The popularity of the Star Wars universe is hard to overestimate. Every year new films, books, and comic books are released, and there is no end to themed adventure goods in the far, far away galaxy. The question of video games is always the most acute. We all remember the cancellation of Star Wars 1313 and the ambiguous launch of Star Wars Battlefront 2 – the audience clearly deserves more. A few years ago Respawn Entertainment studio took over the business, and today they gave us Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order action – a good reason to go back to the adventure.
The events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order start between the third and fourth episode. The galaxy has already plunged into a state of civil war, the imperial troops have captured many planets and are establishing their own orders there. The Republic is in decline: Supreme Chancellor Palpatine gave the 66th Order, which began the extermination of the Jedi adherents of the Force by the Republic, declaring them traitors and sentenced them to death. Few managed to survive. Among the lucky was the main character, the Padawan named Cal Kestis (his role was performed by the actor Cameron Monahan, known from the series “Shameless” and “Gotham”). Once a pupil of the master-Jedi, now he works as a garbage man on the outskirts of the galaxy and is forced to hide from the forces of the Empire. His disguise is destroyed when, by coincidence, he used the Force in front of the stormtroopers. The Inquisition, a special unit under Darth Vader and Palpatine, opens up a hunt for him.
Everything changes when the guy gets on the ship to a woman named Tsere, a former Jedi, who gave up her abilities for reasons unrelated to Order 66. She is convinced that the rebirth of the Jedi Order is possible, and this will reverse the course of the Civil War, so offers Cal to go to the planet Bogan, where you can allegedly find something to help them in an unequal battle with the Empire.
The plot of the game is formally considered to be inscribed in the framework of the canon. The story reminds me carefully of the events of the second trilogy (1-3 episodes), but at the same time it is kept in some way separate – I have met familiar characters, but Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order works as an original work, first of all, due to the manner of presentation.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order allows you to experience an adventure with some choice. The ship Ceres – an old transporter “Mantis” – acts as a hub, from where you can go to different planets. After Bogan Cal and the team will visit Wooki’s homeland, the ancient planet Zeffo, the ominous Datomir and a number of other places that we will learn about as the plot develops.
On the way, Cal is accompanied by a cute and funny droid BD-1, which reminds me of the BB-8 from the new trilogy. With its help, the developers suggest to study locations – the kid will help to break the lock or close the electrical circuit, scan objects and enemies, as well as open boxes of loot.
I caught myself thinking that I wanted to do planet research not only for the fun of my inner munchkin. The locations are in a strict but colorful style and most resembling the visual we saw in the spin-off of “Outcast One”. At the same time, with beauty and wealth sometimes in the eye flashy and gray indoor spaces, sometimes – a poor facial animation. The game works on Unreal Engine 4, but for some reason, it inherited common problems from Frostbite engine. Luckily, this is probably the biggest drawback of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Run and watch.
Locations have to be researched: each planet is branched into many small multilevel paths, where each bypass path has a couple of secret paths. Some of them are closed at the beginning, so to get there you need to open a suitable ability, which opens up as the plot progresses. The game persistently reminds that the young man did not have time to finish his studies and now remembers the lessons he received from his master. These episodes are presented as short flashbacks. After that, Cal will learn, for example, how to break fragile walls, run on steep surfaces and throw a lightsaber.
To study each planet you can spend several hours, everywhere scattered secrets and points of interest. There are few variations in this: cosmetic objects for the lightsaber and the ship or “echoes of power” – special places in which the Jedi feels the past. Through them, Respawn Entertainment tells the stories of the planetary monasteries a little bit. Lovers of collecting objects will have something to do. I feel that each area is large enough to feel like a winner when you finally get to the treasured trunk. For those who don’t want to bother looking, it’s worth paying more attention to the droid’s behavior, and at the right moment, the partner will jump off Cal’s back and point the way. He will give you a valuable hint if you have a problem with the puzzle, although in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order they are simple. For example, on the Zeffo you need to install huge boulders in special cells in the big hall with the help of the Force. Initially, the stones are missing, but you can easily find them if you look around.
Luckily, the developers have made sure that the usual movements around the location look spectacular. Most of all the navigation reminded me of the adventures of Nathan Drake and Lara Croft – short sections with jumps on dangerous terrain (cliffs, moving mechanisms with sharp parts) and climbing on steep walls. From time to time, the game reminds us of its belonging to the big movie universe and pleases with beautiful clips and staging action.
Hit and run.
In search of the truth, Cal meets resistance from imperial troops and local fauna. Fancy animals, for which Star Wars has always been famous, go into battle, on the other hand, inquisitors and stormtroopers – everything from small to big. We will fight back in the old way: with a lightsaber and Force.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order reminds Sekiro: Shadow Die Twice. It’s not just a lazy comparison, but it’s worth remembering that the game is aimed at a mass audience, so the fights are much easier here. They’re still tactful and you need to pay attention to the timing and behavior of your opponent, but in general, mistakes are easy to forgive. In combat, you can always step back to a safe distance or even better – to attack undercover until the enemy is ready to do so. At high levels of difficulty, be prepared for the fact that you have to die a lot. Very much so.
Here, as well as in Souls-games, it is important to set the block correctly and dodge and then Cal will perform a beautiful finish. In the first few minutes, you watch how fascinated you are, but then you notice how the animations repeat themselves.
Cal’s learning, his abilities can be pumped. As he defeats his opponents, he accumulates experience points. There are three branches for character development: strength, survival, and sword fighting. To tell the truth, the role system seemed to be very conventional, made just for the tick, because the hero has not completed training. It seems to make progress (for example, opponents can be slowed down, and in the list of receptions will appear new combos), but I did not leave the feeling that without this “tree of skills” Title would not have lost much in the depths and fascination. Rather, on the contrary – all the opportunities available from the beginning could greatly enrich the first third of the game.
But I’m talking about the easy and standard complexity. At higher levels, the difference is more acute. If you’re not a newcomer to the genre, you should not start with average complexity, so you will get more pleasure.
Another element of the obvious borrowing is the places for meditation. With their help, you can distribute experience points and relax. After such meditation, BD-1’s stock of “stimas” (a local analog of first-aid kits) is restored, Cal’s strip of health and strength is filled, and the enemies at the level of resurrection. Remember the fires from Dark Souls? Me, too. So in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order you can grind and pump the main branches almost after landing on the first planet.
When Cal dies, he loses his experience points, but to get them back, it’s enough to find the offender who killed you and just hit him. Quite quickly I got the feeling that I’d already seen it all somewhere, but I felt more like a joyful relief than a disappointment.
Star Wars – the universe, which is entirely built on popular themes and human themes. There is no deep dive into internal contradictions and conflicts, they all last for centuries and have long been known to everyone: the sick question of fathers and children, the student who betrayed the teacher, the war between good and evil. In my opinion, the combination of eternal and understandable makes the movies so popular, but with the games is not so easy.
It’s hard to make a good Star Wars game. Here you have to please both true fans and a diverse audience of gamers. Respawn Entertainment has turned out to be mostly due to the right borrowing. The developers took everything that worked well in other games and is comparable to the mechanics of Star Wars and put together a beautiful puzzle. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order carries the spirit of cosmic adventure, where the canonical plot with cool new and old familiar characters was combined with a tightening gameplay.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has its own difficulties, but in general they are insignificant. Most importantly, the game from Respawn Entertainment helped me believe in the Force again.