Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 27.11.2019 2

Review for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on PlayStation 4

There few franchises out there as beloved as Star Wars, and fewer that have had to live through so many disappointing tie-ins. The films have had the taint of the prequels along with the lacklustre new trilogy, Abrams' retreading, and Johnson's miss-stepping… and the games have fared even worse. The glory days of Kyle Katarn and Revan are long gone. Perhaps that's why this new entry from Respawn has arrived with so little hype or fanfare, as the worry after the drama of Battlefield 2 had a lot of players lacking faith in this. Can Fallen Order prove them wrong and stand alongside The Mandalorian in breathing new life into the franchise?

Opening on a ship scraper yard, a young man is working stripping the many familiar ships from the fallout of the Empire coming to power. It's pretty bad in regards to health and safety there, as it seems a giant Sarlacc type creature lives just below the working areas. As to be expected, something goes wrong, and Cal along with his friend are about to plummet to their deaths after a dramatic Uncharted-style dramatic sequence, all climaxing with him reaching out to save his friend from a deadly fall. Reaching out with the Force.

Cal, as is obvious from all the marketing, is a Jedi, and this is based after Revenge of the Sith, when Vader and the Empire are hunting down and slaughtering Jedi. Cal's secret possibly out, he plans to flee, but sadly he's too late. Already Imperial officers have arrived with a contingent of Stormtroopers. At their head is the dreaded Inquisition. Fans of the extended universe and the Clone Wars, in particular, will be quite familiar with these characters - for those who are not, they are made up of converted ex-Jedi who worked for Vader in hunting down Jedi. Here, two of their number are in attendance: the "Second Sister" and the "Ninth Sister." They're here to kill the Jedi.

Screenshot for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on PlayStation 4

Cal's escape is made possible, though barely, thanks to the intervention of another Jedi, the former Jedi Master Cere Junda. Cal leaves the planet with Cere and her pilot, Greez. This little group embarks on a grand quest. A fallen Jedi Master has hidden a Holocron - a device usable only by Jedi - that contains the names and locations of Force-sensitive children; a new generation of Jedi to try and rekindle the Jedi Order. To acquire this list, Cal must travel across the parsec, visiting planets that hold ancient temples of a lost civilisation. However, with the Empire ever-expanding, these worlds already falling beneath the boot of the galactic fascists. Not to mention, the Sisters of the Inquisition are eager to carry out their duty.

This cinematic introduction alone shows a lot of promise. It immediately feels engaging and cinematic, and most importantly, it feels absolutely, quintessentially Star Wars, seamlessly blending iconic elements of the franchise, without feeling self-indulgent. What really shines through the most is the absolutely wonderful soundtrack. It's easy to forget just how many iconic themes Star Wars actually has, and it's a joy to listen to them here, where they're woven perfectly into the proceedings.

After the initial introduction where Cal clambers and traverses like a Jedi Nathan Drake, new worlds open up to explore, and while they're quite linear, there is room to explore and plenty of secrets and items to track down and uncover, including the age-old method of introducing obstacles that need new abilities unlocked to overcome, giving Cal a wall-run, double jump, force pull, and force push. All introduced via flashbacks to Cal training with his master. The worlds to explore are varied and distinct. Kashyyyk is a gorgeous, verdant land of natural beauty, the towering trees being corrupted by the Empires machines. Dathomir is a rocky red mountainous area which contains the Nightsisters and Nightbrothers from the Clone Wars. Ilum gives an icy frigid world.

Screenshot for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on PlayStation 4

There are many little technical issues with the fundamentals of the exploration. The climbing sequences feel very dated - they are enjoyable, but so telegraphed. It's easy to see exactly where and how to traverse, it would have been good to see these as more open sections. In addition, there are numerous sequences where Cal has to slide down slopes and ramps, avoiding obstacles and jumping across gaps. The controls at these points are awful, hugely unresponsive and clunky, making them not at all enjoyable. Possibly the worst issue though are the loading times. They can be really disruptive, especially after deaths in combat.

Fallen Order wears its inspirations on its sleeve, and exploration is quite clearly influenced by Uncharted, while the combat takes some influence from Dark Souls. Death in the game means the enemy who took out Cal takes all the experience he had previously built up and the only way to reclaim it is to inflict damage on that enemy. This - strangely - also fully restores Cal's health and Force meters. There are Bonfire-like Meditation Points where Cal can rest, restoring health, force, "Sim" capsules - the games healing items - respawning all enemies in the process.

Screenshot for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on PlayStation 4

Dark Souls is known for its high level of challenge and while this doesn't hold the same level of difficulty, it's surprisingly tricky. The combat can be a little clunky, especially with the wild enemies.
There are plenty of flavours of Stormtrooper to take on over the course of the game. Standard troopers with Blasters who's bolts can be reflected back at them, electron baton-wielding close combat troops, flame troopers with huge flamethrowers, and heavy gunners. The Stormtroopers are bolstered by AT-STs and KS20 style Imperial Security Droids. Then there are the black-uniformed Purge Troopers who work directly for the Inquisition. These sinister warriors with their specialist weapons offer up much more of a challenge than their bleached compatriots, but there are more than just the forces of the Empire for Cal to cut down. Bolstering the ranks of the enemies are wild animals. The Star Wars universe has long held a considerable bestiary of creatures and there's plenty in attendance here and they offer up a greater challenge than their humanoid counterparts.

The story itself is great. It's easy to get invested with the heroes, and the main villain is an interesting, three-dimensional antagonist. Of all the characters though, the best has to be BD-1. Thanks to the huge popularity of R2-D2, droid companions have long been a key component of all Star Wars stories. From KS20 to BB8. None of them are quite as likeable as this little bipedal charmer, though. He's not just cosmetic either, he's key to the story and the gameplay itself, as he is able to hack, acts as a method to zipline, and can slice open doors and crates.

Speaking of cosmetics, unsurprisingly for an EA game, and a Star Wars game, there are a ton of cosmetic items and customisations. What is surprising is that they're not adding a price tag for it. Yes. This isn't paid DLC. Instead, it's hidden across the game to collect. What a novel idea. Scattered across the many worlds are crates that BD-1 takes great pleasure in literally diving into and rummaging around. Within, he finds Ponchos and Outfits for Cal or Paintjobs for himself and the Mantis. Best of all are Lightsaber parts to customise Cal's more civilised weapon.

Screenshot for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

A new hope is here, as Star Wars video games finally get the long-awaited return to form they deserve. The creators clearly care about the source material, and have produced a story and a setting that will hopefully continue being explored. There are some teething issues here, but there is much more promise. Respawn has created the first step on what could be a very bright future.

Developer

Respawn

Publisher

EA

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I can't wait to give this a try in the next few months!

This game looks epic! Really glad it got positive reviews, as it has me even more excited to play this.

Even more excited for unlockable cosmetics that don't cost an extra cent beyond buying the game!! 

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