It’s been two months since I finished Jedi: Fallen Order, with the draft of this review sitting there barely touched since then. What a few months away has done is provide me with perspective. How do I really view the game?
*Waves hand a bit*
*General mixed bag kind of comments*
For every moment where I felt like a true Jedi, there was at least one where I found myself lost or frustrated; it sure had a habit of undermining itself.
Fallen Order is not the Arkham/Spider-Man type game I expected and is more like Dark Souls or Sekiro. Having not played either of those, the first few hours with the game were definitely impacted negatively by me fighting against expectations. I jumped in expecting to be able to quickly get to grips with a mixture of attack/jump/block, but instead found myself overwhelmed. The difficulty level was soon changed from a possibly arrogant ‘Jedi Master’ to a still challenging ‘Jedi Knight’. I’d get to grips with the tools available in time, though I never did get used to parrying.
With some conversation options and the ability to choose where I was going next from the comfort of my base/cool ship, there was a definite whiff of Mass Effect. Sadly, the system is token at best, making no noticeable different to the story or its outcome. There’s nothing here approaching Grunt, let alone Garrus. In fact, I felt as though I’d missed things several times, with jumps in the relationships taking place seemingly randomly. I didn’t feel any closer to my team, but they sure acted like it. Such an odd thing, the game didn’t even make the arrival of a second blade all that exciting. It’s like the game didn’t know when to apply the fireworks.
Traversal, both in terms of movement and design, is a good example of the game tripping over its own feet. Jumping high as I pulled a rope to me made me feel powerful and in control, like a Jedi! But then I’d slide down a slope and manage to both under and over steer myself into a series of clumsy mishaps. Add in maps that actually prohibit exploration with a series of dead ends and confusing design, and you have a terribly frustrating situation.
There is some cool stuff though. For one, I could always control if I was using one or two blades; igniting a lightsaber never gets boring. I really enjoyed being able to customise mine too, as my Twitter ‘versions’ thread could attest. I wish there was more, but picking out options and seeing them carry over into cut scenes was very cool. There were some fantastic scenes too; flying high over Kashyyk, I could see both the planet’s majesty and the tragedy befalling it. Unless you follow different strands of media, the story doesn’t fit in anywhere really, but it did feel Star Wars.
Jedi: Fallen Order can’t match the hack’n’slash of Unleashed or the celebrated duels of Jedi Outcast when it comes to lightsaber combat. It’s a good looking game and contains some great moments. But its story is at best fine, not carrying the weight you might expect of this time in galactic history. Technical glitches and long loading times don’t help matters. Perhaps a future sequel could be all this one tries to be. Just look at the title; doesn’t quite come together does it? A good game, but not a great or particularly memorable one.