Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order Impressions - Forcey Souls

This game is rather unbelievable. For a few reasons.

It's a good Star Wars Game. Actually....It's kind of a GREAT Star Wars game.

It's a single player game from EA, that is good, that doesn't have microtransactions, and was just left alone to be a good game without typical EA bullshit.

So Jedi Fallen Order is a third person action game that takes influence from everywhere. But mostly it plays like the Tomb Raider reboots had a baby with a Dark Souls game. Character movement is very very smooth, from jumping to wall running to climbing, traversing the world just feels good. Though the levels are small (as they are broken up by different planets) each area does have that Souls-like feeling of "if you can see it, you can probably get there somehow".

The game also looks amazing, the cuts scenes all feel like they are in-engine and the game feels and looks like you are watching a Star Wars film. It's really really good, and easily has to be the best looking game all year just in the way they've nailed how much it looks and feels like Star Wars. Even the smaller details in the environment, like little native wildlife running around as you explore a cave or whatever, or the sounds of the ships flying around and the buzz of your lightsaber.

Combat is more Sekiro than Dark Souls, mainly due to the emphasis on parrying attacks rather than dodging and the lack of a stamina bar. You could wail on the attack button till the cows come home, but you'll die so it isn't a good idea. The parry is king and that's told to you by the way they put difficulty in the game.

Hey guys look this developer put easy, normal, hard, and extreme difficulties in a Souls inspired game!

So the obvious thing with difficulty modes is the damage taken and the damage given. But the way the game tells you how important parrying is going to be is that the diffculties change your parry window timing. On Story mode difficulty (easy) your parry window is approx seven hour and eight minutes. On extreme the parry window is the blink of an eye, and if you miss you die in like 1 hit.

Additionally during combat, the enemies will glow red when they are about to do an attack that will fuck you dead, so again like Sekiro these are indications that getting the hell outta the way is the score here not parrying. Dodge, jump, or Sprint the fuck outta the way and you should be fine. How this is where the combat starts to show it's not the game it completely wants to be. You see, dodging is unresponsive and very very short. You sometimes have to spam dodge to get it to work or to get far enough away from an attack to avoid it, which makes it very counter-intuitive to use especially considering the mindset the game puts you in. I don't know if there just isn't invincibility frames with the dodge or what, but it feels worthless even against normal enemies and normal attacks. That really hurts combat for me because it makes the combat flow feel janky and off.

Otherwise the rest of the Souls formula is here, there are bonfires, enemies respawn when you rest at a bonfire or when you die, and you lose all exp. However instead of having to go pick up your exp or killing a nearby enemy who randomly picked your soul pile up, you just have to get back to the enemy that killed you and hit him once. Which I really like because if you die to a boss, you don't have to spend a minute running around the room to grab your lost exp, and letting the boss have free reign on your ballsack until you are ready to go toe to toe again. Instead you just go into the boss fight and fight it normally, because you'll recover everything so long as you can get a single hit against him.

So overall Jedi Fallen Order is good, it's great even. It's got a few problems, but they aren't too much of a big deal once you get used to it. If you are looking for your good single player Star Wars game, here it is.

A real pity they dont let you go dark side like Jedi Outcast did.

Can't say I think the game looks (visually) that great. I mean, it looks nice enough, but man does it have some graphical issues. Cere's face for example has a weird softness to it, that makes it look like it wasn't fully textured. A lot of scanned-in faces have this, but here it really stands out. And God, those wookies.. eesh.

But yeah, the game is actually pretty sweet. I'm greatly enjoying the mix of traversing the levels and combat. There is a bit of jank to the combat, especially with the creature enemies. It's really hard to get a grasp on their attack windows compared to the stormtroopers. Though I think you can use the time-stop power to make this more manageable. The sprint also isn't great since it doesn't activate that immediate, and that while it has some nice combat moves tied to it. And the load times after dying are pretty awful.

Still somewhat early into it, but I'm digging it. It's like a nice surprise third-person action adventure to sooth my nerves after the overbearing nonsense that was Kojima's latest... thing.

CritialGaming:
You see, dodging is unresponsive and very very short. You sometimes have to spam dodge to get it to work or to get far enough away from an attack to avoid it, which makes it very counter-intuitive to use especially considering the mindset the game puts you in. I don't know if there just isn't invincibility frames with the dodge or what, but it feels worthless even against normal enemies and normal attacks. That really hurts combat for me because it makes the combat flow feel janky and off.

I'm playing Sekiro right now and that sounds exactly like it, I think I flat out stopped using the dodge button, it's just faster to sprint or jump away. I'm glad that the soul formula is moving away from dodging being an "invisible" button, but that doesn't mean it also need to not be a dodge button...

Yeah, game is great. It's very derivative but that's not a bad thing if it comes together so well. Compared to other action/adventures the combat is very good but I wouldn't put it anywhere near Souls or Sekiro. There is obvious inspiration but there is too much jank, the tells are often hard to read, enemies glitch in and out of existence with kind of random placement and the visceral feel of the combat is absent. It's all a bit floaty. Espescially the unblockable attacks from the big enemy types often feel like cheapshots and double tapping to avoid the attack is, again, a bit janky. Still, the lightsabers are cool and the combat does have more weight than the average AAA game. Eventhough the franchise leaves me cold the setting does feel very grounded in the Star Wars universe with the music and the environments and the characters. Speaking of which I am enjoying the story as well which I didn't expect.

Game could use a few patches but other than that it's a very solid title. This is actually the first EA game I bought since..Dead Space 2 in 2011.

Casual Shinji:
Cere's face for example has a weird softness to it, that makes it look like it wasn't fully textured.

That's the least of her problems. Every scene I'm afraid her eyes will pop out like she has a severe case of proptosis from Graves disease. Cel's jaw also look really weird like he's suffering from acromegaly. Character designs are a bit off.

Though, this developer only ever made first person shooters I believe so all beginning is difficult.

stroopwafel:

That's the least of her problems. Every scene I'm afraid her eyes will pop out like she has a severe case of proptosis from Graves disease.

That actress's eyes really are like that. She just has bulgy eyes. Dunno if it is from a disease or not. But that's the way she is supposed to look.

Well, looks like I know what I'm getting next payweek.

It's a nifty little game as far as modern triple AAA titles go. Just dont expect it to be amazing. Im actually fine with supporting EA by buying this game as it is good enough to be included among the better star wars games. Maybe they will finally get the message that single player games are worth making again. If it does well I hope this game can herald a new age of good star wars games.

This is the first EA game I've bought since 2012.

I can't believe this game turned out as well as it did, it's a bit janky and frustrating at points but I'm really enjoying it.

Deflecting blaster bolts back at enemies is so satisfying.

Haven't played it myself, or Dark Souls/Sekiro for that matter, but watching Funhaus play it made me really think about that series. From the gameplay I saw there, it really looked like it. Timed parries, dodging being important, and even a similar checkpoint system. I don't know if Funhaus was just joking around, but it sounds like you can even make the game use Dark Souls style combat, using the triggers, for attacks, parrying, and blocks over the traditional face buttons.

I'm not the biggest fan of "tough" games, but I've seen the difficult options are varied. Mix that in with the good reviews and it being a Star Wars game, I may have to pick this up at some point.

CritialGaming:
This game is rather unbelievable. For a few reasons.

Hey guys look this developer put easy, normal, hard, and extreme difficulties in a Souls inspired game!

So the obvious thing with difficulty modes is the damage taken and the damage given. But the way the game tells you how important parrying is going to be is that the diffculties change your parry window timing. On Story mode difficulty (easy) your parry window is approx seven hour and eight minutes. On extreme the parry window is the blink of an eye, and if you miss you die in like 1 hit.

Additionally during combat, the enemies will glow red when they are about to do an attack that will fuck you dead, so again like Sekiro these are indications that getting the hell outta the way is the score here not parrying. Dodge, jump, or Sprint the fuck outta the way and you should be fine. How this is where the combat starts to show it's not the game it completely wants to be. You see, dodging is unresponsive and very very short. You sometimes have to spam dodge to get it to work or to get far enough away from an attack to avoid it, which makes it very counter-intuitive to use especially considering the mindset the game puts you in. I don't know if there just isn't invincibility frames with the dodge or what, but it feels worthless even against normal enemies and normal attacks. That really hurts combat for me because it makes the combat flow feel janky and off.

Otherwise the rest of the Souls formula is here, there are bonfires, enemies respawn when you rest at a bonfire or when you die, and you lose all exp. However instead of having to go pick up your exp or killing a nearby enemy who randomly picked your soul pile up, you just have to get back to the enemy that killed you and hit him once. Which I really like because if you die to a boss, you don't have to spend a minute running around the room to grab your lost exp, and letting the boss have free reign on your ballsack until you are ready to go toe to toe again. Instead you just go into the boss fight and fight it normally, because you'll recover everything so long as you can get a single hit against him.

So overall Jedi Fallen Order is good, it's great even. It's got a few problems, but they aren't too much of a big deal once you get used to it. If you are looking for your good single player Star Wars game, here it is.

Most of those guys were blowing smoke about how you can't put difficulty in a Dark Souls style game, or to feel better about themselves, because they don't want "casuals" infecting the series or community. Fallen Order just showed how even more full of shit they were. Not to mention, there are a ton of games harder than Dark Souls. Mainly for the right reasons.

I am loving the game, and it's really the first Souls style game I want to bother completing. I might pick up Sekiro again and look at the Surge 2. I noticed parrying can be finicky when fighting non-humanoid/human or animal enemy types. You are right though, this is not the Force Unleashed, so you can't just button mash. Not to imply that about the FU, but it's more of a button masher by comparison. Respawn has made game with the platforming of Uncharted/Tomb Raider reboot (Fallen Order's platforming is better and more engaging), Prince of Persia/Ninja Gaiden wall running, and even Titanfall 2's dialogue options. Because of this and Titanfall 2, Respawn is now one of my favorite Western developers. I hope they can brake away from EA someday. As much as I love this game, I still don't trust EA at all, and I bought Fallen Order mainly for my own interests to see Respawn live.

gyrobot:
A real pity they dont let you go dark side like Jedi Outcast did.

I already knew from the marketing, there wasn't going to be a light side/ dark side choice. I don't see it as a big deal.

stroopwafel:
Yeah, game is great. It's very derivative but that's not a bad thing if it comes together so well. Compared to other action/adventures the combat is very good but I wouldn't put it anywhere near Souls or Sekiro. There is obvious inspiration but there is too much jank, the tells are often hard to read, enemies glitch in and out of existence with kind of random placement and the visceral feel of the combat is absent. It's all a bit floaty. Espescially the unblockable attacks from the big enemy types often feel like cheapshots and double tapping to avoid the attack is, again, a bit janky. Still, the lightsabers are cool and the combat does have more weight than the average AAA game. Eventhough the franchise leaves me cold the setting does feel very grounded in the Star Wars universe with the music and the environments and the characters. Speaking of which I am enjoying the story as well which I didn't expect.

Game could use a few patches but other than that it's a very solid title. This is actually the first EA game I bought since..Dead Space 2 in 2011.

Casual Shinji:
Cere's face for example has a weird softness to it, that makes it look like it wasn't fully textured.

That's the least of her problems. Every scene I'm afraid her eyes will pop out like she has a severe case of proptosis from Graves disease. Cel's jaw also look really weird like he's suffering from acromegaly. Character designs are a bit off.

Though, this developer only ever made first person shooters I believe so all beginning is difficult.

The last EA game I bought was Bulletstorm (they don't have the publishing rights anymore) in 2011, and Need for Speed Rivals Complete Edition in 2015 (for $30.00 on sale). From what I am hearing, NFS Heat is actually good fun, so I might pick that one up later.

It's a good time to be sure and i'm always down for some star wars shenanigans.

I do wish the main character was a bit more nuanced, personally i am quite tired of the "i fart rainbows" and the "i kick puppies" tropes for light side and dark side jedi respectively. I get they are coming off the back of the Purge so characters in that canon are very archetypal but human beings are not so black and white, life is generally more morally grey and that allows for character development.

I do sort of wish there was more combat, i'm not massively into the excessive platforming and exploration involved but i can see how it works in the game's favour - by adding less combat they make the lightsabre feel more deadly and authentic when it is used in actual combat. If you only break it out for 30 seconds every 15 minutes as opposed to every other corridor you feel the impact of swinging it about.

Overall it's a class showing from both Respawn and EA for delivering a strong single player licensed title that didn't rely on hamstringing gameplay for the sake of in game purchases for cosmetics or "time savers"

I wanted to like this game. I mean, I guess I do like this game. But I'm not sure why.

Story-wise there is (so far) nothing much to write home about. Jedi good, Empire bad, and nothing further to be said. There was an interesting plot twist potentially on the horizon in the first part of the game, but that has disappeared with the last cinematic I unlocked. Shame, 'cause I was kinda looking forward to the story going where I thought it'd go.

Mechanically the game is competent but hardly sparkling. It's kinda Dark Souls, kinda Tomb Raider, kinda not quite done right. Enemies can interrupt your attack combos with blocks at anytime - even if staggered from previous hits - whereas if you miss your first parry you are stun-locked into being hit by the whole combo, which can lead you losing three quarters of your health to one badly timed block. Groups of enemies seem to synchronize with starling accuracy, each enemy in a group timing their flurry attack to coincide with the combo-cooldown of one of their allies meaning you are constantly the focus of a never-ending stream of damage whilst lowly troopers recharge their attacks in near immunity. The free-running mechanics are awkward as fuck too. I've lost count of the number of times I've fallen into pits, ravines, sinkholes and the like because I was 5mm off from where the game wanted me to grab onto various walls, cliff edges and ropes. The game seems to delight in waiting until you're right at a cliff edge and then shunting you an inch off to the side and plunging you to your death because you weren't *quite* where the game thought you maybe should be. And someone in the design department had the great idea of having separate controls for jumping and grabbing. I don't know about you, but when I jump from one rock ledge to another I don't have to be told to grab onto the ledge I'm jumping towards. Jedi, apparently, do. There is also one minor point that has just been bugging me throughout the game - I know this is a Jedi game, and Jedi use lightsabres, but would it kill Cal to pick up an E-11 once in a while? For someone whose sole (initial) Force power is the ability to slow down time you would have thought Cal would have all the makings of a crack sniper, but time and time again we are forced into situations where we must jump headlong into arenas full of Shock and Flame troopers armed with nothing but our trusty lightsabre leaving behind us on the ledge a veritable array of small arms that could've picked off those pesky Imperials without so much as a dint to our health bar.

And yet despite all this, I find that I still like the game. I don't know why, but I do. I hate the 'nicer than nice, badder than bad' storytelling. I hate the poorly put together mechanics. I hate the way you have to keep revisiting levels you've previously completed just in case your newly acquired Force power has opened up a previously inaccessible area which *may* contain a cool new upgrade but which 9 times out of 10 contains a new lightsabre handle colour. I hate that in a galaxy teeming with hundreds of alien races we're still playing as a misunderstood moody white kid.

But you know what? I'm going to finish my work today, go home and play it some more.

I just wish I knew why.

I've heard it was awesome, but I'm really not a Star Wars fan at all. Closest I've ever gotten to getting into the series was on N64 and I think a bit of Rogue Squadron on GameCube.

Also, not sure how Souls-inspired it can be if given the option to just breeze through with yawn-inducing parry timing on Easy. Maybe a lot of the jank would've corrected itself if they simply designed difficulty more organically based on enemy type and abilities.

hanselthecaretaker:

Also, not sure how Souls-inspired it can be if given the option to just breeze through with yawn-inducing parry timing on Easy. Maybe a lot of the jank would?ve corrected itself if they simply designed difficulty more organically based on enemy type and abilities.

I think Cal just feels really stiff to play with in general, but it's most noticeable in combat. Actions feel slow and unresponsive, nothing is smooth or graceful like you would expect for a Jedi. This is made so much worse in the first few hours of the game when you have no abilities beyond press X to hit the thing or "force slow" which, by the way, is limited to one or two actions before you have to kill to refill.

The stormtroopers are fun to fight against, especially when they introduce new types like the heavy gunner and rocketeer, but the game relies way too heavily on space bugs and space goats. It's just not fun fighting animals with a laser sword.

Another major problem i have is how "video gamey" it feels, most of the time stormtroopers just stand in one spot, not moving or speaking, just... standing there. Waiting to be engaged in combat. It could be the most desolate ruins you've ever seen with no value to the empire or purpose for them being there, but they just... stand there. It's so awkward. And they don't react to you until you step right up close to their "combat zone field of view" even if they could theoretically see you beforehand. Enemies in Sekiro at least pillaged bodies, walked patrol routes, spoke to each other etc, but these guys just... stand there. Every door leads to a cavern, which leads to a walkway, which leads to a door, which leads to a ramp. Everything is so linear and laid out precisely for The Protagonist© to walk through while the baddies just stand there as dumb roadblocks. It's like someone just sprinkled in mobs with no pathfinding or command lines from a map editor.

But hey, at least the game sure is pretty.

Gralian:

Another major problem i have is how "video gamey" it feels, most of the time stormtroopers just stand in one spot, not moving or speaking, just... standing there. Waiting to be engaged in combat. It could be the most desolate ruins you've ever seen with no value to the empire or purpose for them being there, but they just... stand there. It's so awkward. And they don't react to you until you step right up close to their "combat zone field of view" even if they could theoretically see you beforehand. Enemies in Sekiro at least pillaged bodies, walked patrol routes, spoke to each other etc, but these guys just... stand there. Every door leads to a cavern, which leads to a walkway, which leads to a door, which leads to a ramp. Everything is so linear and laid out precisely for The Protagonist? to walk through while the baddies just stand there as dumb roadblocks. It's like someone just sprinkled in mobs with no pathfinding or command lines from a map editor.

But hey, at least the game sure is pretty.

I get what your saying about patrol patterns but the humanoids talk a lot and are pretty lively. They react to basically everything you do in combat. There is also some good idle trooper audio if you can walk into a room without them noticing you right away. It drops off towards the end but I enjoyed hearing them talk about how dangerous a certain animal was an hour before I got to fight it.

Dansen:

Gralian:

Another major problem i have is how "video gamey" it feels, most of the time stormtroopers just stand in one spot, not moving or speaking, just... standing there. Waiting to be engaged in combat. It could be the most desolate ruins you've ever seen with no value to the empire or purpose for them being there, but they just... stand there. It's so awkward. And they don't react to you until you step right up close to their "combat zone field of view" even if they could theoretically see you beforehand. Enemies in Sekiro at least pillaged bodies, walked patrol routes, spoke to each other etc, but these guys just... stand there. Every door leads to a cavern, which leads to a walkway, which leads to a door, which leads to a ramp. Everything is so linear and laid out precisely for The Protagonist? to walk through while the baddies just stand there as dumb roadblocks. It's like someone just sprinkled in mobs with no pathfinding or command lines from a map editor.

But hey, at least the game sure is pretty.

I get what your saying about patrol patterns but the humanoids talk a lot and are pretty lively. They react to basically everything you do in combat. There is also some good idle trooper audio if you can walk into a room without them noticing you right away. It drops off towards the end but I enjoyed hearing them talk about how dangerous a certain animal was an hour before I got to fight it.

The scout troopers and commanders / heavies are quite reactive in combat and it's fine when you engage the enemy, but if you look at them outside of their aggro range they just stand there motionless in odd, often awkward positions. The game is fine when you're on the move and triggering dialogue and other cues but if you go back to revisit areas especially it can be a bit unnerving.

A good example this was the 2nd (3rd?) world, Zeffo (I think that's what it's called, it's where you get Force Push). The empire is there to apparently defend some old banged up outpost, there's nothing there but man eating space rats and they just stand there. You really notice it if you travel back through old short cuts, particularly near the start of the level and look over from the meditation spot. About 10 guards in really awkward positions just standing there, not moving or speaking, just acting like gatekeepers for the linear path you have to go through to get to the next checkpoint.

In regards to the basic stormtroopers, the ones with blasters, they are little more than human turrets that just raise their gun to shoot, lower it, shout something about jedis, then raise the gun to fire again without much care for their safety. I know they are meant to be cannon fodder and it's part of a running gag but it just adds to the uncanny valley feeling of video gamey lego men.

 

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