In Jedi Fallen Order you play as Cal Kestis, a former Jedi apprentice who has gone into hiding after the Order 66 was executed. After an unexpected turn of events, Cal is on the run from the Empire and goes on a journey to find a list of force-sensitive children. It is tough to talk about the narrative without revealing too much and potential spoiling it for others so I won’t be talking about it much. I’d just like to say that the game succeeds in providing a solid story while also exploring the pasts of certain key characters. The final chapter is by far the best and gives us an ending which would leave any Star Wars fan asking for more.
In terms of visuals, the game is stunning and takes advantage of the capabilities of Unreal Engine 4. The landscapes feature vivid colors and each planet has its own unique personality and beauty. Cal’s motion capture is impressive and the lightsaber animations are some of the best we’ve seen in a Star Wars game.
The gameplay mechanics are similar to those in Sekiro and Metroidvania games. Combat does well to challenge you in every encounter and raises the stakes by setting you back to checkpoints which could be several minutes back. You also risk losing the experience you gained if you don’t hit the enemy that killed you previously. Cal unlocks new abilities in combat which make him increasingly powerful and versatile. This doesn’t make gameplay much easier though with timing and decision making being the major factors to your success.
Exploration mainly features platforming sections where Cal shows off his wall-running, climbing and other abilities to get to his destination. While traversing a new area for the first time might be tough since most main entrances are locked at first, you will be able to open up these shortcuts later on which makes things easier and faster. This was a relief since fast travel isn’t an option, the map is too complicated and I found myself backtracking very frequently.
The boss fights, in general, are incredibly well done and provide some of the most memorable moments in the story. In fact, some of the villians’ characters where more intriguing than Cal’s and showed more personality in these battles. There are some optional minibosses which are just powerful reskins of regular enemies, but still are a fun challenge.
I experienced a few performance issues on the PlayStation 4 version where the frame rate would dip when entering new areas but that shouldn’t be much of a concern and will probably be patched soon. Another minor complaint would be the long load times when respawning which was very frustrating especially in a game where dying happens quite often.
Jedi Fallen Order breaks the recent trend of mediocre Star Wars game and presents us with an enjoyable experience and an engaging story. The game also enriches the Star Wars lore and provides fan service in a variety of different ways. To sum it up, Jedi Fallen Order is a great action game thanks to its combat mechanics and compelling visuals and excellent ending. A sequel or expansion would surely make sense and hopefully we see more Star Wars games of this caliber soon.
GameRev was provided with a digital download code for the purpose of this review.