Okay, I never thought I’d be doing this, but here it goes. A review, (well sort of) of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, published by Electronic Arts in 2019, winner of the 2020 NME Award for Best Game, and the second game I’ve ever played to completion.
If you’re looking for useful information about a game that is three-years-old, you’re lost and need to find an exit. If you’re wondering how a game whose main protagonist has a face like a wet towel, received multiple 9/10 ratings then you are in the right place.
My initial thoughts after finishing this game were, “now that’s 30 gigs of hard drive I can free-up”. And my second was feeling bad for whoever shelled out the full price for a game which, amounted to running on some walls and collecting small lightsaber upgrades. There are a few things that stand out to me most, one being the praise the game received when it first came out, but mostly it was the lack of what I’d call “not-sucking”.
Jedi: Fallen Order isn’t an open-world game, though the maps are pretty expansive. And personally, I felt at odds while playing the game, wanting to explore areas, while at the same time fighting off bad guys. So while it does feel like the game is full of “other things” you can do, actually running around on your own after completing a mission or task feels rather empty, and though there are some fun places to climb and explore, I found myself less than interested.
I have never liked structured rating systems, such as 1 through 10 or five stars. I think it stifles real criticism, so instead of using a numerical system I want to introduce a weighted measurement for the games we will be talking about on this page, and so I’d like to explain what I have called the P.I.S.S system.
P stands for Playability and will refer to how fun and playable the game is. I, stands for Interesting, basically “is this game exciting, engrossing” etc. The first S stands for Sick. Does the game have a wow factor? Something other games don’t offer? And the last S stands for Shelf-life. Will I play this game again?
Now that we understand each other, let’s put Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order through the P.I.S.S test.
Playability is the main thing this game has going for it. The graphics are amazing. Like really amazing. I spent quite a bit of time, when entering new places or after arriving on new planets just taking in the scenery. And combined with the platforming aspects the general play of the game is fluid and yet feels open to interpretation. The fighting mechanics are fun as well, leaning heavily on parring, and relying solely on your lightsaber skills. You do one mission in an AT-AT walker, but it only lasts a few minutes.
Cal Kestis is a terribly boring character. He’s a good guy who always makes the right decisions and isn’t tempted in the slightest. His face was particularly annoying to me, and once I googled the guy who voiced the character, I understood why. There were some interesting parts though, most notably the shirtless Jedi guy, and the dinosaur. But I felt let down, as Cal searched ancient Jedi temples looking for a lost artifact, feeling the holograms of said Jedi’s were formless. The heart of the story for me, unearthing a lost Jedi past, was poorly tapped together.
No. The last game I played to completion, before Jedi Fallen Order, was the Lucas arts game, The Revenge of the Sith, which I had on PlayStation 2. And that game, was basically the same thing, from my standpoint anyway. Learning new Jedi moves is only exciting because it lets you explore new areas on the map. But once you do, you find that there really is no reason to backtrack, because all you’ll end up finding is an extra long hallway or lightsaber attachment that you can hardly even notice when fighting. The only sick factor for me was the graphics, and that alone is not enough for me.
Nada. There is no reason for me to go back to this game. Sure I could play it again, I won’t, but I could. Once you finish the story Cal earns access to an arcade mode that can be found in the meditation circles. This lets you select and fight every opponent you’ve come across, and as many of them as you can fit on a chess-styled fighting board at a time. But after completing the story I was neither interested in fighting pointless arcade battles nor excited about exploring the remaining maps.
Rating: P.i - If this is the best Jedi game out there, I feel sorry for the Star Wars fans reading this. Electronic Arts knows they can keep pumping out these games and you’ll keep buying them. So while it felt soulless, I guess that what people have come to expect.