“Star Wars” fans, myself among them, will have a hard time complaining about the lack of games and series. In fact, the opposite is true: in recent years, we can testify to the saturation of plots that take place in that distant galaxy – starting with the masterful “Andor” series, “The Mandalorian” which has just finished its third and uninspired season, and ending with the “The Book of Boba Fett” series, which feels like a pale parody on the well-known space opera.
There are also plenty of PC games based on the old brand, without the evil eye. Most of them did not leave a mark and one of them, “Star Wars Battlefront” from EA, even caused an uproar due to the use of “Loot Boxes” (Loot Boxes), a casino-like mechanic that extorted more money from the players to play as Yoda or Darth Vader, even though they paid full price.
Therefore, the gamers were pleasantly surprised when EA launched the game “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” in 2019, an action game that does not try to rob the players at gunpoint. Already a good start. I was among the fans of the game and enjoyed wielding a lightsaber and repelling the Empire’s soldiers with the force. The game also contained challenging puzzle stages, colorful characters and challenging wall climbing that would have made a full Yuval feel ashamed of himself.
But I also have to admit that the game was full of bugs, and the slow navigation through the huge game world was tedious at times. Fortunately, “Jedi: Survivor” is a more polished game than its predecessor, with a mature plot and a more accessible experience overall. From here on out I will mention mild spoilers for “Jedi: Fallen Order”, so if you haven’t played it yet and want to experience it for yourself, this is the right place to stop.
In the sequel, we once again step into the shoes of the reddest Jedi Knight in the galaxy, Cal Kestis, five years after the events of the first game. The Empire was still hunting the survivors of Order 66 that wiped out the Jedi Order. At the beginning of the game Kal is already a polished Jedi Knight with developed abilities such as time slowing, superhuman jumps and a telekinetic talent that would have earned him an Olympic gold medal in repulsing Empire soldiers over long distances. Cal is accompanied everywhere by the small droid BD-1, who helps him pick locks and surf cables as if using a motorized Omega device.
In the previous game, a small group of rebels gathered around Cal: Cyr, a former Jedi Master; Griz, a four-armed alien and the pilot of a spacecraft called the “Mantis”; and Marine, the last of the space witches from the planet Dathomir. When we meet Cal again, the members of the gang have already separated – and not under happy circumstances. Kal manages to escape by the skin of his teeth from Coruscant, the capital of the Empire. He flies the rickety spaceship to Kubo, a planet with the character of a small Wild West book town, where he meets Grizz again.
Cal discovers an age-old conflict that reveals the dark side (literally) of the Jedi Order and is torn between the desire to restore the order and the hope of building a new life for himself with his loved ones. It’s an ambitious and surprisingly mature plot – balancing a personal story with the fate of the galaxy – with an ending that doesn’t disappoint, but doesn’t provide an easy answer. Along the way you’ll meet a snail with a Scottish accent and Turgal, a two-legged frogman who is the cutest green creature in the galaxy, aside from Baby Yoda.
The game consists of six planets, which contain maps of different sizes – meaning that not every map contains the same amount of content. The center of things is Kubo, where you can meet most of the secondary characters and complete most of the tasks that are not part of the main plot. Like its predecessor, “Jedi: Survivor” is a Metroidvania-style game (Metroidvania, games similar to “Metroid” and “Castlevania”). These are games in which the world map is revealed in a non-linear way. Similar to the previous game, Cal gains new abilities with which he will be able to access new areas and collect cosmetic items, such as costumes and new designs for his lightsaber.
But “Metroid” and “Castlevania” are not the only games from which “Jedi: Survivor” draws inspiration (or rather, copies). In particular, the game’s combat mechanics are taken from the “Dark Souls” game series. These are games from the Japanese studio FromSoftware that are known for their grueling level of difficulty. The player has to dodge the enemy with agility, learn the different attack patterns, and then make a sushi combo out of him.
Everyone who has watched the “Star Wars” movies has often dreamed of wielding a lightsaber. Well, “Jedi: Survivor” is the closest thing to making that dream come true. There is no way to describe the supreme happiness when I wave a double-bladed lightsaber, fire laser shots left and right and then turn a battalion of soldiers into paper shreds. Unlike the “Dark Souls” games, which pose a tremendous challenge to even the sharpest and most talented gamers, “Jedi: Survivor” allows players to choose the level of difficulty that suits them. The lowest difficulty level is recommended for those who want to focus on the game plot and explore the galaxy slowly, while the highest difficulty level is recommended mainly for the masochists among us.
“Jedi: Survivor” even refines the combat mechanics of the first game. In the previous game, Cal mostly fought with a single blade. Only towards the end of the game does he refurbish the lightsaber and add another blade to it. In the second game, players are allowed to choose from five fighting styles: single blade, double blade, sword and laser gun, two swords or heavy sword. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages, but the ability to adapt the lightsaber to my personal play style is definitely a welcome addition.
Of course, “Jedi: Survivor” is not without flaws. First, the volume of the game is about 150 GB, so the download will take hours and hours and will also probably force you to delete some of the games you have installed on your computer or console. Secondly, towards the end of the game, some of the missions began to repeat themselves, which slowed down the pace of the plot precisely when I became invested in it, and I felt that it was gaining momentum and progressing towards the climax.
I should point out that players reported technical problems when the game was launched, at least on its first day, but many of them were resolved thanks to a technical update released a day later. In my experience, I played “Jedi: Survivor” on the Xbox Series S and did not encounter any technical glitches, except the first time I loaded the game, but the textures appeared at a low resolution. However, after that the problem was solved.
The problems with the game lie in its size. Most of the sequels believe that they should be more ambitious than their predecessors, and “Jedi: Survivor” does live up to expectations, but sometimes it seems that this ambition is rather in its own right, while a smaller and tighter game would have provided an optimal experience. But to be honest, these flaws feel minor compared to the enjoyment I got from playing the game for 25 hours, from the beginning of the main story to the end. “Star Wars” fans will surely enjoy it, as will anyone interested in an adventure game with captivating characters, challenging battles and well-designed stages, where the hidden is more than the visible.