We finally got an extended look at Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, with not only the EA Play 2019 trailer that was broadcast to the world, but also through an extended gameplay presensation.
Taking place after Episode III, Fallen Order sees you assume control of one of the last standing Jedi as he fights against the Empire’s tightening grasp. Using Jedi powers, a lightsaber and the trusty aid of a droid, this action adventure feels like the Star Wars game we’ve been waiting for.
Could Respawn be the developer to finally put an end to a wave of mediocre Star Wars games, though? Check out our impressions from the extended preview to find out alongside all the latest news, trailers and more.
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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order release date – when is it coming out?
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order will be launching for PS4, Xbox One and PC on November 15, 2019. The PC version will, as usual, will be exclusive to Origin.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Preview – An extended look at Respawn’s epic
We’ve been waiting years for a fully-fledged solo experience in the Star Wars universe, with Electronic Arts simply failing to deliver with its underwhelming duo of Battlefront titles. Sure, they were visually spectacular and filled to the brim with fan service, but felt hollow and chockful of irksome microtransactions.
Fans have been betrayed by the license, so Respawn Entertainment’s step into the fray feels rightfully cautious. But having seen a healthy chunk of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in action at EA Play 2019, it slashes doubters aside with a cavalcade of lightsaber trickery. This is the minds behind Titanfall and Apex Legends at their very best, and hot damn does it look good.
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While I sadly couldn’t go hands-on with Fallen Order, I was treated to a theatre presentation featuring an extended look at the Kashyyyk section shown during EA Play. It begins with our hero – Cal Kestis – and his trusty robot BD-1 as they swim towards a pair of semi-submerged AT-ATs. Tie Fighters soar overhead, crashing into the metallic giants as you carefully swim beneath them. It immediately sets a poignant atmosphere, showcasing a world where the Empire’s boot is slowly but surely crushing all beneath it.
Here we catch our first glimpse at Fallen Order’s platforming, which takes a very liberal cue from the book of Uncharted. It’s very similar, with Cal pulling himself across vines that have made their home on the AT-ATs, working his way to a Stormtrooper manning a hatch up above. He’s swiftly dispatched, and shortly after Cal crawls into an isolated hatch and makes his way into the mechanical camel.
I adore how detailed the environments are here, faithful to an obscene degree. Cal crawls over a stationery speeder before coming across a trio of Stormtroopers. They’re eyeing the person you just killed, seemingly broken up about a friend’s death. But there’s to time for humanity, and within seconds our very first lightsaber duel breaks out.
Cal Kestis is a fledgling Jedi, so he’s equipped with an incredibly dangerous lightsaber and ample force powers for dealing with adversaries. He’s still learning, so the player will come to learn new skills and abilities through a progression system. You earn points as you fight, which are applied to bonfire-esque checkpoints across the world. However, I never saw it used during the presentation.
Fallen Order’s combat is all about patience, razor sharp reactions and using the weakness of enemies to your advantage. The lightsaber is the crux here, capable of deflecting bullets, cutting through armour and pretty much ruining the day of anyone unlucky enough to cross it.
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Stormtroopers will normally attack you from a distance, allowing you to deflect bullets or even pause the projectile in mid-air and pull an unwilling soul directly into it. That last part is particularly badass, presenting a toolbox of obscene possibilities. Dodging enemies at the right time will also slow time for a second, opening a window to counter attack.
Everything seems to flow together wonderfully, and encounters are frequent enough that I can see myself experimenting with different moves constantly. I could freeze a foe with my force powers while killing off two others with a deflection of laser bolts without missing a beat. Of course, there are also more demanding one-on-one confrontations with soldiers trained to kill Jedi, which is where stamina bars come into play.
Boss battles, or just longer standard encounters, will seemingly pit you up against foes with substantial health bars and stamina metres. You’ll dwindle down the latter with timely strikes, perfect blocks and creative use of your force powers. Everyone has a weakness, and you’ll be doing yourself a favour by learning to exploit them. This helps Fallen Order feel far more substantial than a simple linear solo experience, a statement backed up by the Galaxy Map I saw shortly into the demo.
It displayed a variety of different planets spread across a star system, all of which you can travel to and visit throughout the course of Fallen Order. It’s been confirmed you will have a customisable ship with downtime to chat away with your crew mates. I’d love if this led to unique side quests that give you a reason to return to older planets, whether for stories worth telling or oodles of collectables and experience. Each planet has a hub area of its own, which’ll go a long way to crafting identities we’ll care about.
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Upon murdering everyone on the AT-AT, Cal takes to the cockpit and marches towards a busy encampment crawling with Empire-sworn villains. Storming the base is a visually spectacular yet fairly linear experience that isn’t overly difficult, yet lends a sense of spectacle to proceedings I can’t help but gawp at.
After reuniting with his friends, the second half of the demo sees Cal teaming up with Saw Gerrera of Star Wars: Rogue One in order to infiltrate a prison camp disguised as a refinery. To reach it, we venture through the thick jungles of Kashyyyk which happen to be filled with giant alien spiders, and who doesn’t love those?
Fortunately, they go down easy, and can be lured towards Stormtroopers, making easy work of an otherwise sticky situation. The environments of Fallen Order are filled with excellent touches like this, lending a sense of realism to an otherwise fantastical ground. You’re on the turf of wild animals, so it’s natural they’d fight back against both the player and their enemies. That, and who doesn’t love seeing space fascists being eaten by alien bugs?
Cal’s robotic friend, BD-1, is a lifesaver throughout Fallen Order. I mean this quite literally, as with the touch of a button he’ll provide you with healing stimpaks during battle. He is also key to solving puzzles, clinging to junction boxes to clear a path of debris or even uncover deviously hidden secrets. It helps that he’s adorable, constantly chirping away and making observations about your surroundings. BB-8, I’m afraid you’ve been outclassed.
After climbing a few more conveniently placed platforms and dispatching some pesky soldiers we find our way to the prison. A bunch of innocent wookiees have been locked away, and it’s Cal’s job to save them. The second we reach the console, a towering droid walks in behind us, grabs us by the throat and throws us across the room. Before things get spicy, the demo cuts to black. That’s all we’re getting until November 15th.
From everything I’ve seen of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, it has all the ingredients to be the game we’ve been waiting for. It strikes a compelling balance between thrilling lightsaber combat, creative platforming and meaningful yet light RPG mechanics that make it feel more substantial than your average action blockbuster.
Cal Kestis is a bit of a generic protagonist if I’m honest, but the world and personalities around him have so much potential that I’m optimistic they add some exciting layers to the Star Wars mythos. If anyone can do it, it’s Respawn Entertainment.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order trailer – how does it look?
You can check out the reveal trailer from Star Wars Celebration 2019 below:
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