Also available on PlayStation 4 and Windows
Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 2/23/2020 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order is pretty much the first AAA purely single-player Star Wars game that we’ve gotten in quite a while thanks to EA’s “gamers don’t want single-player experiences” bullshit. Fortunately, their heads took a quick peek out of their asses and gave Star Wars fans what we’ve been clamoring for for years – an engaging Star Wars story with well-developed characters and the opportunity to murder things with a laser sword. Between the outcry about the lack of the single-player that the Battlefront reboot got and the exceptional sales of Fallen Order – more than 8 million copies sold in two months – I’m hoping that EA has finally started to realize that Star Wars fans want solid stories more than hollow online arenas. Or at least I do, and I’m always right.
Fallen Order takes place between the end of Revenge of the Sith and the start of A New Hope shortly after the Jedi Purge initiated by Order 66 as the Empire is first flexing its control over a war-weary galaxy. The game follows the Jedi Cal Kestis as he hides from the Imperial Inquisition (no one expects the Imperial Inquisition!). Throughout your journey, you travel to an explore five planets and face off against Sith-trained Jedi hunters and mafia bounty hunters like as you follow the clues left behind by Jedi Master Endo Cordova to find the key to rebuilding the Jedi Order.
With regards to gameplay, Fallen Order felt to me a lot like a cross between Batman: Arkham Asylum and Dark Souls. While it’s definitely a LOT more forgiving than Dark Souls even on the harder difficulties, I’ve taken to calling it Star Souls in jest because of how reminiscent the focus on timing blocks and parries is. The various difficulty levels make it a mercifully approachable game, but even so, even the lowest difficulty setting needs a bit more than simple brute force. I, naturally, played it on Bitch Mode because I generally play games – especially Star Wars game – for a God-complex power trip, not for personal challenge, but fighting Purge Troopers still required actual blocking and dodging. By no means is that a complaint, mind you, as the combat is EXTREMELY well-crafted in this game especially with the lightsaber combat options; you can fight with a regular single-bladed lightsaber, a double-bladed lightsaber like Darth Maul, or perform a special attack with your weapon broken into two single-bladed lightsabers.
As far as length goes, it’s a pretty average length for a single-player game. All things considered, I’d estimate it’s a roughly 15 to 20 hours experience for most folks depending on how much time you spend exploring each planet. There are a lot of outfits, ship paint jobs, and lightsaber customizations to find in the world and unlock, so there’s definitely incentive to explore for those who like a good collectathon. As is usually the case with me, I took the time to find about half of the world’s unlockables before I got bored and went to kill more things, but the lightsaber customization is definitely a nice touch.
Jedi: Fallen Order is a definite must-play for Star Wars fans, and I’d make it a strong recommendation for action game fans who don’t care for Star Wars. Attached IP aside, it’s an extremely entertaining and rewarding game. Tragically, it skipped Switch, but with support for the improvements offered by PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, it’s a gorgeous space-romp for folks with 4K set-ups. Whether you play on console or on PC, Fallen Order will definitely scratch your space-samurai itch.