So… Jedi: Fallen Order has finally been released. It may have been overshadowed slightly by Nintendo’s Pokemon Sword and Shield, but Fallen Order has come out to rave reviews. Both IGN and Steam have given it a 9/10, but the question still remains… Is it worth the effort?
Yes. Absolutely, yes.
The Premise of Jedi: Fallen Order
Primarily, Jedi: Fallen Order takes place in that little gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. The same time as Rogue One, for example. And Solo. And Force Unleashed. It’s a busy time, alright? One that might be a bit over-played if-not for all the incredible content.
Throughout the Jedi: Fallen Order campaign, you play as Cal Kestis. He’s a former Jedi Padawan who begins the story in hiding in a ship-breaking yard on Bracca. It’s okay if you haven’t heard of it; neither had I.
Still, it holds all the Star Wars charm, so you instantly feel immersed in the universe. Oh, and Jaro Tapal is Cal’s Jedi Master. I know, I know. He’s a new character, too. But it’s fine. He’s also very Star Wars.
Essentially, Cal is on the run from the Empire at the start of the story. It’s an interesting enough premise but not a wholly original one. Thankfully, it gets interesting quickly with the introduction of Sith Inquisitors, Cere, and Greez*. Cere and Greeze reveal the main plotline of the game, setting the stakes high and the objective clear. Cal is the only hope the galaxy has of restoring the Jedi Order, a valuable asset in the fight against the Empire.
Here is where you’ll feel a bit defeated. We’ve all seen A New Hope. We know what happens, ultimately: the Jedi Order is never properly restored. We know that Cal is unlikely to make it to the end of the story. It’s Disney’s major problem with the Star Wars lore. Rejecting Legends to continue with the Sequel trilogy has left them a lot of holes to fill, with a high risk of filling said holes with something that contradicts existing material. Still, you want to at least kill a couple of Sith Inquisitors, so you’re invested.
“Jedi Fallen Order seems to fit very well in the Star Wars Universe.”
Thankfully, for those of us unversed in the deep lore of Star Wars, there are some name-drops to recognizable figures early on. Cere, while explaining Jedi holocrons, offers Cal a short message from Obi-Wan Kenobi. She also namedrops Wookie Chieftan Tarfull, who… albeit less popular, is someone I recognized! So that was good. Either way, recognizable or not, it all feels VERY Star Wars. In the same way that I enjoyed Battlefront II’s short campaign for its authentic feeling, Jedi Fallen Order seems to fit very well in the Star Wars universe. It may seem like EA and Disney don’t care about the lore, but at least each addition they do make is of a fantastic quality.
*Yes. I instantly went “Greez nuts!” when I heard that.
Fallen Order’s Gameplay Is Ruthless
Everyone and their astromech is saying Jedi: Fallen Order is like Dark Souls. They’re not that wrong. From the save system to the brutality of the combat, it is clear to see that there was at least some inspiration there.
Fallen Order isn’t a hack-and-slash title. It’s far from it. Cal, bless his force-sensitive soul, can only swing his lightsaber so fast, so no matter how fast you spam the attack button, Cal attacks at his own pace. Getting used to this was a steep learning curve. It seems that I am an aggressive duelist. However, you quickly learn that you need to time your strikes and BLOCK EVERYTHING. I’m playing on Jedi Master difficulty, the second from most-difficult. Bog Rats were embarrassing me. From the name alone, I won’t need to tell you that these things aren’t all that. Yet, unless you approach the fight with caution and patience, you’re made to pay.
This is what I like about Jedi: Fallen Order. You have to actually think while you play it. It makes surviving each conflict with Stormtroopers that much more satisfying. The sheer difficulty really hammers home the game’s atmosphere and reinforces its Star Wars feel. The Empire is a scary thing, and Jedi: Fallen Order makes sure you know that. Cal is a Jedi Padawan, too. Not a knight, certainly not a Master. He’s out of his depth in the universe, and you certainly know it.
The melee combat in Jedi: Fallen Order is fantastic. What isn’t, at the start at least, is Cal’s force abilities. I understand the concept of a skill tree. Cal’s force abilities can be upgraded, by the looks of things, but at the start, they hardly seem worth the effort. Cal’s Force Push seems fairly weak at the start. You use it a lot in the puzzle sections of the game, but I found it wasn’t worth using much in combat at the moment.
Cal’s Force Stasis, however, is literally a lifesaver. Introduced in-part through The Force Awakens’ Kylo Ren, Force Stasis slows opponents down for a short moment in Jedi Fallen Order. It doesn’t interrupt attacks but gives Cal adequate time to evade, dodge, and attack. At first, I admittedly forgot I had the ability and struggled a lot against any real threat. While I am still VERY early on in the game, it’s safe to say that Jedi: Fallen Order’s combat and traversal presents an exciting challenge to players and only enhances the threat Cal faces throughout.
Final Thoughts on Jedi: Fallen Order
Jedi: Fallen Order is chock-full of things that Star Wars fans, new and old, can enjoy and appreciate. It is also full of things that are simply badass.
BD-1, Cal’s droid companion, matches up with BB-8, R2-D2, and K2-SO. He provides Cal with important services such as mapping the area, scanning flora and fauna, and providing healing stims. Not only this, but his chirpy beeps and enthusiasm keep both Cal and the player upbeat despite the fact they have been dying seven times to the same Scout Trooper.
Much like any action-RPG, Jedi: Fallen Order offers a degree of customization to the player. Unlike most competitors in the genre, Jedi Fallen Order’s customization options seem largely cosmetic. You can change the components and materials of Cal’s lightsaber, but there is no sign that it actually changes the weapon. Cal and BD-1 also have customization options, but these are also cosmetic.
Onto the badass… The Sith Inquisitors are badass. Inquisitors are Jedi hunters used by the Empire to chase up loose ends after Order 66. We’ve seen them most notably in Rebels, the animated series, and they pop up a fair bit in Darth Vader’s comic run. They’re the big bad of Fallen Order. So far, I’ve only had a brief encounter with a couple of them at the start of the story. It leaves you itching for a real fight against them.
“Inquisitors are Jedi hunters used by the Empire to chase up loose ends after Order 66.”
The Second Sister sports a double-bladed spinning lightsaber and appears to be the more authoritative of the two Inquisitors you encounter. The Ninth Sister, however, is stronk. She also has the spinning-lightsaber, but her sheer size makes her undoubtedly the more terrifying of the two. I expect we may see another Inquisitor or two pop up in the game, but that depends on how much of a threat they feel Cal to be. If you want to learn more about their extensive history, I recommend looking here.
Do you think Jedi: Fallen Order has made the amends we talked about here?
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