Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order delivers one of the best Star Wars video game experiences, and I will go so far as to say that it was far better than Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Respawn was able to provide a good balance - there will be many-a-Star Wars pun here - between the multitude of elements that they have opted to incorporate in EA’s latest Star Wars outing, and despite some stumbling points along the way, it is a masterful showcase; though, this might not be for everyone.
Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order is set after the events of Order 66; the Jedi Order has been destroyed, the Empire is at its strongest, and the remaining Jedi and Force-sensitives are being hunted down by the Inquisitors. Here we follow the journey of Cal Kestis, a Jedi padawan who has been in hiding, and must now face his destiny. While the story of Cal is not extremely complex or convoluted, it is still deeply personal, and in typical Star Wars fashion, he suffers tragedy from the opening of the title.
Early on, we are met with the game’s central antagonist, an Inquisitor known as the Second Sister; a brutal and unempathetic Empirical warrior, and one of the strongest members of the elite team. She, along with her fellow Inquisitors, have a singular objective: eliminate all remaining Jedi and Force-sensitives who were not killed during Order 66. The first impressions of the Second Sister paint a one-sided image of a fairly generic Star Wars antagonist which makes it difficult to feel anything towards her, focusing rather on our protagonist, Cal.
Cal is a rather quiet character to start, mainly down to him keeping his head down to avoid being noticed. Exploring Cal’s history, we learn of how he has lost his connection with the Force after the events of Order 66, as well as his Master. Seemingly isolated incidents are interestingly intertwined to weave a relatable narrative, as we form a connection with Cameron Monaghan’s portrayal of the Jedi padawan. Other characters we meet along the way are given personalities in their own right, and while their stories are not explored as in-depth as a select few, the glimpses we do see offer enough to make them 3-Dimensional.
Though, this isn’t just the story of Cal, but rather an introspection into what so many had to endure as a result of Palpatine’s act. We also dive into the past of one of your crewmates, Cere, whose story is what we could expect from a Star Wars epic, but thanks to the more poignant focus, it becomes a heart-breaking experience. In fact, most of the personalities you come across are written in such a way that the lines between light and dark are blurred.
All of this is brought to light by the excellent writing on the part of Respawn - the same developer that made me fall in love with a mech - which trickles all the way down from the over-arching storyline to the dialogue heard throughout the various worlds. Exceptionally included are the countless easter eggs heard, especially among the Stormtroopers that make you chuckle in between - even during - intense encounters. The Empire’s legion is often heard trash-talking you at the start of a fight, only to, and I quote, say “Oops, no, I am not ready, I regret taking him on”. Initially, this might seem to take away from the seriousness of the combat but as you progress, you realise that these are more than just quick querps, but add more life to otherwise random enemies. At the heart of it though, it also shows how the developers had fun on this project, which is translated into every aspect of the game.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order swaps mindless lightsaber swings for thoughtful and planned combat...
No matter how many times I failed, I was transfixed in finally conquering the obstacle before me...
Loves games with deep character development and a rich storyline. Also, shooty-shooties. Loathes microtransactions. Likes to use sarcasm and metaphors.
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PC, PS4, Xbox One
15 November 2019
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