I’m trying. Really trying to enjoy Jedi Fallen Order.
I started my first time in 2020 when it hit Gamepass on the Xbox. Jedi Fallen Order was getting rave reviews and I’d heard nothing bad about it. Then, I found it sluggish and honestly hard work.
It occurred to me that playing it on Xbox one was likely not the best way to play. Getting 30 frames per second and just not getting to grips with it. Especially so shortly after starting PC gaming.
So, I’ve given it the benefit of the doubt. Playing Jedi Fallen Order on PC, getting an easy and stable 60 frames per second, and on Steam Deck with a solid 60 frames per second on medium settings.
Yes, the game feels a bit better than I remember. But 12 hours in and I’m forcing myself to keep engaged. Why?
Jedi Fallen Order
People love this game, and I’m on a bit of a Star Wars kick again recently. It seemed like the perfect chance to try again, but I feel like it hasn’t quite decided what it wants to be as a game.
Jedi Fallen Order offers some souls-like mechanics in having specific areas to heal. Healing brings back enemies, too.
It attempts to be a Metroidvania in as much as the planets you’re on are explorable to only a degree. You must come back later with new tools and abilities.
Then, the combat is a Jedi power fantasy, but tied with the souls-like “evade, block and parry” encounters. Using your Jedi abilities to assist in each fight.
It all works, but none of it excels.
Add-in a story and cast of characters that, I just cannot engage with, and you might see my issue.
I can’t even understand why I don’t care about the characters or the narrative, but Jedi Fallen Order is just happening in front of me and I don’t feel any reason to care.
Jedi Fallen order isn’t objectively bad. In fact, i can see where all the love comes from. In a world of Star Wars games that have left a lot to be desired, it’s amazing to see a AAA Star Wars title from Respawn Entertainment (makers of Titanfall and Titanfall 2!).
It looks fantastic, the abilities are true to what you expect and the pacing of story/encounters/unlocks is fine. Jedi a Fallen Order isn’t rapidly forcing things on you, and when it drags, it’s likely because you’re not finding your way to where you should be going.
Voice acting and animations are decent. Honestly, it’s a AAA experience. With the classic Star Wars sound effects and a wonderful score that works wonderfully with the action, the setting and the story.
So Jedi Fallen Order really ticks a lot of boxes!
What’s not working for me?
I think the crux of my experience is that movement feels spongy and slow. Combat feels imprecise and either too forgiving or too aggressive.
A game like Elden Ring is built in such a way that everything you do is snappy, purposeful and entirely responsive to what you’re doing. Jedi Fallen Order feels less responsive, slow and I feel perhaps like the animations are too far behind button inputs.
Floaty jumping and slow air movement really just hamper the experience.
With all the platforming and the combat encounters Jedi Fallen Order has you setup for a great experience, but the sluggishness really ruins it for me.
I enjoy coming back to planets and further exploring them. Using your map and working your way through places is great. Signposting isn’t an issue, and the game doesn’t hold your hand. Which is great.
The environments in Jedi Fallen Order look great. But they’re not that interesting. A few hidden secrets here and there, a couple of passages to get to the same place. It’s all a bit linear, though. That’s the style of game, sure, but it doesn’t feel interesting or exciting to explore.
Fundamentally the game just doesn’t handle well or “feel” good in the moment to moment action and it really detracts from what is clearly a labour of love and a solid installment into the Star Wars universe.
I’m enjoying the Jedi power fantasy, the levelling and upgrades, and hoping it just clicks with me at some point. So for now I’m carrying on with Jedi Fallen Order.
As a Star Wars fan and as someone that trusts and believes others that have enjoyed it, I want it to work for me, truly. In fact, I’d argue that I’m giving it more time than it deserves.
Playing a game like this on Steam Deck is perfect, and that’s gone a long way to keeping my interest. But it’s wearing thin now.
Let’s see how it goes. Hopefully I don’t have another 12 hours to endure of sloppy movement and combat…..