the sequel. From little things such as scene skips to better fast travel options, some aspects of the game prove to be too cumbersome, and this will serve to make the experience much more streamlined.
Overall, Fallen Order is a well-balanced game that caters to everybody regardless of skill level. It provides a fun experience in all accounts that maintain momentum and interest until you’ve completed your run. If you want to do it again from the start, there is a New Game+ that carries over your cosmetics to the next experience to extend your brief adventure, as well as Meditation Challenges where you can face swarms of enemies to hone your skills.
What We Liked:
- Balanced combat for all skill levels.
- Vast regions to explore highlighting extensive verticality and a diverse variety for each planet.
- Engaging story and interesting lore to keep you motivated.
What We Didn’t Like:
- The game is a little short, I wanted more planets to explore and more enemy variants to encounter.
- Quality of life features can be improved such as fast travel and scene skip options.
Verdict: Buy It!
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is an essential experience, not just as a gamer, but also as part of the Star Wars lore for fans and casuals alike. It is a perfectly balanced game that caters to all skill levels and provides a meaningful and entertaining chapter to engage yourself with, leading up to the release of the sequel.
Despite its short length, Fallen Order provides you ample time to complete to prepare for the next chapter. As a single-player game, it provides you with enough to actually enjoy and also whet your appetite for more. It provides a tight adventure to get attached to Cal Kestis and the other characters in the game which will leave you looking forward to what lies ahead.