Jedi Fallen Order review! Spoiler free!

So I just completed the game the other day. Maybe the excitement of "single-player game from EA" has gotten the better of me, but I was enjoying the game for the first few hours... And then I realized how basic the game was.

Story and the characters

Honestly, the story and the characters weren't bad. Really, they were very "star war-sy". But that's my problem with them; There's nothing new offered here. Stop me if you heard this before; A last of the jedi attempting to restore the order to fight against the empire, with a colorful cast of companions. Don't get me wrong, Greez and Cere are both great characters, but I wish the crew was a bit bigger. BD-1 is a reliable companion, but the game makes one mistake that annoyed me for eternity; No translation for robotic languages. I mean, what's the point of giving body language nad personality to the droids if ew can't understand them? As for the villains, I found them to be very standard sith lord-archetypes. You know, "Dark Side is the true power" or "Hope meaningless" and spewing out all these dark things.

As for the main character Cal, I found him to be kind of boring. It's the same situation as Talion from Shadow of Mordor/War; Interesting background, but boring personality

World exploration

Taking few notes from Metroidvania games, this game has you explore the semi-open worlds of each planets. You know the drill; explore and meet forks and crossroads you can't access yet, and come back later when you unlock more abilities, mixed with force-based puzzles. It was a very noble idea, but not executed to the fullest extent. Honestly, some of these were so easy, that anyone who was ever played any games with collectibles can find then. Some puzzles do take more thinking and efforts, but they aren't something to write home about. There were also far too many backtrackings, with not enough shortcuts in-between. I know the whole point of exploration is to take in the game's visual and sceneries, but how many times do I have to go through the same corridors again and again?

The rewards for exploring were really disappointing as well. Health, Force, and stim upgrades are nice, but there are only few of them. Most of the rewards for exploration are cosmetic items for your ship, poncho, outfit, BD-1, and your saber. Other than saber cosmetics, the other ones are basically different paint jobs.

Combat

Remember that one guy who complained about how Sekiro should be more accessible and have easy mode? Well, here's your answer. In JFO, you aren't encouraged to mindlessly swing your saber around; it is more ideal to wait for the enemies to attack, parry, and follow up with a counter-attack. The parry timing is far more generous compared to Sekiro, and most enemies can die from the first time you do so. You can also deflect blaster shots, which is satisfying. It is fun as hell to murder stormtroopers this way or dismember the giant creatures. You also have dodge, jump to avoid unblockable-attacks, but these are easily telegraphed by whenever enemies flash red. When you unlock double-blade mode for your saber and more powerful force abilities, combat becomes more fun. It can get repetitive though, as there aren't too many enemy archetypes save for bosses and mini-bosses here and there.

Some enemies like to combo their attacks, and these combo attacks are designed so that if you miss the first time, you take in all the damages. There's no short-invincibility window to recover; a single combo can have the potential to kill you. There are also enemies who like to corner you, and I found there to be little room to escape.

Conclusion

Star Wars JFO is by no means a bad game. In fact, I am glad this game exists to make EA eat their own words of "no one plays single-player games anymore" However, it is not a holy-shit-buy-it-right-now amazing game. It is a great attempt from Respawn, but it could've been better.

7/10, would've waited for sales

Now if you'll excuse me, I am going back to KOTOR 2

sgy0003:

Story and the characters

Honestly, the story and the characters weren't bad. Really, they were very "star war-sy". But that's my problem with them; There's nothing new offered here. Stop me if you heard this before; A last of the jedi attempting to restore the order to fight against the empire, with a colorful cast of companions. Don't get me wrong, Greez and Cere are both great characters, but I wish the crew was a bit bigger. BD-1 is a reliable companion, but the game makes one mistake that annoyed me for eternity; No translation for robotic languages. I mean, what's the point of giving body language nad personality to the droids if ew can't understand them? As for the villains, I found them to be very standard sith lord-archetypes. You know, "Dark Side is the true power" or "Hope meaningless" and spewing out all these dark things.

As for the main character Cal, I found him to be kind of boring. It's the same situation as Talion from Shadow of Mordor/War; Interesting background, but boring personality

Mostly agree, though the bolded is mine for response.

You really needed to have subtitles to know what BD-1 was saying? They SW franchise has had decades of experience using the "interpret the other person's statement based on the response from the person you do understand." I mean that's how R2 and C3PO worked. R2 would chirp and bleep, C3PO would respond. It's the same with Chewie and Han, and basically every pairing of a binary droid and a human. They always pair them off with an actual speaking person, so that we can infer the conversation. R2 "Beep, sloow sounding, sad whistle that ends on an upnote like a question" C3PO " No I don't think he likes you at all!" R2 "More sad sounding beeps that end with a rising note like a question" C3PO "No, I don't like you either" R2" Sad boop"

I'm honestly not sure what in the example of the game was difficult to follow. I had no issues getting the gist of BD's discussions with Cal, because he very clearly responded in a way to indicate what the droid had said.

Combat
More than just "that one guy" who has an issue with From Soft combat, but I am definitely one of them. I still didn't really enjoy the combat. It felt too clunky on every level. From the character response to movement, to the janky mechanics actively trying to kill me in some situations. The camera flailing about on it's own despite my input. Plus I just don't enjoy the Dark Souls style of combat. It doesn't feel appropriate to Star Wars, for someone with a glowstick of death. Also the way every enemy was fucking instantly keyed to jump at you as soon as you try any of the "charge up" powers that are supposed to give you an edge in combat was annoying as hell. I lost count of how many times I'd try and use the group pull, or group push, and THAT moment is of course when all the enemies who were just hovering before, now decide to jump and interrupt me, wasting my mana and taking huge chunks out of my ass. I didn't feel like a powerful Force user, I just felt like I was playing a game that was trying to be punishing to the combat mechanics.

Conclusion
Yeah I found it fun, but instantly forgettable. I beat it about a week ago, and I just don't really remember it at all. I don't look back fondly to anything other than like 2-3 little incidental funny moments. I have zero desire to play it again, and boy do I wish I waited to buy it on sale.

Combat with loightsabers (and various lightsaber proxies) > Great
Other combat > So so outside of bosses. Doesn't really feel polished up with a lot of of the general animals/monsters. And the rank and file stormtroopers are just kind of a nuisance, not the harmless nuisance you'd exprct to a Jedi, but an annoyance level.

Story and characters. Its decent. They're very tropey. And Cal despite being the main character seems to have the least work put in. His main development is in flashbacks, and his overcoming his arc largely just kind of happens out of nowhere like the story couldn't be bothered waiting for him to resolve. The ending does throw an unexpected twist, which ends up ratifying it into canon better then most of the in-betweener stories, but also kind of abruptly hits credits immediately after without exploring any consequences of Cal's final decision (which might've been more interesting to let the player choose, even if they keep a canon for sequel).

The rest of the gameplay is where the game falls down a bit. The Metroidvania premise is interesting enough, but the areas really do lack a lot of detail and actual puzzles are few and far between. This makes much of the traversal seem like a dull slog through samey environments. That the loot obtained from such is mostly all pretty bland cosmetics. Even the handful of upgrades proper are your base line health/force/est--stimpack ups).

The traversals also not quite as seemless as Respawns own other work in Titanfall, with some ledge grabbing being overly finicky, and wall running having a tendency to leave you a bit too low for the next platform in bigger chains.The animations feel a little stilted (Especially if you change Cal to the alternate non-poncho outfit where you can see all his limbs), which is a bit more understandable from a generally FPS-oriented studio.

The biggest issue this game has is that there is no replay value at all and its short. I get the distinct impression that the budget was kept low and that the game is succeeding in spite of EA. The whole cosmetics section reeks of last minute padding as they are all essentially pallet swaps that were probably done in a week. They fully modeled and rigged Cal's inquisitor costume so I'm not sure why that wasn't a cosmetic unlock, that one would actually be worth while to unlock. There are snip-its of what I suspect to be cut content as well. The asteroid and the arena stick out to me as the biggest example. The gang leader gets all this build up to his intro but has no presence in the story afterwords. The story is rather episodic but the free roaming nature of it keeps it from properly closing the chapters because players can alter the pacing by how they progress through levels. This extenuates the stilted feeling of the story. Also having the rest of the crew stay on the ship doing nothing for most of the story was a huge misstep. Things get interesting in the last level when Cere gets involved as there are now more moving parts that you have no control over, but its too short lived.

I still enjoyed myself which suggests to me that Fallen Order is a great foundation for a franchise should EA and Respawn continue it.

 

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