As you now know, I didn’t have the best of starts with Jedi Survivor, a problem that was sadly shared by many.
The game launched in a bit of a rough state and as I mentioned in my first thoughts, I lost a save file, I encountered a bunch of glitches, and even had some shortcut issues. It was a shame as it certainly slowed my momentum with the game. A game I was absolutely loving.
So, I made the decision to wait a few weeks for patches to roll out and revisit my playthrough to finish my overview. I’m so glad I did. Because Jedi Survivor is everything I hoped it would be and more.
The game does still present with some textural issues on PS5, but the majority of the issues I had are gone. It’s in a much healthier, more balanced state now and as I suspected, now that the game can once again be the focus, it is every bit as good as I’d hoped.
Jedi Survivor took everything from Fallen Order and really mixed it up in a refreshing way. Yes, ultimately, the game feels the same with Cal in the lead role, teaming back up with his friends, running along walls, having lightsaber duels and flying through space.
But there’s new abilities added into the mix, the story is a lot more intriguing and syncs up with the expanded Star Wars universe we’re seeing in the TV shows and animations. And Cameron Monaghan is really able to flex his acting skills and bring life to his character.
We knew Respawn were capable of excellent campaigns. Titanfall 2 may just be the best FPS Singleplayer campaign since Half Life 2. High praise, but these folks have pedigree and they know how to make a good video game. Jedi Survivor is proof of that.
But even the writing flows better than in Fallen Order which, at times, felt quite stunted and static. In Survivor, the characters are more familiar, they crack jokes, they talk about their relationships, they talk about their war stories and successfully plug the gap in time between the first and second game.
And special shout out to the optional conversations in the game as these are arguably ‘the best bit’ of Jedi Survivor. Listening to the droids rant to each other about the work they’re doing, why they don’t get treated with respect and actually giving them their own mini stories just helps make this already gorgeous, thriving world feel alive.
Even Cal gets involved in the conversations if you let them play out, throwing in a one-liner or two to put the cherry on top of a fantastic back and forth. Wonderful stuff.
But as mentioned, the worlds in Jedi Survivor feel rich and alive. The graphics are an enormous upgrade and while my initial playthrough was a little bit marred, post patches this game can really breathe and stand apart. I flicked regularly between Performance and Quality to see the differences and they’re extraordinary. But also the game looks vibrant either way, so your experience won’t feel too diminished if you prefer a stable 60 FPS.
I reguarly found myself doing that ‘Luke planting his foot on Tatooine’ bit with Cal, gazing out at the open landscapes, admiring the depth, detail, and quality. Star Wars is a very aesthetic, very eye-catching brand and Respawn have expertly given us a game that explores that in finite detail, in a way a TV or film never can.
We get to explore these worlds in great detail, from deserts to the innards of a ship and even swamps – Miyazaki would be proud. As you acquire new abilities, so you can delve even further into certain areas as well, giving the game a kind of Metroid-like feel.
Among Cal’s new abilities are powers that let him manipulate objects in the world, from opening doors, to pull down climbing surfaces and even yanking ceiling turrets from up above. It’s super satisfying working in harmony with the Force Pull and Push which was already a beloved part of Fallen Order.
The game also feels a lot more like an Arkham Knight as Cal has a grapple which he can latch onto certain surfaces when airborne and it often sees him soar over long distances, which can then lead to him scaling a ceiling like a superhero to get the pounce on his enemies.
Cal can even confuse his enemies, getting them to fight amongst themselves while you sneak by or even gain an advantage yourself. Which is incredibly satisfying to pull off and watch unfold.
Platforming feels hugely different – and more integral to Jedi Survivor – and at times there are some incredible platforming sequences that are the best I’ve seen in any game – even Mario – for years. It all leans into the game’s cinematic quality but also there’s some thrill-ride, rollercoaster esque moments which just play out beautifully in 4K.
There’s even new Lightsaber stances. I don’t want to go too far into the abilities and stances for fear of spoilers, but let’s just say fans of the new trilogy will be happy with one addition and the other offers an entirely new way to play Jedi Survivor, which again serves to distance the games.
And it all plays together because at the Meditation points, you can easily switch between stances, which might be effective strategy if there’s a boss coming up or if there’s a particular group of enemies that might feel overwhelming using your preferred approach.
I touched on it before but Jedi Survivor feels more Dark Souls than Fallen Order. The bosses are definitely trickier and have the correct amount of buildup. A random mob can absolutely tear you to shreds and leave you gasping at the screen. The environments are built to surprise, with enemies luring you in and jumping out at you from corners. But there’s also refreshing details that make this feel like its own thing.
Allies can join by your side to help you interact with the environment in ways you couldn’t before. They’ll jump into combat with you and even pull off abilities that make it easier for you to gain a bit of a foothold in a difficult spot. Then you have good old trusty BD who will open up doorways and chests which just encourage you to deviate from the path.
There’s even mini temples in Jedi Survivor which feel like a throwback towards Breath of the Wild, with the focus on puzzle solving, on manipulating the environment in ways that make use of your unique abilities and provide a nice optional reward at the end.
Jedi Survivor feels more cinematic, big budget, and very suitably Star Wars. The camera will often provide some wonderful shots of Tie Fighters flying past while you’re climbing. There’ll be explosions popping off everywhere as you try to navigate treacherous terrains, and sometimes you’ll even have to dodge blaster fire to get to your objective. It’s like watching a film play out, only you’re the director.
But it also has an intriguing plot that successfully compliments the previous game while also managing to stand alone. The characters are given much more time to stand apart, build an identity and feed into the wider story, and there’s plenty of optional things to do so you can explore the wider planets to your hearts content while learning more about the sub cast.
It focuses on story in a way Star Wars games haven’t since Knights of the Old Republic, even its own predecessor, and in turn, it has produced the definitive Star Wars game for the modern generation. I am already very excited for Cal Kestis’ next adventure and to see what else Respawn and EA can do with the space they’ve built and created.
Star Wars Jedi Survivor had a rough start at launch but the content was always strong enough to shine through past its technical issues. Now most of those are resolved or are in the process of being fixed, the game is an easy recommendation and may just be my favourite game this year. Everything is bigger, better, more elaborate and enjoyable and it makes for the best Star Wars gaming experience I’ve had since Knights of the Old Republic. Respawn have built something very special that has connected wonderfully with the current goings on in the Star Wars universe, while creating a product that is able to expand our understanding of this universe in new and interesting ways through great writing, direction, and gameplay.
+ Cinematic quality action that befits the IP
+ Massive improvement in character building and writing over Fallen Order
+ Well paced, new gameplay mechanics fill out the game and make it more enjoyable than ever
+ Absolutely drop-dead gorgeous to look at and listen to, I was completely lost in these worlds.
– Rough start to life with glitches and issues that are now mostly fixed with some still remaining.
– Some enemy difficulty spikes make them tougher than bosses on occassion.
Star Wars Jedi Survivor is now available on PC, PlayStation and Xbox
Code Kindly Provided by EA for Review Purposes
Played on PlayStation 5
This overview is based on Patch 4. We previously covered the game based on its launch day patch
You must be logged in to post a comment.