So the newest Star Wars game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, has been out for a week or two now, and I’ve finally gotten a chance to sink my teeth into it. So here it is, my no-frills, spoiler-free review of the new space battles game, Space Battles Wizard: Deceased Team.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Spoiler-Free Review
The Reason Anyone Plays a Star Wars Game
The lightsaber combat in this game makes me absolutely giddy. Whether I’m mowing down stormtroopers or random fauna, the lightsaber combat never gets old or feels repetitive. And as you develop your force abilities, it becomes so much fun to explore the full abilities of a Jedi. If you’re a fan of the Star Wars universe, you will enjoy this game.
Everyone’s in love with Baby Yoda right now, and that’s fine, I get it, but we need to talk about BD-1, your droid companion in this game. When I tell you that I would commit war crimes for this little droid, I mean it. From the minute you meet him, you realize he’s going to go down in history as one of the best sidekicks in video games. He’s like the anti-Navi. I would commit atrocities far worse than Order 66 for this little robot, and I feel no guilt in saying that.
The Right Atmosphere
I didn’t like the new Battlefront games because they just felt like Battlefield with Star Wars skins. Even in the story modes, I didn’t feel like I was playing a classic Star Wars game because they just lacked the atmosphere, the heart, and the soul that you used to get from LucasArts games. This game doesn’t have that problem.
From the very beginning, even on a planet you’ve never heard of, with characters that are completely unique to this game, you know you’re in the same galaxy far, far, away that you fell in love with long, long ago.
The characters are great. I highlighted BD-1 because again, there’s not a crime on this Earth I wouldn’t commit for him, but the cast and characters are some of the best in any Star Wars game. Again, this review is spoiler-free, so I won’t get too far into it, but there’s a character that you barely see at all early in the game that you grow emotionally attached to. The world-building is that good.
At points, playing this game does feel like a chore. So much of the game is you parkour-ing around the map, but the surfaces you can shimmy onto or climb are wildly inconsistent. There are times when you’ll hit a dead-end, only to spot a ridge hanging over a steep drop. You’ll run and jump towards it, assuming your character will grab onto it, only to fall to your death.
The same applies to vines. Sometimes there are vines on the wall that you’re supposed to climb onto, and sometimes they’re just there for decoration. This wouldn’t be a problem, but so often, the exit is hidden. It’s frustrating to hit a dead end and the only obvious solution results in you dying over and over.
Also, there’s no fast-travel, so after you fight through a level to get to the objective, you have to backtrack. That’s insanely tedious. It’s very rare that anything eventful happens on your trek back to the ship after a mission, so you just have to backtrack, which feels like a really cheap way to make an already-short game seem longer than it is.
If you played Sekiro or the related Souls games, you’re familiar with the deliberately frustrating combat system. For some people, that’s a bonus. However, it can be a little annoying in a Star Wars game. There are so many random beasts that emerge from the sky or holes in the ground that attack at random and you can’t block or dodge it unless you’re psychic. There are points in the game where you’re being attacked by multiple enemies that you can’t see coming and then you’re dead.
There’s one part, relatively early in the game, where you get ambushed by giant rats at the exact time two Stormtroopers that shoot rockets blast away at you. So if you’re not careful, you’re being mobbed by two animals that don’t give you a chance to block while you get bombarded with rockets. Then you’re dead, and you have to go back to the most recent respawn point.
I mentioned the branching pathways as a pro, but it’s also a con. Because you have to explore every possible pathway, you get a sense of FOMO. Even with the map (which, as a personal preference, I wish was part of the HUD, but that’s splitting hairs), I always felt like I was missing something. That one’s a personal pick, so if you disagree, that’s fine.
Overall, if you’re a Star Wars fan, the cons don’t matter. This is great Star Wars content, which EA has mightily struggled to produce since LucasArts went under. The atmosphere is perfectly Star Wars, lightsaber combat never gets stale, and while it’s not the longest game, it’s easy to get wrapped up in.
If you’re just a hardcore gamer, maybe I’d pass on this game until it goes down in price. It’s a little clunky and frustrating at points, and if you’re not head-over-heels in love with Star Wars, I’m not sure you’d get a good return on your investment.
However, if you’re a Star Wars dork like me, go out and get it ASAP. My only recommendation would be to make sure your schedule is open for at least a day before you dive in, because you will get lost in this objectively fun game.