By Ronald Gordon
Ever since I first encountered LucasArts’ Star Wars: The Force Unleashed series, I have been lying in wait, patiently hoping for another quality Star Wars game to rescue me from the boredom of online multiplayer and loot boxes. It seems EA has noticed that I am not alone in this endeavor, as the new Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order game is what I’ve been waiting for. In fact, it’s what we’ve all been waiting for.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a 3rd person action-adventure game developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts, puts you in the shoes of Cal Kestis, survivor of the Jedi Massacre, aka Order 66, who was hiding out, posing as a simple Scrapyard worker. After being hunted down and discovered by an Imperial force user called The Second Sister, Cal escapes the scrapyard planet of Bracca and goes on a harrowing adventure to fight against the Empire and revive the Jedi Order. He’s more powerful with the help of former Jedi Padawan Cere Junda and ship pilot Greez Dritus.
As a former Jedi, Cal has the skills to make the kills – his lightsaber combat is unmatched. Or at least it would be, if his connection with the force hadn’t been severed as a result of his near death experience during the events of Order 66. Now you must help Cal work his way back up to his former mastery of the Jedi arts by touring the galaxy, following the trail of former Jedi Masters who have left certain things behind to help the new generation of force users advance and grow, including a list of nearly every force-sensitive child in the galaxy. How convenient.
Like many other people, I love the idea of lightsaber combat. It’s amazing to have a weapon that’s literally a sword made of searing plasma, that cuts and burns through anything like a hot knife through butter. Fallen Order adds a little spin to lightsaber combat by making it more like a duel and less one-sided, as it should feel, seeing as how you’re often outnumbered. The Empire has been hunting Jedi for a good while now, so naturally, your enemies will have developed some countermeasures to your beam sword and mind powers, which brings us to the easy-to-follow combat mechanics.
In the game, you can dodge, block, parry, deflect and strike to your heart’s content while also employing the cool force powers you have at your disposal. At first, things may seem a bit slow, but as you progress and unlock more skills and abilities, you’ll slowly but surely fine new fun and interesting ways to school your Emperial opponents. Not every enemy is an easy kill, though; some of them are going to be tough challenges. However, every enemy has its weakness, and as you fight against tougher and tougher enemies, you’ll start to realize this more and more, until it’s practically second nature to take advantage of their patterns and their openings.
The music in the game is orchestral and dramatic, changing to fit the tone of the many situations you may find yourself in. And the landscapes of the planets you visit during your journey are simply gorgeous and really give you the sense that none of these planets are like earth: they’re all from a Galaxy far, far away. Since the game emphasizes exploration, there’s no fast travel feature, and you’ll have to traverse a good chunk of the level you’re in if you want to get back to The Mantis ship and move on to another planet. The native life on the planets ranges from harmless alien creatures to murderous death monsters. One of the toughest monsters, which you face early in the game, and has pretty much become a meme now, is Ogdo Bogdo; a big toad like creature with three eyes, sharp teeth and a long tongue that actually forced me to learn how to time my dodges correctly.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is an awesome game if you’re like me and enjoy finding unusual ways to win a fight. I relished the new take on lightsaber duels that Fallen Order brought to the table and liked how fighting more enemies became easier once I took the time to memorize their attacks and weaknesses. I’d recommend it to any Star Wars fans who want a good quality Jedi experience, with fluid combat and a compelling story full of intriguing characters. May the force be with you.