- Solid storyline, which has something of interest for fans of Star Wars at any age;
- Truly cinematic gameplay, full of epic scenes and successful references to other games;
- Very diverse exploration thanks to compelling platformer elements;
- Environmental puzzles in tombs and secret locations;
- Perfectly implemented and satisfactory lightsaber and the Force mechanics;
- Inconspicuous RPG elements complement the gameplay;
- Many cosmetic customization elements, all of them free, obtainable through exploration of planets.
- Many technical flaws in the console version;
- Music is merely the background;
- The graphics are a little short of the best games.
When we heard two years ago that Visceral Games is shutting down, and the Star Wars project based on Uncharted is consequently binned, many players felt "A great disturbance in the Force. As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror... and were suddenly silenced." Perhaps, however, it was the restoration of a proper balance in the galaxy? A preventive action designed to not have two, very similar games on the market?
Because Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from Respawn Entertainment is exactly an Uncharted in the cult universe. Of course, there are elements of God of War, Tomb Raider and several other titles, but this game is in no way a random blend of borrowed ideas. Everything creates a perfect mix of an epic adventure, riveting, cinematic story, and satisfying combat and exploration.
If there's anything to find fault with, it's only the graphics that are noticeably worse than in the Frostbite-powered Battlefronts. However, considering the reports of how problematic that engine is in TPP games, I think I prefer solid gameplay to visual bells and whistles. On PlayStation 4, I experienced a few more technical shortcomings, and that was pretty much it as far as blemishes are concerned in SW Jedi: Fallen Order.
Although some may scoff at the atmoshpere that goes from dark depictions of the totalitarian Empire, to fairy-tale like scenes straight from E-rated games. It's apparent the developer's were ultimately spread thin, trying to create a story for everyone. However, since the extremities of the mood and climate are pretty far apart in time, and since the story is truly engrossing, there's no particular conflict here.
HOW MANY HOURS?
Before the release, quite a controversy was caused by the lack of a 10-hour trial version, raising the question of how long the game would be. In my case, I reached the end of the plot after about 16 hours, testing different levels of difficulty, but mostly playing on normal. I also engaged is some collecting, having opened 78% of secret chests.
I venture to assume that playing the game quickly on easy difficulty could reduce the playtime to about 10 hours. On the other hand, completing the entire game on hard should take about 20 hours, without looking for any collectables.
Star Wars: Stories – The ginger goes solo
There's plenty of epic moments in the story – the action is fast, high-octane, and everything we experience amounts to a fantastic adventure that doesn't let go until the very end. The creators surprise us more than once, because even the occasional backtracking was used as an opportunity for showing something new and sexy. What's more, the ginger teenager Jedi knight, who I felt was completely unconvincing in the trailers, turns out a great protagonist, for whom I was rooting during the entire story.
Cal Kastis, just like Rey in the movies, is a space scavenger – but contrary to her, he's an ordinary worker of the Scrapper Guild, who recycle Clone-Wars-era ships on the planet Brakka. The job is rather boring. He listens to some rock music, commutes to work every day in a dirty, crowded train, and remains under the jurisdiction of Empire soldiers. Cal also hides the fact that he used to be a Padawan – a would-be Jedi knight who somehow survived the purge of Order 66. When circumstances compel him to use the Force, Inquisition starts hunting for him, and he decides to accept the unlikely help of the crew of Stinger-Mantis, and lend them a hand during a certain mission.
WELCOME HOME, DARTH MAUL
It's no secret that in Fallen Order we will visit Dathomir, the home world of Darth Maul. If you explore it thoroughly, you will find some interesting information regarding this mysterious tribe, which raised Maul.
Cal must find the holocron with information about the surviving children endowed with the Force, and with them, restore the power of The Jedi Order. The item was, however, well concealed, and its secrets are sealed in ancient tombs of an primordial civilization. In good, old-fashioned Hitchcock manner, we start with an earthquake, and then the tension only rises. Playing as Cal feels like being a combo of a Jedi knight, Nathan Drake, Harrison Ford and Lara Croft. There are battles, there's learning about the past, and there's a few things I have not the candid heart to reveal to you. The thing about Fallen Order that impressed me the most, was perhaps the way the story is seamlessly blended with the gameplay.
Here, every swing of the saber, every leap over a precipice, and even healing seems an inseparable part of the story, as if we are participating in one, long cut. If this game hasn't the same type of finesse as known from the Uncharted 4, it's only because pauses in action happen a bit too often – we often stop to meditate, and bossfights break the momentum. Sometimes, however, we stop on purpose to take in the living world, or just watch the troopers scuffle with the local fauna.
AN EPIC (SIDE) ADVENTURE
The story of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order unfolds between the events featured in the film Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and focuses on the actions of the Empire's Inquisitors – in this case, the Second and the Ninth Sisters. We mostly know this from the comics and cartoons Star Wars: Rebels, so the game itself seems a part of Star Wars: Stories. There's no opening crawl with golden letters, there's even no classic theme by John Williams. The game expands the universe in accordance with the current canon, but it does not try to squeeze into the main parts of the saga.