It is a big couple of months for the Star Wars franchise the end of the Skywalker saga finally comes to an end with Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker in December. Then, of course, there is the launch of Disney + in the US comes the brand new series The Mandalorian and the release of the entire Star Wars saga in 4K on the service.
All of this is within the same week as the release of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC via EA’s Origin service. Star Wars Jedi is quite possibly EA’s most important entry in the franchise since they have obtained the license. After the disastrous launch of Star Wars: Battlefront II the publisher needs to prove to fans and more importantly Disney that they can deliver with their latest release. Let’s take a look to see if they succeeded by taking a looking at what we loved and didn’t love about the game.
10 Didn’t: It May Be Too Challenging For Some
For most gamers that enjoy a challenge, this is a compliment in every regard as there are far too many games that can be accused of hand-holding and virtually playing the games for them. However, there are some gamers out there that don’t enjoy any kind of challenge.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is not Dark Souls tough but it’s no pushover either. Enemies can be tricky and the combat needs to be mastered to really get everything out of the game. Furthermore, there are lots of Legend of Zelda-style puzzles that require some time and thought.
9 Loved: The Graphic Design
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order boasts some stunning visuals and takes full advantage of the Unreal Engine 4 to produce some fantastic effects. However, it doesn’t just have great graphics but an amazing art style too.
Star Wars fans, in particular, will appreciate how much attention to detail that has gone into everything from the alien designs to the worlds. Even the dark industrial opening level looks incredible and it just keeps getting better.
8 Didn't: Cal Isn’t Very Engaging At The Start
The lead protagonist Cal is played by Cameron Monaghan, the same actor that played Jerome AKA The Joker in the FOX TV series Gotham and Ian Gallagher in the US version of Shameless. He is a terrific performer and a great voice actor that did a great job as Superboy in the animated movie Reign of the Supermen.
However, in the early stages of the game at least the character Cal is a little one dimensional and bland. Of course in typical Star Wars fashion, he grows as a character and develops into the hero that he needs to be as the game progresses so bear with him.
7 Loved: It Feels Like A Star Wars Story
It was confirmed by the developers that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is canon and takes place just after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. The game’s protagonist Cal is a young Jedi that just managed to escape The Empire after Order 66 was initiated.
There has been an incredible amount of work by the developers Respawn to make sure that the game feels exactly how a Star Wars game should. It stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the brand new series Star Wars: The Mandalorian and Star Wars: Rogue One.
6 Didn’t: There’s A Lot Of Platforming
One of the best features in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the terrific combat. However, there seems to be more focus on platforming, climbing, and jumping than there is fighting. The platforming, for the most part, feels tight and Cal is as agile as a Jedi is expected to be.
There will be more than a few occasions where players will feel like they are playing Uncharted the Star Wars edition. This is especially so with the amount of wall scaling and rope swinging that’s involved. Thankfully, there’s a lot of very cool moments that work seamlessly into these moments so it never gets too tiresome.
5 Loved: The Combat System
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order without a doubt has the best lightsaber combat system ever developed. The game takes inspiration from the Dark Souls series using light and strong attacks but it's distinctive enough so that it never feels like a direct copy.
The lead combat system designer Jason de Heras previously worked on the God of War series and he’s done an incredible job here. The use of the lightsaber is smooth, fast, responsive and feels awesome to play. It’s as close as anyone will ever get feeling like a Jedi without getting cast in any future Star Wars movies.
4 Didn't: Some Texture Pop In
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is without a doubt a beautiful looking game and considering it is as early launch at the time writing it’s very impressive that there isn’t anything game-breaking. The game feels very smooth and the framerate seems to be holding up well on the Xbox One X.
However, there are some moments of pop-in during certain moments shadows and texture can just appear at certain points in the game. This can become more noticeable when Cal turns around very suddenly. Thankfully, it’s not terrible and probably nothing a future patch update couldn’t fix.
3 Loved: Incredible Music
The Star Wars films have some of the greatest and recognizable musical scores in history. The orchestral score by John Williams stands as some of the most iconic in film and that needs to be represented as much as possible in the games to capture that important Star Wars feel.
Thankfully, the musical score in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is outstanding. It manages to feel every bit as epic as a Star Wars game should while carving out an identity all of its own. The composers are Gordy Haab who had previously worked on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: Battlefront and Stephen Barton who worked on Titanfall and Apex Legends.
Haab and Barton worked with the London Symphony Orchestra and Bach Choir of London achieve one of the best scores in gaming.
2 Didn't: Shadows Can Seem A Little Dark In HDR
With exception to some shadow popping in here and there, the lighting effects are for the most part superb in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. However, those with HDR-compatible TVs may notice that the HDR effect can make some scenes appear a little too dark.
It is possible to increase the brightness in the game’s settings menu but this can lead to the game looking too overexposed looking. The best way to remedy this would be to adjust one’s television settings rather than use the game’s brightness for adjustments.
1 Loved: The Motion Capture
Star Wars Jedi: The Last Order has a very character-driven story and this is delivered perfectly by the game’s fantastic visuals, voice acting and of course the facial animation. It is incredibly convincing and players will find themselves forgetting that they are watching videogame cutscenes.
The game is comparable to the likes of God of War, Uncharted 4 and the Tomb Raider series for its beautifully captured animation. The motion capture in Fallen Order beautifully recreates lightsaber duels in a way that’s never looked so good in a videogame before.