Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order takes place five years after the events of 2005’s movie Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. The Jedi have been outlawed across the galaxy and the Empire rules with an iron fist, using former Jedi collectively known as the Inquisitorius to purge survivors.
The game puts you in the role of Cal Kestis, a Jedi in hiding working as a junkyard scrapper on a nondescript planet of Bracca. During a workplace accident Kestis blows his cover and uses the Force to save his friend Prauf. This alerts the Inquisitorius to his presence.
If you’re new to Star Wars, you may want to read up Order 66 at the very least before jumping in.
While trying to escape, Kestis gets rescued by the odd duo of Cere Junda and Greez Dritus — a former Jedi Knight, and a pilot of the starship Stinger Mantis. Along the way, you’re joined by BD-1, a droid belonging to long gone Jedi Master Eno Cordova. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself hopping across the galaxy in search for the secret to rebuilding the Jedi Order.
Despite an opening sequence that sets you up for a linear third-person adventure with slick traversal along the lines of the Uncharted series of games, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order actually has more in common with Control.
Each area you visit on your planet-hopping journey is a sprawling and somewhat daunting playground rife with stormtroopers and deadly local flora and fauna. The levels in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order are built for exploration with bits of lore placed around that help you piece together key events prior to your arrival. You’re almost always rewarded for peeking around a corner or taking a detour.
Furthermore, you’ll discover new skills to progress. These include the ability to split your light saber in two for some devastating attacks, or Force push, allowing you to knock down obstacles. Some of these skills let you open new pathways when you return to previously visited locations, adding another dimension to the gameplay.
While exploring the worlds of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a treat, other aspects of the game such as its combat doesn’t fall too far behind. Combat is fast and fluid. You’ll parry blaster shots, slice and dice all manner of robotic fiends, and use the Force to push or pull enemies to their doom. It feels good and besting some of the game’s tougher beasts is immensely satisfying.
The only grouse we have with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s combat is the lack of dismemberment. Granted you can chop off limbs from robots but cutting up annoyances like purge troopers is off the table.
Sure, LucasFilm likes to spare slicing and dicing for climatic moments but it makes combat feel slightly inconsistent when stormtroopers crumple to the ground with light saber burn marks aplenty albeit all arms and legs intact.
And while comparisons have been made to Dark Souls, the only similarity is that enemies respawn when you opt to rest at a save point. Resting refills your health too so there are benefits to doing that every now and then.
Aside from exploration and combat, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has a fair few puzzles to contend with. They usually have you moving structures from one place to another and aren’t that tough. That said, you can ask BD-1 for a hint to clear them if you think you’re stuck.
However it’s not without its flaws. Despite the attention to detail in its levels and plot, the technical performance is on the rougher side. Even with a recent patch for the PS4 Pro, there are occasional slowdowns and the odd pause or two while moving from one section of a level to another particularly on the planet of Kashyyyk.
These mar what should have been a perfect experience. Thankfully none of these issues occur in crucial moments like combat or while wall-running or jumping across chasms.
Nonetheless, the superlative gameplay and solid story more than make up for this. Star Wars fans have had it tough this generation. There hasn’t been a game as story-rich since 2004’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, and the last two games have been abysmal. Particularly 2017’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 with its predatory micro-transactions.
All of this makes Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order a breath of fresh air. It’s well worth playing if you’re a fan of the series. Newcomers shouldn’t shy away either, particularly if you’re willing to look up some of the finer aspects of the events leading up to it.
If you’re looking for a great Star Wars game, look no further.