Darkness Rises, and Light to Meet It: A Jedi: Fallen Order Review

Hey, it's the RPG Craftsman again! I've made some more tabletop gaming PDFs in the past –

Wait. Wait, has it actually been seven months this time?! Christ on a stick.

(NOTE I was supposed to put this out a few months back but it got pushed back due to stupid life stuff. So it's been longer than 7 months. blah.)

Oh hey, so EA finally put out

a single-player Star Wars

So EA is known for being a bunch of shits in the gaming industry. Like, literally as intense anger as the National Dex controversy at Game Freak and the Pokemon Company, but for almost a decade running at this point. So keep that in mind as I point out the rest of this stuff.

The last half-decent Star Wars game, IMO, was the MMO. Also by EA, Star Wars: The Old Republic is a pretty fun MMO with some Mass Effect style storyline choice mechanics, with the Light/Dark of the KotOR franchise on which this setting is based. Battlefront Rehash was incomplete, and Battlefront II Rehash was microtransaction garbage.

Microtransactions are basically EA's main selling point anymore. So at first blush, before I saw any of the gameplay examples, I wasn't expecting much from Jedi: Fallen Order.

And then I learned that it was single-player. And I got interested.

And then I learned that it was by a sub-company. And I got veryinterested.

And then I learned that it was being produced as an action-RPG. And I got excited.

And then I saw the gameplay example. And I got a Star Wars boner that I haven't gotten since seeing the trailer for The Force Awakens.

And then I played it, and I came the Force all over the inside of my pants. I'm not even sending EA the bill for the ruined upholstery of my recliner, I'm that happy.

The Good

So what makes Jedi: Fallen Order tick? Three major factors come into play to make this an interesting, fun experience.

One: Maneuverability. You quickly get used to how maneuverable Cal is in the tutorial level of the game, and he's verymaneuverable. The one problem I have is the quick-time event using the Force, because you're not quite expecting the prompt and you don't know which button to push and you're panicking because it's clear this guy is literally your only real friend and it just makes the payoff for saving him that much more rewarding.

Two: Story. I am one for the story in almost any game, so this is a big selling point for me. And it's great. Memorable, interesting characters – even the Imperial Inquisitors have some selling points beyond "bad guy." Everyone's expressions and moods and everything is easily readable. My only concern is that Cere looks a little too bug-eyed, and it almost seems comical at the wrong times; like it's a stereotype on black people because I've seen that sort of expression (mostly in memes and reaction images). Probably just a model rendering problem.

Three: Difficulty. The game is short; if you're a veteran of a certain style of game, you'll probably beat it in two or three sittings of an hour and a half each, at least on Jedi Knight difficulty. There are four difficulty settings: Campaign (this is Story Only mode), Jedi Knight (the mode I played), Jedi Master, and Jedi Grand Master. On Jedi Knight mode, I took a helluva lot of pain. And I mean a lot.

When THIS is one of the easier

fights...image swiped from

Star Wars Underworld without permission

The Not Really Bad, More Like Troublesome

So what's the biggest problem I have with this game? Believe it or not, one of the three selling points above: difficulty. Why? Because I suck at action RPGs when you're not super-strong, and you are NOT super-strong in this game. In fact, this game can be compared, in terms of both difficulty and combat design, to the Dark Souls franchise, its similar-style spinoffs like Sekiro, and its originator, Demon's Souls. You can even make these comparisons quite favorably, because it is probably easier than those.

Yes, I said probably for a reason. This is my first Dark Souls-like. Feel free to unsubscribble from me, for I am a disappointing, wretched creature.

But seriously, the people I see reviewing it do compare it to Dark Souls in combat setup. This is why I had such trouble. This also, of course, means that if you're a veteran of such games, you might even find the combat difficulty boring unless you kick it up a notch. The good news? You can change difficulty mid-game.

I never did. I couldn't handle it at higher than Jedi Knight, but my pride didn't allow me to do some story mode bullshit. I may suck on the whole when it comes to gaming, but I will be damned before I beat a game like this, that's this good, that's this fun, that's this engaging, in such a cheap-ass way.

The Bugly

Yeah, this game has a lot of bugs. Nothing game-breaking, just immersion-breaking. It probably got pushed a little too hard. It's still totally playable, and it's worth the play even with the bug fixes.

From this point forward, be ye warned: Spoilers ahead! If you want to skip, press Ctrl-F and type "Spoilers End Here."

Me Against the Galaxy

So here comes the plot. Basic points within:

You are Cal, a Jedi Padawan. You cut yourself off from the Force, at least mostly, to hide and survive.

You can't one day, and that's the day the game begins.

Inquisitors come, kill your friend for trying to defend you. You run. You're almost dead, but some ship comes along and saves your ass.

You get sent on a quest to rebuild the Jedi Order, using a Macguffin Holocron that lets you find young people with Sensitivity.

Shenanigans happen on the way; Cere, your mentor-ish fellow Jedi, isn't fully honest with you.

Greez is a hilarious sonuva gun and he's a meter-tall four-armed adorable little grizzly.

You save a bunch of Wookiees on Kashyyyk. You spark some rebellion with Saw Gerrera.

You learn about the fate of Cere's Padawan.

You fight a lesser Inquisitor and win, barely.

Cal gets in a fight with himself and loses, badly, on Dathomir. Also there's a Nightsister who's kinda cute in that Russian Dominatrix way.

You build a new Lightsaber on Ilum.

You go back, beat a fallen Jedi with that Nightsister's help. She joins your crew, because she doesn't have anywhere else to be anyway.

You get the Holocron, with some VERY dark foreshadowing of the future on your current path. Oh shit here comes the Inquisitor, and there goes the Holocron.

You go to the Inquisitor's main goddamned base to get the Holocron back. You fight the Inquisitor that stole it.

Oh shit. Oh shit. OH SHIT.




image swiped from Izuniy's LP without permission

But everyone escapes. Because that's all you can really hope to do against MOTHERFUCKING DARTH VADER.

And the game ends...well, bittersweet. Clearly the rebellion goes on for some time, we have the OT to go through after all, but it's kind of a small victory. Then again, against the Empire, that's all you can hope for at times...

Spoilers End Here.

Buy it. Definitely.

So how good is Jedi: Fallen Order? Bitch, do you even have to ask?! It's amazing!

Now, part of that is the dearth of good Star Wars games (and content) lately, but even in a flood of good Star Wars content, you have to give it only one demerit: the relative shortness of the game. That's literally my only real criticism that means anything. Yes, it was hard for me, but I just need to git gud.

The price tag is $60 at the time of this publication. If you want, get it, but I'd recommend waiting just a little while to get the game, unless you really want to make a point to EA. Because many people arebuying it for that reason. Because EA has sold a line for a few years now that "Oh no one wants single-player games, they don't sell!" and "Oh we HAVE to microtransaction just to stay competitive!"

So if you want to, buy it now. Even if you buy it later, tell everyone about this game, and freaking break them. Break your bank if you have to, but break EA. Make them aware that we will pay not for bullshit, but for quality. Because even as short as this is, this game is quality.

RPG Craftsman, signing off.

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