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Star Wars Jedi Colon Fallen Order

I just finished playing Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which contains 40% Star Wars, 50% Jedi, and 10% Fallen Orders. The game costed me $60 and lasted about 20 hours. For reference, I played on the “Jedi Master” difficulty.

A Generous Helping of Sekiro

General gameplay is lifted almost directly from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Enemies have health and posture bar, where an enemies take chip damage until the posture bar is broken, although there is no Death Blow for posture broken enemies, only a brief stun. The spirit emblems are replaced by a Force meter, which is refilled by attacking.

The combat is fun, but the comparison to Sekiro does the game no favors. The game does not have the fine tuning and polish exemplified by its spiritual predecessor. In Sekiro, parrying cancels attacks and combos almost instantly and always reliably. I don’t think I ever figured out when exactly Fallen Order’s combo ended and the block could be started.

I could never pay attention to the force meter, which drained and filled at unpredictable intervals. Since I couldn’t rely on it, most of the fancy lightsaber movers were out of the picture, so I ended up ignoring them. Sekiro’s special tool attacks consumed spirit emblems, but if used strategically, even they could be stretched out for a whole fight.

The unblockable attacks show up as well, but forgo Sekiro’s stylish visual and audio cue for a jarring and silly looking glowing red texture swap. Sekiro eventually gives the player risky but exciting tools to counter some of these (jumping over wide sweeps, stomping on thrusts, etc). Fallen Order has no such tools, requiring the player either roll or sidestep. I found that a quick force push would sometimes break the unblockable attacks, but that never felt right, and again, was unreliable.

The game shines most during the several one-on-one lightsaber duals, which are challenging and satisfying to master.

A dash of Uncharted

I’ve only played Uncharted 1 and 2, but I feel now like I would be content if I never saw another vine covered wall to climb. Ropes swings are still cool though, especially with the force pull ability.

Fallen Order has a few “cinematic” action sequencies, which are usually pretty neat, and are infrequent enough to not become a chore.

Metroidvania-lite

Progression is ostensibly open world, but is heavily gated by your arsenal of force powers. Near the midpoint of the game, I went off exploring and was rewarded pretty substantially, but it wouldn’t have been worth it if I didn’t have most of the traversal options unlocked.

Fallen Order doesn’t waste players time with its “open worlds” design. The player’s map clearly marks unexplored areas, and indicates barriers in red and newly accessible areas in green. The map on every planet can be viewed from the players hub spaceship, so you don’t ever have to waste time on space travel.

A pinch of Star Wars

Fan service is handled deftly. Callback lines and characters are kept to a minimum. Instead, players can walk around in there Star Wars ship, watch the stars blur from inside the cockpit when the ship jumps to hyperspace, and fiddle around with the build of their lightsaber using parts they have scavenged.

The world, ship, characters and outfits are heavily reminiscent of the Original Trilogy’s grimy look and swashbuckling attitude, while the plot incorporates some of the better elements from the Prequels.

While the writing isn’t extraordinary, it is perfectly serviceable and rarely irritating. The voice acting and motion capture performances are skillful and natural (aside from a few brief scenes with a child character, but thats understandable).

Play Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order if you liked Sekiro. Play Sekiro if you liked Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

20 hours of gameplay is a sweet spot for me. It took me a few days and a few late nights, but I completed it. It had some neat characters, exciting set pieces, and challenging-if sometimes janky-combat. It could have used some more polish on its borrowed gameplay elements, but on its own, it manages to be a satisfying, well rounded Star Wars game. And no micro transactions to be seen!

I hold Sekiro to be a much better game overall, but unlike Sekiro, or most games that I own for that matter, I have actually completed Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. If that doesn’t count as a recommendation I don’t know what does.