Digging further into my backlog of games, I finally jumped into Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. I knew I’d eventually play it after recommendations from my son and a coworker. After finishing up the Dawn of Ragnarok DLC, I thought it was time.
I knew from the recommendations and trailers it was a good game, but it was a pleasant surprise how good. The force combat and force puzzles are great. Story was decent too. There were a few minor annoyances, but overall a truly great game.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Better than Expected
During the game intro, it was clear the game is good. It’s very much Star Wars in style. The guttural intro music and expanse of the ship graveyard really set the stage. It’s definitely a blockbuster movie type of intro.
I knew the main character already, but was interesting to see how well they reproduced the likeness of Cameron Monaghan as Cal Kestis. I remembered him as Ian Gallagher on the Shameless TV series, so was interesting to see him in a completely different character mirrored perfectly in game. Wonder if there’s a Disney+ Star Wars series cameo in the future.
Tutorials Wrapped in Story
That intro salvage planet, Bracca, served as tutorial and gameplay combined. I love when the tutorials are wrapped tightly with the story. Even introduction of new force powers at set points in the story were handled very well. It’s not that Cal Kestis learned new force powers, but rather remembered training with his master as a little boy. This memory segment was a perfect story driven mechanic for force power tutorial.
The visuals of huge ships from previous Star Wars movies and cartoons were a sight to behold. Jumping into the main story of the game, it followed the the crew of the Mantis searching for a holocron with names and locations of force sensitive children. An artifact left behind by a Jedi researcher, Cordova.
Plan was to rebuild the Jedi order after Order 66 nearly destroyed them all. There were twists and turns with plenty fan service to Star Wars fans. I’ve seen all the movies, but none of the cartoons. I’d consider myself a mild fan, but they things I recognize convinced me it’s a must play for any true fans.
Bit of Bad Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order Stuttering
I noticed 20fps frame drops at various points on the maps which my Ryzen 5800X and RTX 3090 were very upset about. Granted it dipped from 90fps to 70fps at times, but it was very jarring. The game entertained me enough where I wasn’t really bugged by this until past the halfway point.
Capping frames and myriad of other troubleshooting tips did not help. Turns out a lot of people experienced the same issue. In my case, my hardware was too fast, so those dips hit hard. I was well enough into the game that I just soldiered on and it was still plenty fun.
Using the Force to Fight, Explore and Solve Puzzles
Force powers are obviously a very important part of any Stars Wars game, but I loved how the game handled them. From the in lore tutorial for them, to the unlockable combat moves and the various puzzles solved via the force. Great force mechanics.
There was typically only one solution for most puzzles, but there were a large variety of them. That wide variety included things like slowing time, force push, force pull, Jedi jump, wall running and more. As the game progressed, puzzles and combat require a combination of powers.
For example, slowing fast enemies with the force, then pushing them with the force. That some combo was also useful for puzzles with platforms that I moved, but would spring back on a timer. Sure the combos add some frustration and difficulty, but mostly fun.
It all reminded me a bit of the joy of exploration in Tomb Raider games with a nice Star Wars force twist.
Star Wars Droids New Star: BD-1
A huge plus for the game is the standout droid companion, BD-1. It’s in the game to help deliver additional story points, via hologram clips and help solve puzzles. Much like many Star Wars droids, BD-1 is funny without saying a thing. All those beeps, bops and animations offer a surprising level of personality. I especially liked how BD-1 messed with the Mantis pilot by pretending to touch buttons in the cockpit.
Just like the force upgrades, BD-1 ends up with its own upgrades along the way. Those upgrades unlock additional paths and the ability to hack other droids. I loved turning enemy droids against their masters, then sit back to watch the chaos.
Clothing, Ship, BD-1 and Lightsaber Customization
There are cosmetic customization options for the Mantis ship, BD-1, Cal’s outfit and his lightsaber. I messed around with most of them, but the lightsaber customization is where it’s at. All the various parts of lightsaber are available to swap out parts. It’s just visual changes, but I couldn’t help playing around with the different styles to make it mine.
I even played around with the color for a bit and mostly played with orange saber color to match Cal’s orange hair (the ginger saber). Most of the swappable parts I found exploring the various planets. Crates with the various skin upgrades and force or health upgrades encouraged exploration.
All the lightsaber moves (including throwing) were available as upgrades or otherwise, as well. Even force upgrades were available to customize the way I fought for most of the game.
Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order Crew and Ship
The Mantis and its crew were a nice break in between missions. There was not much to the ship other than a place to customize the light saber, add to the terrarium, pick the next planet and sit down to load into the next location. Although limited, it sort of felt like home in a weird way.
Her crew consisted of pilot Greez and former Jedi Cere. Both backstories are decent and they have plenty of personality to help mark the start and end of missions. They often shared jokes and stories while jumping to the next planet (a way to mask some of the loading).
Star Wars Galaxy Far, Far Away
I loved the various planets I visited along the way. Each offered various paths with many not accessible until later in the story and after I acquired new force powers or upgrades for BD-1. That game mechanic encouraged further exploration of planets previously visited.
The planets I visited include Bracca, Bogano, Kashyyyk, Zeffo, Ilum, Dathomir and Nur.
Strictly the intro planet filled with huge ships prepped for salvage. There was no going back from what I can see. I loved all the familiar and massive ships in the graveyard while it lasted though. Battling on a speeding train was fun too.
The starter planet with plenty of green grass and island-like elevated platforms. It was the location of the vault the entire game revolved around. There were plenty of secrets to find there.
A jungle type planet with an equal amount of swampland. Includes a fun bit with a AT-AT walker (I had the toy as a kid) and Wookies to fight alongside! I hated the giant spiders though.
The home planet of the alien race Cordova obsessed about. Filled with green grass amongst rocky cliffs with artifacts and temples. That planet was the most Tomb Raider-like.
Planet with mountains of ice and snow. Home of a Jedi temple where the harvest kyber crystals for Jedi lightsabers. The best part is it’s where I finally played with the double-bladed light saber.
The scariest of the planets with giant toxic bugs, rancors, and plenty of red. There were numerous temple-like buildings for the night brothers and night sisters to hide in. They were a pain. It was interesting to find out it’s the home world of Darth Maul after looking up why the residents looks so familiar.
Served as the finale planet and I loved the underwater base setup. Powered by geothermal energy, it was a great swap between fire to water back to fire. The waves of enemies were tough and eventual boss fight even harder. It was all satisfying in the end.
Bring on the Sequel
I never tired of deflecting blaster shots with my light saber or exploring ancient temples with the help of the force. Now I completely understand why people obsess over whether a Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order sequel is in the cards. Rumor has it the next game is in development and called Star Ward Jedi: Survivor.