What are critics saying about the game?
I’ve seen plenty of reviews that outline the game’s surprising emphasis on exploration and traversing, rather than the usual rough-and-ready lightsabre duels you’d expect to find in a Star Wars game (that’s still here though, of course). Combining a mix of other franchises, such as Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider and Dark Souls, Jedi Fallen Order is a refreshingly challenging experience that keeps true to a singular story and doesn’t get bogged down in the wider scope of a giant universe.
Expect plenty of travelling between planets, working out routes across tough geometric environments, and combat that sees you tackle the Galactic Empire’s usual baddies such as bounty hunters and Stormtrooper grunts. You take on the role of Cal Kestis, one of the last remaining Jedi left, who’s on the run from Darth Vader and his accomplices. It’s a simple setup, but critics such as IGN say that it works in the game’s favour, keeping things streamlined and accessible.
Jedi Fallen Order was developed by Respawn and published by EA, making this a nice departure from DICE and a much-needed switch up of creative hands. Players are similarly as enthusiastic as critics, with rave first impressions currently flooding Metacritic and Reddit, making this a rare success story for a Star Wars game.
Why has EA changed up its style for Jedi Fallen Order?
Put simply, EA couldn’t afford another disaster. The Star Wars Battlefront franchise has become such a train wreck that anything other than a decent game would have turned most off completely. Fans are generally more wary of pre-order season passes, dishonest monetisation options, and shady business practices in 2019, so anything less than a legitimately good experience simply wouldn’t have cut it.
We’re also seeing even more value for money when it comes to playing singular titles at the moment, as Microsoft ramps up its Xbox Game Pass service and PlayStation begins to promote its own version, PlayStation Now. Playing hundreds of games for less than £10 a month is now a mainstream option for console gamers, which means AAA titles need to impress in order to convince people to part with £40 for one title. If the last few years of disastrous releases like Anthem, Fallout 76, and No Man’s Sky have taught us anything, it’s that sometimes simple, traditional releases are a better route than ambitious live-service projects that are littered with problems.
Single-player stories have come back in a big way this half of the decade, too, regardless of what EA may have said previously. Big games like Red Dead Redemption 2, God Of War, The Last Of Us, Spiderman, and Horizon Zero Dawn have all sold well and are highly regarded, despite having an almost solely single-player focus. Jedi Fallen Order follows in their footsteps, both in terms of game mechanics and structure, and it’s apparently paid off big time.
The more titles we get like this moving forward, the better it is for the industry and the Star Wars franchise as a whole. This is at least a step in the right direction, and hopefully EA keeps this run up with its next projects. It’s probably best to still keep an eye out for any sneaky microtransactions, though – EA isn’t out the woods just yet.