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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Review – brilliant but not perfect

It seems not even John is nerdy enough to review the latest Star Wars game – so we’ve handed the keys to his good mate Lachlan Carter for his first look at Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order:

The day that not many Star Wars fans or gamers thought would ever arrive, has proven to be worth the wait – A brand new and versatile single-player Star Wars game. 9 years since the release of the last Single Player game The Force Unleashed 2; Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is an incredible addition to the beloved franchise.

The game follows protagonist Cal Kestis, a surviving Jedi of the infamous Order 66, which saw the Massacre of the Jedi Order by the Emperor and Darth Vader. Taking place in between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope, the story, though at times is hard to follow, ultimately adds more depth to the lore of the franchise and helps fill in the gaps between those two episodes.

COMBAT

The title takes its combat inspiration from the Dark Souls series, with elements of Samurai game Sekiro thrown in. Patience is definitely a virtue in this combat system, in place of the typical hack and slash we’ve seen in other Star Wars games – understanding when you should parry, dodge or attack is the difference between killing and being killed. The game WILL punish you if you fail to time your moves.

As per being a Star Wars game, your lightsaber is everything. The sound of which is incredibly satisfying, sending you into a whirlwind of nostalgia. However, being an all-powerful Jedi does have its limits, and in these types of games comes in the way of a block bar. Every time an enemy attacks you, the block bar depletes until ultimately you’re left staggering and defenceless.  This goes both ways though, as attacking an enemy or mainly parrying them with perfect timing, will deplete their block bar until eventually either you or they are left open for a major attack. As I said… timing is everything.

Naturally, as a Jedi, you have the ability to use the force. Which in this title comes in three variations as you’ll discover throughout the game. As you progress you’ll learn new force abilities which benefit you not only in combat but also in the open world.

OPEN WORLD ENVIRONMENT

The world of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is both wonderfully large and full of lore. As a player, you have the ability to travel across a handful of planets in the Star Wars universe which include beautiful landscapes that will have you stop dead in your tracks to admire. Working in a similar fashion to the well-known Uncharted games, the platforming style open world has puzzle areas that require you to use established abilities to traverse. This then ties into the open world where previously inaccessible areas become available to you, making what may have originally presented as a small level open up into a significantly larger map.

Laid throughout the game are chests which include a good amount of cosmetic items, from changing the colour of your spaceship to the ponchos you wear. The aspect Star Wars fanatics will love most is the ability to change the look of your lightsaber. From the style of the handle to the colour of the lightsaber itself, there’s an almost child-like fantasy to customizing your own personal lightsaber that I personally couldn’t get enough of.

Ultimately, the game is brilliant but it’s not perfect. While the worlds are large, on console versions of the game I experienced quite a few framerate drops as well as occasional slow rendering. This coupled with some cases of literally falling through the map to an endless drop will naturally create some frustrations. Without fast travel, walking just about everywhere can get tedious over time, leaving you itching to get some action.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a great step in the right direction for Star Wars games. The open-world format is incredibly well suited and the combat system both challenging and rewarding. If this is just the beginning for the next-gen of Star Wars games, then it’s a sign of a phenomenal era for the franchise.

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Review – brilliant but not perfect
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