When it comes to video games, the Star Wars franchise has seen better days. EA and DICE’s 2015 reboot of the original Battlefront was met with a cool reception due to its lack of content at launch. Battlefront 2 drew more criticism two years later, as the game set out a microtransaction model that encouraged pay-to-win tactics. But this is a whole different ball game. Star Wars fans have been longing for a storytelling game for years, and the day is almost here.
So what do we know about Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order so far?
Firstly, Respawn Entertainment (Titanfall, Titanfall 2, Apex Legends) a child company of EA, will be the studio producing the game. At Star Wars Celebration, EA announced that the long-awaited game would be released November 15th, slap-bang in the middle of the Christmas shopping season.
You’ll have a choice of consoles to play on: PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions have all been confirmed, though no news about the Nintendo Switch. Thus far, EA has published very few major games on the Switch, so it seems unlikely that this game will appear. EA and Respawn haven’t mentioned any platform-exclusive content yet, and given that this game will not include any microtransactions or loot boxes (yay!), it may not feature any at all.
A New Star Wars Story
“As one of the last Jedi, you must do whatever it takes to survive. Complete your training before the Inquisitors discover your plan to rebuild the Jedi Order.”
This first Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order trailer is our introduction to Cal Kestis. Despite being a Jedi, Cal doesn’t have any sort of special upbringing. The former padawan is trying to evade the Empire’s attention, having to hide his skills due to the group being branded as traitors by the Imperial army, leading to clashes with Jedi-killing Purge Troopers as well as the Imperial Inquisition’s Second Sister. Like the rest of her dark regiment, the Second Sister wields a double-bladed red lightsaber with a circular guard that allows it to spin freely. She’s a former member of the Jedi Order and is a powerful commander of the Force.
Cal chooses to alienate himself from others due to his secret of being a Jedi. While he doesn’t have many human friends, he finds a buddy in a droid called BD-1. The robot has many great uses, such as a spotlight and several other tools that can be upgraded throughout the game. As all good padawans do, Cal finds himself a mentor in Cere (played by Debra Wilson). Respawn said that they have a very different relationship and act as if they were part of a dysfunctional family.
Feel the Force
“Hone lightsaber combat forms to refine striking, blocking, and dodging your enemies. Use your Jedi weapon and the Force to take on any challenge.”
On the flip side, Cal Kestis has to rely on his incomplete mastery of Force powers and starts the game with no lightsaber at all—a sorry state for any self-respecting Jedi. But it looks like he’ll find a half-broken saber with a blue blade at some point relatively early in the game. EA teased that the saber will “grow and evolve” over the course of the game and Respawn is calling it an “action melee”. Despite being powerful, this is not a button masher. Instead, Cal will have to thoughtfully use his abilities, that can be upgraded as the game goes along, to target his enemies’ weak points and take them out.
You may recognise the actor behind Cal Kestis, he is Cameron Monaghan, who plays both Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska (who later becomes The Joker) in Gotham on Fox.
The Galaxy Awaits
“Explore ancient forests, windswept cliffs, and haunted jungles as you decide when and where you want to go next.”
According to Respawn, the trailer is made with in-game assets though its footage was not pulled directly from the game itself. Is this cause for concern? Maybe, with little more than 6 months until its release, you would hope they’d have had some real gameplay to show off. However, rumour has it that Jedi Fallen Order plays like a mixture of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, The Force Unleashed, and Uncharted, which sounds ambitious, to say the least.
At this point, I am pretty excited about the single-player aspect of the game, and I personally much prefer a third-perspective so this is winning me over. Let’s hope that EA and Respawn can develop the game that Star Wars fans have been waiting for and with enough hours of gameplay to tide them over until The Rise of Skywalker is released in cinemas on December 19th.