Darkness without a bright spot is an expression that is absolutely not excessive to describe what gamers have to go through Star Wars gamers over the last few years. How come? Despite the fact that EA is a giant company with a large capital and talented team, they are considered to have failed to maximize the potential of a 10-year exclusive partnership with Disney regarding Star Wars. Born only ended up in two Battlefront series which, although visually mesmerizing thanks to the Frostbite Engine implementation, ended up unsatisfying. Critics even color them both, from the problem of limited content to the microtransactions feature that appears like a joke. Therefore, it is not surprising that many gamers end up looking forward to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from Respawn Entertainment.
What article? Simple, because it is the first product of the 10-year EA-Disney collaboration that will be spawned in the form of a single-player game that focuses on canon stories, rather than multiplayer games like Battlefront. Anticipation also came from the disappointment that another Star Wars single-player game project that had been formulated together with Amy Hennig with the code name “RagTag” also ended up being canceled by EA for unclear reasons. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will perform well as a thirst-releasing spring for Star Wars gamers who long for solid campaign content, especially now that Respawn Entertainment is also being dealt with so far.
Calculated by canon, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will take the story timeline between Star Wars Episode III and Episode IV. After the event in his third film series which was also followed by the collapse of the Jedi Order, the Empire’s stronghold executed an order which they referred to as “The Order 66”. The contents of the order are simple – to hunt down and kill anyone who has a connection with the Jedi and The Force, both in the past, present and future.
You play the role of a scavenger named Cal Kestis who looks like an ordinary young man who works to make a living. But an incident that was so critical that Cal could not help but end up having to use The Force. Like an unusual wave of information, Cal’s actions finally ended up inviting the Inquisitors team – the spearhead of Order 66 to the planet, trying to find and handle the source of the use of The Force. Cal who is pressed or not, must open his true identity.
By using his teacher’s Light Saber which he still kept well, in the middle of the members of The Inquisitors – Second Sister, Cal had to defend himself. However, his status as a Padawan which incidentally under the Jedi made him do not have the equivalent ability to fight back with a small chance of winning. Fortunately, he was suddenly helped by a former Jedi named – Cere Junda and a pilot named Greez who came “to pick up” Cal on a plane named Mantis.
Cere apparently has an ambition to revive and revive The Jedi Order. A dream that was not impossible considering he knew that in a secret location, on the planet Bogano, a Jedi Master named – Eno Cordova kept a super important information. He has a Holocron that contains a list of names of children in all galaxies that have high sensitivity to The Force. The group that Cere saw as seeds needed to be trained and selected to become Jedi in the future, and therefore, became the foundation to revive the Jedi Order. But as can be predicted, this trip will not be easy.
So, what challenges must Cal face? Can he get the super important holocron? Who is the Second Sister’s true identity? You can get all the answers to this question by playing Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Get rid of Frostbite, Now with Unreal Engine 4
EA is no longer bothered by having to use Frostbite? Or is this a special case because they have to prove something to Disney for a 10-year collaboration that isn’t optimal? Or is it a manifestation of the strength of a Vince Zampella – the big boss of Respawn Entetainment who now sits on the EA board of directors? Or simply because they want to build something new and different? Whatever the reason behind the decision behind the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, it must be admitted to be refreshing to see that one game under a giant EA flag does not use Frostbite as a base. That’s right, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was built using Unreal Engine 4.
Implementation like this does not necessarily make Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order now present with a visualization quality that surpasses all other Frostbite games. But you can pay attention to a number of different visual approaches between the two engines, from motion animation to the approach to lighting effects that do feel more natural in Unreal Engine 4 than Frostbite which usually seems “excessive” in several aspects. Large interest indeed leads to curiosity in the behind-the-scenes process which makes Respawn able to choose to use Unreal instead of Frostbite like other EA developers.
In terms of overall visual presentation, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a proper “Star Wars” game. You who join this franchise will immediately feel familiar with the world and the universe it has to offer since you enjoyed the first cut-scene. We are not just talking about the appearance of some characters and iconic elements such as Stormtrooper or lightsaber, for example, but also the imaging of the world, the ecosystems that live in it, the architecture of buildings, lore that burst through a variety of conversations, until the major conflicts that occur. Respawn seems to understand what makes a Star Wars game deserve to be called a Star Wars game and ensures that almost all the elements it offers are in line with that identity.
One thing we appreciate so much is the range of enemy variants that you encounter along the way, which not only goes along with Lore Order 66 that he is carrying, but also strengthens the impression that you are indeed a Jedi who is struggling in a hostile universe. You have to fight the various types of Stormtrooper who come with different weapons, against the AT-ST which turned out to be quite troublesome for a Jedi with capable Force ability, against the technological Guardians of the past who inhabited the ruins, fought against the Inquisitors, and in the end – the Purge Troopers present with their threatening black armor. Cool again? Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has also managed to leave an impression about the danger of the world that you visit through wild enemies who are no less threatening and deadly.
While in terms of sound, he also appeared charming. Almost all the iconic sounds that are supposed to be present, from the distinctive lightsaber sound that is swung to the conversation of Stormtroopers who are ready to invite laughter are executed sweetly here. The conversation feels natural with each character able to show his personality via intonation and choice of words. Meanwhile, in terms of music, in addition to the soundtrack and theme song from the film version that has been attached and ended in this game with a little composition, we were briefly surprised by one of the music choices available. Incorporating “The Hu” – a Mongolian rock / metal band that has a unique throat singing style as the favorite band and favorite song that Cal Kestis hears is a surprise that we welcome with open arms.
Souls with Force
Before we discuss what experiences Star Star Jedi: Fallen Order has to offer, we have to make sure that you and we are on the same page about the difficulty level. Why? Because it is different from the Souls series where you cannot mess with the level of difficulty that he stretches, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order offers 4 difficulty level options, each of which will offer a different experience. The experience we wrote in this review is based on the difficulty level of the Jedi Master, which is defined as the level of difficulty for those who love the thrill of more exciting battles. Gamers who play Star Wars JedI: Fallen Order on a lower difficulty level – Story or Jedi Knight may feel what we write here. Okay, let’s get started.
The battle system offered by Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has to be acknowledged, the best part that we enjoyed the most was the game series that was formulated by Respawn Entertainment. Finding a Star Wars game that truly reflects the excitement of fighting by using not just one, but two different lightsaber variants, is certainly not an easy task. Just look at what DICE is doing with the hero system on Battlefront whose lightsaber based attack system still feels unsatisfactory. While on the other side, Jedi: Fallen Order also managed to build a unique taste that is closer to what you recognize from the Souls series than the taste of cinematic hack and slash action games that had been offered by Star Wars: Force Unleashed in the past.
That regardless of the type of enemy that you fight, whether it’s just Stormtrooper, Purge Trooper, or giant monsters that inhabit every world, Cal Kestis is still imaged as a fragile Padawan. If you take the wrong step and are not careful enough to anticipate the next action, it’s not uncommon for you to meet the game over screen repeatedly. Finding the right time to enter and attack, knowing the right moment to roll and dodge, and making sure the amount of HP is maintained are key parts to winning the battle in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Of course, if you have mastered enemy attack timings, you can do Parry which, if executed sweetly, will effectively reduce the enemy’s stamina bars which will end up making them vulnerable to attack. Familiar sensation for Sekiro gamers.
However, there is still a change in mindset that must be done by Star Wars Jedi gamers: Fallen Order if you come from any Souls series. First, blocking. While most Souls series on the market make blocking seem irrelevant because often it still causes little damage or drains stamina quickly, blocking is a capable strategy in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Almost all attacks you can withstand without problems (except when the enemy is charging that makes their bodies red) without stolen damage. Interestingly again? It does not significantly deplete stamina, until it becomes a qualified strategy that can be taken. It is not uncommon for you to encounter battle situations where it is far safer to block and strike back than to attempt to parry at risk.
Second? Of course the use of The Force for strategic advantage. Depending on the progress of your story, Cal will be strengthened by at least three types of Force abilities that are essential when fighting: Push (Pull), Pull (pull), and Freeze (freeze time) which can be accessed using specific buttons. Each Force’s ability does indeed consume a portion of your Force bar to be executed. But what’s interesting is the fact that this bar will refill along with the number of attacks that you successfully enter into the opponent’s camp. So there is always a chance to play aggressively, even when fighting bosses. Execute certain Force abilities, attack with physical attacks, Force bar re-filled, do it repeatedly until you win. Cool again? Some types of enemies have resistance and weakness in certain Force abilities. Purge Trooper for example, hold on to Force Pull and it will jump to attack you when you try to do this trick.
So depart as a gamer who often plays Souls series, mindset changes do need to be done to maximize the ability of a Cal Kestis that should be. That the fight is no longer a matter of looking for loopholes to attack through the system of roll and parry, but rather CREATE your own gap by using a variety of Force capabilities that you have. Along with more combination attacks and buffs on your Force abilities that you can unlock through a level-based Skill Tree system and EXP Points at certain points, this Force ability will also become more effective and deadly.
We found that at this level of difficulty, even more challenging enemies came from monsters instead of humanoid enemies such as Stormtrooper, Purge Trooper, to lightsaber-based bosses such as Inquisitors. Why? Because it is only a short time, you will not be difficult to learn the animation of the attacks of these humanoid enemies, look for timing timings for parry and blocking, and strike back. While on the other hand, enemy shaped monsters actually come with attack animations that seem sporadic, fast, and deadly. So sporadic, it is sometimes difficult to find an opening to do an effective and safer parry to roll. Fighting 2-3 enemies like this at once is the biggest challenge of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Like the Souls series, your death will also be followed by extra consequences beyond just looking at the Game Over screen multiple times. Every EXP Points you collect will “fall” where you died and stick to the body of the last enemy that finishes off your HP bar. But this system is not as threatening to the Souls series where it will usually disappear permanently if you end up dead before getting it back. In Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the falling EXP will remain in the same enemy body until you attack it at least once. To make things even easier, your first attack to “reclaim” this EXP will also be followed by restoring HP and Force bars to their maximum levels.
If we talk about one thing that we like about the Star Wars Jedi battle system: Fallen Order is how you use The Force to not only attack more effectively, but also be creative at the same time. From just having fun by freezing the blaster beam, pulling it to the nearest Stormtrooper, and then making them touch for instant death to a more capable strategy such as doing Force Push to return a grenade or missile fired by an AT-ST. Along with new abilities that you unlock, there are some more powerful Force effects that you can access, such as the ability to attract all nearby enemies to approach you instantly. With a little stun time as an effect, you can inject direct lethal combination attacks.
Cal Kestis itself is supported by two types of lightsabers that you can access instantly by only using the d-pad button. There are regular lightsabers that are associated with higher damage, standard attack speed, and shorter attack combinations. Cal can also access the second form – dual-bladed lightsaber which has a much faster attack animation, less damage, but has a longer combination attack. Admittedly, some types of enemies do feel more vulnerable and easily subdued if you attack them with certain lightsaber variants. Big monster? Dual-bladed is the key. While humanoid enemies also use lighsabers? The standard lightsaber mode is certainly more effective. Based on the skill tree that you access, you can also open better combination attack variants for each variant.
So with all these combinations, the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order battle system on paper does feel like the Souls series, especially how effectively it punishes you if you end up making a wrong move. But in the end, he managed to build his own unique identity. Slowly but surely, you will begin to change your mindset to not only rely more on blocking, but also to “exploit” the various capabilities of the Force to facilitate your journey.
One of the most surprising aspects of the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, especially after the inaugural trailer some time ago that failed to talk about it, is how it is not a linear action game. In a sense, it is not like Uncharted, for example, which will take you from one area to another according to the story you want to tell. There isn’t much freedom about where you want to go next. What Repawn has to offer in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order actually leads to something we call “Metroidvania”. That following the Metroid or Castlevania concept in the past, the exploration process to an area that you can or cannot open will depend on what skills you already have. A sub-genre that will require you to do the backtracking process repeatedly.
The same thing is offered by Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. After the first two areas, Cal Kestis will be given a choice of several planets to visit on behalf of encouraging the progress of the story. One of the five planets that will open near the end of this game will usually be followed by a special icon that is designed to tell you where to go. By design system, there is no “name” side mission in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. You for example, will not meet with a special NPC that asks you to search and find something for example. So the exploration and backtracking process that occurs is usually due to two things: because the story is required or because of curiosity for an appropriate reward.
As an example? One of the puzzles in Bogana, the first planet you visited, asks you to move a giant ball that is trapped behind an iron bar with no way in. The only way to solve this puzzle is to use the Force Pull and Force Push that you will find on another planet. So the process of backtracking to this area again will depend on your choice and is usually associated with mere curiosity and not a side mission. There are also other planets with one giant door and new areas to explore that you can only access when BD-1 has learned how to break into security systems, for example. NPCs on ships like Cere and Greez will usually talk about new areas that can be accessed on each planet, but never “force” you to do it.
While not least the impression of Metroidvania is rooted in something that you must do and is related to the main story. One area in Dathomir, for example, will only be able to access when you have gained the power of Double Jump to access it. What’s interesting is that there are so many puzzle areas that you encounter along the way. Most of them are not difficult, but not a few who will require you to use The Force properly both Freeze and Push-Pull. The solution for each of these puzzles will be easy to get by doing a little observation.
But unfortunately, the concept of metroidvania with a planetary displacement system offered by Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order actually opens a space of weakness that deserves to be discussed. That the connection between the power you get and the progress of the main story actually makes the impression of a linear game even stronger. That instead of being open, where gamers who are “diligent” exploring for example will be equipped with more strength and ability of the Force that can be used as an alternative solution, almost all the new strengths obtained by Cal and BD-1 are in the capacity “MUST” and “SURE “Found in the name of the story’s progress. This makes the exploration process not felt significant, especially considering the reward system which is considered disappointing.
Disappointing Exploration Reward
So like the session we talked about earlier, along with the new power received by Cal and BD-1, the more area in each planet you can explore. The bad news? At least from our perspective, most of the exploration process will end in extra disappointment. Why? Because most of the rewards that you find do not have much effect on gameplay. There are only two types of relevant rewards you can find – Echo, which is actually a memory left behind that can be “read” Cal to expand the existing world lore while gaining EXP in varying amounts and also Stim Canister – which will increase the maximum number of Stim (healing items) that you can bring once in a while. For this last affair, you can generalize it with the amount of extra Estus Flask in Dark Souls.
While other rewards, especially those you find in various chests on all planets, will usually end up being mere cosmetic customization items, both for Cal, BD-1, or the plane – Mantis. That’s right, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order does offer a practically customizable, almost complete, process that will certainly satisfy those who really love Star Wars lore itself. One of the most important is of course the lightsaber customization option that allows you to dismantle the combination of the lightsaber elements that you use, from the color, the shape of the handle, the shape of the wrapper, to just the circle where the lightsaber light rises. You will find all the options for the customization process in the chests during the exploration process.
In spite of the complete customization, it’s hard not to admit that there is a deep disappointment when you find that all the items you’ve struggled to get through the exploration process, from climbing high cliffs to diving into this deepest lake, all of which are merely cosmetic. That the clothing variant, the lightsaber handle, to the lightsaber color has absolutely no effect on Cal’s aspects and status at all. Whereas on the other hand, elements like this actually have the potential to be transformed in such a way as to offer a thicker RPG flavor. If only, these elements affect the attack, regeneration of the Force, to just an extension of the timing parry for example, then the motivation to search and find each of them would be stronger. For now, it feels like a wasted potential.
The only other reason exploration feels worth-it to be executed is the presence of the Bounty Hunter who usually waits for you in locations that you never predicted before. They come as optional bosses that you can subdue for extra EXP and will automatically disappear if you end up losing. Finding them as surprises, fighting, and ending up winning always leaves its own satisfaction.
After two Battlefront series focusing on the multiplayer side, whose release was followed by ridiculous controversy, it was a relief to see that the 10-year collaboration between Disney and EA finally gave birth to a single-player Star Wars Jedi-class game product: Fallen Order. Not only because it offers a side story that canon counts, but also because of the fact that it is a truly quality action game. The decision to melt the foundations of a metroidvania-style system with the sensation of the Souls series that offers strategy manipulation through the ability of the Force to produce a unique identity. Everything is built on the side of the audio visual presentation that it should and should, make this series feel like a bright light at the end of a dark tunnel for gamers Star Wars fans. Moreover, he was not encouraged by nonsense policies like microtransactions for example.
However, that doesn’t mean Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a perfect game. Although the technical problems that had occurred slowly but surely have begun to be repaired via patches, but it’s hard not to ask questions about the level of quality control and polish that was missed before Respawn and EA decided to simply release this game to the market. Other complaints also arise from camera systems that sometimes make it difficult, the foundation of the metroidvania system is still too shallow with a new skill system all of which are in the realm of “must”, and of course reward cosmetic items in our eyes, not so tempting to keep you busy at exploration process. One other complaint that is worth talking about? How can the Force be exploited to solve all problems, including the final boss fight by consistently using it. Believe it or not, we beat it by consistently doing Force Push + Normal Attack.
In spite of these shortcomings, Respawn again proves its sharpness as a seasoned developer in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. If there is one thing that is proven from this series is the fact that EA actually has the resources and capabilities to mix solid and tempting single-player Star Wars games. The existence of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is even more pushing one question that needs an answer: Why only now?
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