As far as console generations go, this current one has been light on major new Star Wars games. Ever since EA acquired the Star Wars license in 2013, the only new games we’ve seen come out (not counting mobile games or Warner Bros’ LEGO spinoffs) are DICE’s two Battlefront games. That changes today with the release of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the new third-person action-adventure game from Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment.
Over the years, some of the franchise’s best games, like Knights of the Old Republic and The Force Unleashed, have offered fans the opportunity to explore other corners of the vast Star Wars universe, with rich storylines and memorable characters that prove there’s more to Star Wars than the movies. This trend of narrative-driven games begins anew with Fallen Order, which tells the post-Prequel Trilogy story of Cal Kestis, a Jedi apprentice fighting to stay one step ahead of the newly-formed Empire in the wake of the Jedi Order’s destruction.
With the game now available, fans are going to want to know if there’s enough meat on its bones, both in terms of narrative and gameplay-wise, to justify the cost of an AAA title. Good thing, then, that media outlets have already released their reviews. Here’s what a few of them have to say about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order:
VentureBeat (Jeff Grubb)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the ideal example of a Star Wars game in 2019. It’s an expert blend of multiple genres. It has characters that you love spending time with. It has the deeply attractive design aesthetic of the movies. But Fallen Order is more than just “a good Star Wars game.” Respawn has made one of the best 3D Metroidvania games ever. And it’s among the best Souls-like games as well. It is the kind of achievement that is only possible when one of the best developers in the world puts all of its might into making something special. And I hope we get more just like it in the future.
IGN (Dan Stapleton)
It’s been ages since we got a great single-player Star Wars action game, but Jedi: Fallen Order makes up for a lot of lost time. A strong cast sells a dark story while keeping things fun and loyal to Star Wars lore, and fast, challenging combat mixes with energetic platforming, decent puzzles, and diverse locations to explore for an all-around amazing game.
Game Informer (Andrew Reiner)
Despite these numerous little problems, Respawn’s maiden voyage with Star Wars is largely a success. I couldn’t put this game down, both for the thrill of exploring and wanting to see where the story took me next. The inspirations taken from Dark Souls, Uncharted, and Metroid Prime unite to create something unique that just happens to work incredibly well for this beloved license. Like most starships in this universe, Jedi: Fallen Order could use a little polish, but the rust doesn’t hold it back from roaring with excitement.
GamesRadar (Ben Tyrer)
Still, even if this isn't the most polished Star Wars game we've seen, it's also the first one in years that comes closest to capturing the magic of the series. Battlefront looked like Star Wars. Fallen Order, with an endearing earnestness that mirrors its heroes, gets what makes the series special. It's in the glimpses of strange worlds and cultures we want to learn more about, it's enjoying the ragtag groups who slowly learn to trust each other, and it's the fact that lightsabers are really great fun. Especially when you get them right.
Polygon (Ben Kuchera)
Jedi: Fallen Order is enjoyable, with caveats about its performance and some aspects of its design attached, but it goes places I didn’t expect, and it gets there by a route I would never have considered. That’s a bold choice for a game this inherently commercial. Jedi: Fallen Order is a flawed, sometimes messy game, but it’s a Star Wars experience I didn’t know I wanted. And after finishing it, I definitely want more.
GameSpot (Phil Hornshaw)
But especially as it wears on, Fallen Order becomes perhaps the strongest conception of what playing as a Jedi Knight ought to really be like. It's true that Fallen Order borrows liberally from other action games, but those elements work together with Respawn's combat and environment design, and a story that finds humanity in the Force and in its characters, to hone in on what makes the world of Star Wars worthy of revisiting again and again. Even with some rough edges, Fallen Order represents one of the most compelling game additions to the Star Wars franchise in years.
USGamer (Kat Bailey)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order comes painfully close to being the best action game of the year, but it ultimately falls short due to pacing problems and a host of technical issues. Still, this is the first step into a larger world for a franchise that has persistently struggled since its acquisition by EA.
Eurogamer (Emma Kent)
When I reached the end of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, I didn't feel like I'd had a rewarding experience. I was relieved it was over. With some side-meandering, it took around 30 hours, and I didn't enjoy a lot of them. I'll admit crunching a Souls-like in less than four days is an unnatural and gruelling experience: I imagine if I'd played Fallen Order over several months, I would have been less frustrated, but probably still bored. It's such a shame, as Fallen Order has an incredible gameplay experience at its core, with fantastic environments and well-directed action sequences. Yet it's unable to sustain this thanks to some fundamental design problems. As for the story? Well, it never gets off the ground.
So there we go. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and it might not be as original as some may want, but for fans of both Star Wars and series like Uncharted and Dark Souls, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order makes a strong case for their time, especially compared to all of the other noteworthy single-player games that are coming out this month.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is now available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.