Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is finally here from the team over at Respawn, and though a single-player experience isn’t their main forte’, the team pulled this adventure off incredibly well. With a new team formed under Respawn with God of War and Dragon Age devs on board, the studio worked incredibly closely with LucasFilm to create an authentic Star Wars experience and the result? We’re thinking Game of the Year potential.
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For those that don’t know, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order takes place after Episode III in a galaxy where it’s very much Us against the World in terms of the Jedi. This narrative premise feels like home for longtime Star Wars fans, but that doesn’t mean it’s a carbon-copy replica. Cal Kestis’ journey is very much a unique experience and one that does the Star Wars name proud thanks to an incredible cast of characters, engaging combat, and oh my god, those game sounds!
We wouldn’t be Turtle Beach if we didn’t talk about sound quality in-game. While Fallen Order isn’t the only Star Wars game out there – far from it, in fact – it is one that put very careful detail into every aspect of the game. From exciting wall-running to frustratingly challenging puzzles, this game offers a lot and the effects – both sound and visual – made sure that everything experienced in-game had maximum impact on the player.
Star Wars films are known for their cutscene transitions and the instantly recognizable sound that goes with it. That same transitional style could be seen and heard in Fallen Order with an accuracy that had us glued to the screen. The journey of completely transforming into the young Jedi-in-training Cal Kestis was powerful and that power came from an expert blend in fine storytelling, visual and audio direction, and an intricate combat system that organically felt like it did this franchise’s name justice.
That, and the lightsaber sounds? Immensely satisfying!
From the very first announcement, Respawn revealed that they wanted to make this game where players felt the desire to explore, and they did exactly that. From hidden nooks and crannies that are temporarily blocked off – encouraging that adventurous spirit even more – to the various planet environments that house both wonder and danger, everything about this galaxy will pull at that inner completionist in gamers.
When trying to survive against the Inquisitor and the imperial army, Cal and friends must survive and the key to that survival is knowing everything that the galaxy has to offer, including the dark and hidden secrets that players can find hidden away in dark alcoves and stormtrooper-infested areas. The locales are stunningly beautiful, and each location is accurate when fitted against actual Star Wars canon, which makes it a treat for both newcomers to the Star Wars family and lifers as well.
For those that still may be on the fence as to whether or not they feel up to donning those Jedi boots, there are a few games that Fallen Order pays homage to that might change your mind. As a huge Mass Effect fan, Fallen Order felt very reminiscent of Mass Effect 2 and 3 both in terms of narrative progression and gameplay mechanics. Short of romance, this game could easily have a BioWare logo on it when reflecting back on some of the studio’s older titles.
The puzzles in-game felt very similar to games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Uncharted, and the Tomb Raider series, which is a huge driving factor behind the desire to explore. Some of the combat sequences felt reminiscent to Dark Souls if players choose the higher difficulty settings, while some of the boss fights almost had a particular God of War flavor to them in terms of approach and execution.
Respawn nailed drawing in outside influences while creating their own adventure, something that is also seen in nods to other Respawn titles as well. The wall-running (hello, Titanfall) was gratifying in a way that is designed to keep players on their toes, while the rope-climbing and secret-finding felt uniquely Jedi: Fallen Order.
Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate the heckin’ adorable new droid BD-1?! This little guy (bot?) is as adorable as it is useful. It’s small, which makes it great for small spaces, and it’s upgradable and efficient, making it a great asset when uncovering game secrets like memory sequences and bits of lore left behind. BD-1 is also there to help if players get stuck on a particular puzzle by offering clues on a way out. It’s great and honors of the tradition of making us fall head-over-heels for a damn robot.
From incredible characters both new and familiar to the Star Wars-verse to worlds teeming with journeys to undertake, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a masterpiece in every single way a game can be. We’re not saying it’s Game of the Year, but we are saying it has some major potential to be.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
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