I’ll just go ahead and say it, I’m really pleased Jedi Fallen Order is done. I would say all-in-all it hasn’t been the best gaming experience and I’m really happy that I stuck to it enough to finish it.
I’ve been into detail on how well it runs on the Steam Deck which is a great gaming experience in itself. With probably 60% of my play time being portable. Jedi Fallen Order runs and plays great on there. So that’s been a real positive thing to take away from it.
My initial review piece went through some of my frustrations and some of the good stuff. Now, I can say after 25 hours, and completing the story, that very little of that has changed.
Fallen Order Story
One of my biggest gripes with jedi Fallen Order is actually the narrative. It rushes form beat to beat, and whilst it works to string your motives together, it really doesn’t tell much of a story.
You build up seemingly really strong relationships with your party, but I don’t recall ever really seeing how that happened. Particularly with the Nightmother. It’s all just very rushed, and doesn’t really feel sincere.
There are some fantastic “Star Wars Moments” and the Jedi power fantasy stays strong. But Jedi Fallen Order really seems to lean on those instead of delivering a story. Minimal character exposition, limited dialogue whilst out on missions, and then few and far between cutscenes of you working as a crew.
It all just feels a little limp, and that’s a real shame. I didn’t feel any level of investment until the third act, and that faded away again really quickly. Jedi Fallen Order seems to deliver a bare minimum story, held together by the wider universe.
Fallen Order Gameplay
Story is one element of Jedi Fallen Order, and I get it. Star Wars movies aren’t exactly gunning for Oscars. It’s the fun, it’s the sci-fi and the wider world. I love it because of all of those things and I don’t need a story written by Shakespeare to have a good time, so long as other elements work.
Alas, Jedi Fallen Order delivers floaty movement and combat that really frustrated me throughout the game. Precision should be the name of the game here. With platforming, combat requiring parries and dodging, you shouldn’t feel like you’re being left to chance every time you do battle or try to navigate a level. I just feel like the game is always pushing back, you don’t have full control of Cal at any given moment.
Crikey, it took me 14 hours to unlock a double-jump. This is fine, I’m happy to gradually unlock abilities and get better as I go. Standard stuff. But a double jump in a game that’s hell-bent on forcing you down corridors requiring platforming, it seems odd to leave it so late-on.
Jedi powers feel great. Force pull and force push are always a joy. Always. You can’t go wrong, and levelling those up was great. Pushing squads of enemies off a cliff is something I could do in perpetuity.
The rest, though, feels tame. Worlds are largely narrow corridors to your destination with a few break-out spaces for battles or hidden nooks for a cosmetic here and there. That’s fine, but you’re travelling to planets and it feels like such a narrow slice of a planet to explore. This isn’t No Man’s Sky!
Style over substance
I honestly think the best way to consider Jedi Fallen Order is as a game looking to do too much, and not deliver on everything. It’s commendable. A studio not known for third-person action games taking on something as monumental as the Star Wars franchise deserves some slack.
It looks incredible, it sounds wonderful and little BD-1 is a great addition to the universe. All the gloss and sheen is there, and Jedi Fallen Order delivers in so many ways. Just not in the moment to moment action or the story.
Honestly, pick it up cheap and see what you think, but I sincerely hope Jedi Survivor fixes things mentioned above, because the potential is there.
I can’t recommend Jedi Fallen Order to anyone, I’m afraid. Unless you’re happy with the universe of Star Wars and the Jedi powers alone.