Jedi: Fallen Order
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Jedi: Fallen Order

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order :: Reviews
Electronic Arts
1x BD
 (US) $59.99
 (UK) £42.99
 (JP) ¥7,010
XB1, PS4, Win 
3rd Person
Action / Adventure
1 (XBL)
n/a (co-op)
T - Teen
     > I've been an avid fan of Star Wars since day-one of the original movie in 1977. You name it: theater, cards, video games, magazines, comics, books, VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, digital -- I'm all-in. So every time a company develops a new Star Wars game, I'm definitely going to look into it. 

     > Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order takes place between the events of Episode III: revenge of the Sith (5 years after) and Episode IV: A New Hope. The player takes control of Cal Kestis (padowan of Jedi master Jaro Tapal), a survivor of "Order 66" (to exterminate all Jedi). The Empire tasked Trilla Suduri (a.k.a. Second Sister; Jedi padowan turned Inquisitor) and the Ninth Sister to find Cal and the Jedi Holocron containing names of Force-sensitive children. Cal teams up with former Jedi Knight Cere Junda (Trilla's former Jedi master), pilot Greez Dritus, and the cute new droid BD-1. Their mission to find the Jedi Holocron and keep the Jedi Order alive will take them to various planets in a galaxy far, far away...

     > There has been tons of hype surrounding the release of the newest Star Wars game. With Electronic Arts managing to alienate a lot of their followers in recent years, there was legitimate concern if they could pull off a winner. Is Jedi Fallen Order a microtransaction disaster, or is it old-school play and enjoy the full game? Let's see how they did.

     > Jedi Fallen Order, like a lot of games, uses the Unreal 4 graphics engine. That's great -- I'm used to it, and it does a great job of rendering 3D realms. A third person view is expected and welcome for this genre. The various locales that Cal must adventure through are beautiful to look at. Here's a few examples: Kashyyyk with its lush forests, dangerous wildlife, and murky lakes never looked better. Dathomir is as dreary, red tinted, and dangerous looking as one could imagine. Nur hosts the Inquisitor headquarters, and features deep water swimming, a deadly Inquisitor dojo, and an interrogation room the player will never forget! Eye-candy is everywhere to be appreciated.

     > The character animation is top notch. Every move, strike, and facial expression is convincing. The special effects of light speed space travel, laser blasts, stun bombs, lightsabers, flames, smoke, and explosions are just as good. The only weak graphic effect is when the Mantis (the player's spaceship) transitions from takeoff to space flight. Respawn needed to watch how it's done in No Man's Sky -- end of comment.

     > Respawn got a lot right here. However, I'm going to review the gameplay from my perspective, not on mere technical achievement. So naturally every button is used -- and a lot (my aching hand). Keep in mind, I prefer simple play mechanics with tight action, instead of complication with exact timing. Onto the good, first.

     > Jedi Fallen Order is an action/adventure presented in third person view -- check. The main controls are lightsaber attack, force attack, dodge, and jump. Add to that run, heal, switch lightsaber type, use BD-1 (hack/scan), Force slow, Force push, and Force pull. No menu required to use anything -- I like that. There's a skill advancement tree for Force, fighting, and health categories that the player can assign earned points as desired -- nice. The adventuring to find upgrades for BD-1 and one's lightsaber are a nice touch. Also, the player can jump down from quite a height, and his Jedi training won't allow damage to be taken -- good. Next, onto the bad.

     > If one has any hope of playing on more difficult levels, the mastery of blocking, dodging, and when Force powers are available is necessary. I'm no fan of that. One can't do more than a couple Force actions before the meter is empty. Bah. I think even on Story Mode (easy), I may have actually blocked an attack once every half hour. For sure some attacks are unblockable, but too many attacks [seem] unblockable, and perhaps not even dodgeable. Lol. Every area one visits will have a combination of platform jumping, rope swinging, [nearly uncontrollable] sliding, climbing, and puzzles -- yuck. I suppose there's technically nothing wrong with any of these features, except they're not on my preferred list for action games. All-in-all, the frustration level is manageable, and that's good enough for me.

     > So anyway, Cal has to traverse multiple, sometimes complicated worlds (good map system) to acquire the Jedi Holocron, and thwart the Empire's desire to exterminate the Jedi Order. All sorts of enemies must be defeated, short-cuts unlocked, and save spots found (easily spotted). Large bosses lurk in one's path in almost every area. Scanning things with BD-1, finding treasure containers (with unlockables), and finding Jedi hot spots completes the gameplay. Overall, a solid entry into the genre.

     > The sound effects are great, as one would expect. Every blaster, lightsaber, explosion, elevator, enemy, etc. has an appropriate sound. The voice acting is excellent, and quite prevalent throughout the game. Saw Gerrera makes an appearance or two, and sounds the same as in Rogue One. Naturally, there's no Star Wars (in this time frame) without Darth Vader, complete with heavy breathing and a deep, angry voice! Even R2 droids make an excited noise while being split in half with a swift lightsaber stroke -- I love destroying things!

     > Of course, you can't go wrong with Star Wars music. There's so much to draw from, and the new material fits right in. I do miss how this franchise always used to begin with the original theme song, and the story crawling on-screen. Oh well, no big deal.

     > Jedi Fallen Order has a pretty good storyline, and comfortably encourages one to see how it ends. I mean, there was really only one or two surprises to it (which I won't spoil), but I'm okay with that. A decent story with playable controls and manageable frustration awaits. Small beef: it would've been super fun to encounter Darth Maul in Dathomir -- yes, he's still alive at this point.

     > So does Jedi Fallen Order provide an enjoyable experience? It's pretty hard to make me dislike anything Star Wars related, so the simple answer is yes, it's fun! The worlds are varied, while the gameplay is challenging and can be mastered -- thank you, difficulty select. My frustration level never exceeded certain limits, which would cause me to prematurely quit the game. One source of frustration is the long load times during each respawn. Still, the third person view is expertly rendered, and rarely gets lost. Does one feel like a powerful Jedi Knight, perhaps as in The Force Unleashed II? Not quite.

Bottom Line
     > I think EA is headed in the right direction, if they can continue down the road Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has paved. Respawn is to be commended, as they've developed an enjoyable, single player adventure in the Star Wars realm. The best feature is unlocking the Double-bladed Lightsaber -- my weapon of choice whenever it's in a game. Could it be better? If mastering block and dodge, with a helping of puzzles and platforming sounds enticing, then add another point to my overall rating. Anyway, I'm pleased they left it open for a sequel -- I'll take it with less caution next time, as long as EA doesn't overtly mess with this game's success.

Pro tip: It's a free roaming adventure, so make sure to visit Dathomir as soon as possible to acquire the Double-bladed Lightsaber .

Overall: 8.5 | Graphics: 9.5 | Control: 7.5 | Sound: 9.0 | Fun: 8.0

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