Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Xbox One X Review

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the Star Wars game fans have been waiting for.

By Grayshadow, Posted 17 Nov 2019

Since the reboot of the Star Wars Battlefront series fans have been yearning for a solid Star Wars game. One not plagued with over monetization or lackluster features. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is that game. It's an exceptional and challenging adventure that does this acclaimed series justice. Small problems like recycled boss fights and lack of direction do hamper the experience. But given this is Respawn Entertainment's first attempt at an adventure game after making multiple first-person shooters show this studio can deliver more than great shooters. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the Star Wars game fans have been waiting for.
 

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order takes place years after Order 66's execution. Protagonist and Jedi survivor Cal Kestis has been surviving on junker planet and working as a scavenger for years following the event. Deciding to take on a dangerous new assignment Cal saves his friend's life after the job goes south by using the Force. This reveals his position to the Empire and once again Cal must run. With the help of rebels, Cere and Greez Cal joins their crew and decides to rebuild the Jedi Order.

This won't be an easy journey as the Empire has trained specialized troopers called Inquisitors to hunt down any remaining Jedi. Not only are these elite soldiers given the best weapons and armor but some are capable of using the Force. Making them Cal's biggest challenge to deal with.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order does expect you to have some understanding of the history of Star Wars. It does a great job of explaining the various places you'll travel and the people you'll encounter but to fully understand some of the information you'll need to do some light research. 
 

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It's clear that Respawn Entertainment took inspiration from FromSoftware's various games. The gameplay style of Jedi: Fallen Order resembles that of Dark Souls and Bloodborne but with their own take on it. The lightsaber combat is outstanding, with a heavy focus on parrying, counter-attacks, and avoiding damage in general. Instead of a stamina meter, there's also a focus on stances. While not as elaborate as Nioh or Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice stances play a major role in combat. If knocked off balance Cal can be tossed onto the floor and killed easily. The same can be said with enemies. With their balance indicated by a meter and if drained means Cal can get in a free hit or cause perform a fatal finishing move.

Cal can easily slice through Stormtroopers with ease but must always remain tactical. As even the weakest enemy can cause fatal damage. Since Cal cannot recover health without a Stim pack, and these are limited,  making avoiding damage paramount. You can recover health and Sim packs by mediating at certain areas but this action also respawns all the enemies in the area.

There's also plenty of indigenous life fight. Respawn put a heavy focus on elaborating on the various lifeforms on each planet but these are the more vexing encounters. They're challenging but not as entertainment to fight as the iconic Stormtroopers. Some are just downright annoying, like the giant spiders that can web you up and have attacks that can track your movement mid-animation.
 

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Cal can use the Force but the developers limited how frequent you can execute the abilities. The Force is powerful and Cal can use it to pull, push, and slow down enemies. To balance this Cal must attack to recover his Force meter and some enemies can avoid it altogether. You don't have to manage the meter during exploration though. With Cal given infinite access to the Force when solving puzzles and taking on platforming challenges.

There are plenty of variations of enemies throughout Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Yes, you'll face various Stormtroopers from common cannon-fodder to elite Commandos and Inquisitors of course. But mixed into the game are indigenous life that will also attack the Empire's troops and others I cannot say without spoilers. Each enemy has been well-designed with unique fighting patterns. Some have unblockable attacks that are revealed when the enemy flashes bright red. Memorizing these attack patterns and timing your parries and evades become mandatory during the finale of the game where the challenges ramp up dramatically. It can be frustrating but thankfully the checkpoints are reasonably placed.

The boss fights are truly amazing. The lightsaber duels capture the intensity seen in the films as you systemically look for weaknesses in your opponent's defensives and act on them. There are some boss fights that are recycled, such as the ones against the bounty hunters. Despite the difficulty, it was vexing seeing that same strategy I used last time worked just as well in these repeated encounters. But in the same fight against a specific reoccurring opponent, this boss would execute different attacks and add more tactics to their patterns. Forcing me to adapt to these new patterns.

The lock-on system is a bit problematic. During battle, you have to be very close to lock onto an enemy which can lead to a free hit from the opponent. Also, Cal doesn't have the same grounded feel like in past Respawn Entertainment games. With him feeling more like he's floating on the environment and his movements feeling a bit sluggish.
 

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Cal won't be alone when in the field, his droid ally BD-1 will be with the Jedi during most of the journey. BD-1 isn't there just to keep Cal company but will slice through secure cargo and scan areas of interest for Cal. BD-1 can be upgraded with new equipment, most required by the story, but 1, in particular, plays a role in combat. BD-1's scanning ability is the most important as it not only gives insight into the Star Wars universe, specifically the locations Cal will visit but provides the more constant form of experience.

Cal can earn experience by having BD-1 scan the environment and by defeating enemies. The skill points can be invested into 3 trees of skills that include lightsaber, Force energy, and health. You can mix and match skills as you see fit and by the end of the adventure, if you don't complete any optional objectives, you'll have enough for about 70% of everything available.  There are optional collectibles that provide additional experience and expand on the game's lore, showing how those who lived on these various worlds died or lived. Cal can also locate treasure chests that contain cosmetic items for Cal, BD-1, and this ship he'll use called the Mantis. But even with a fully powered Cal Jedi: Fallen Order won't be easy.

The journey is teeming with challenging encounters. Enemies are aggressive and will take advantage of their numbers or Cal's weaknesses. Actively rushing when Cal is low on health, outnumber Cal to a large degree, or even avoid attacking until they can find an opening. The commentary from the enemy forces adds to the immersion with some enemies even expressing their fear when all alone. There is a difficulty option whether you want the most challenging experience or just want to experience the game's story.
 

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The 5 world's you'll travel to are outstandingly designed, with dense multi-layer paths and secrets. Jedi: Fallen Order includes some Metroidvania elements with Cal able to open new paths as he regains his old skills prior to cutting himself off from the Force. Respawn also included an excellent marker to highlight these paths and whether you can access them. With accessible areas highlighted blue and inaccessible areas highlighted red. The map is also fantastic, showing areas that you can get into but remain unexplored. But you cannot pause the action when using it which can be annoying.

While you'll fight and explore a great deal of time during Cal's adventure there are some interesting puzzles. Personally, I found them to be clever challenges that required some inventive solutions. It's clear a lot of thought went into developing them and finding out the solution is quite rewarding. The platforming is less to be desired. Cal's movements are not perfect and some jumps require perfect timing to execute. To have such platforming challenges require perfect control over the character's animation and in Jedi: Fallen Order that's not the case. In exploration Cal's movements feel sluggish and sometimes unresponsive. Fortunately, you won't have to do this a lot.

Jedi: Fallen Order sounds fantastic. You get the iconic score from the Star Wars universe coupled with new original music. The voice-acting complements the sound design, with each actor selling their performances. Cal does act calm and confident in his journey but his will is often be tested. With the past constantly rising as he faces who he is and what he should do. In several scenes, you can hear Cal's voice-actor Cameron Monaghan voice crack when in tense situations or attempting to remain focus.

Graphically, Jedi: Fallen Order looks amazing. Every model has been detailed to perfection with character models expressing what the voice actor is showcasing with perfection. There were a few graphical errors and I experienced 1 hard crash but overall the game's performance was solid. With an option for console versions to focus more on frame rate than resolution which I preferred. I did find it strange that Cal's hair remained perfect regardless of the situation but that's just me being picky.

 

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is another amazing game from Respawn Entertainment. The incredible adventure of Cal Kestis has the young Jedi dealing with personal dilemmas that creates questions of his identity as a Jedi. With Cal traveling to multiple planets and taking on difficult adversaries that will test his skills in both combat and strategy. With Fallen Order providing an authentic lightsaber combat experience but with weak platforming elements layered between. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is one of the best Star Wars games ever made this generation and if you're a fan you'll be doing yourself a disservice not to play this.
 

Adam Siddiqui,
Senior Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): EA
Developer(s): Respawn Entertainment
Genres: Action-Adventure
Themes: Science-Fiction
Release Date: 2019-11-15

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