Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was the most fun Star Wars game we had played in years! It was rich with lore, had a good mixture of old and new combat and gameplay mechanics, and the single-player was done without EA’s habitual microtransaction interferences. It had a few loose ends but that could easily be looked away if it meant we get a sequel and hopefully one that fixes all the shortcomings of the previous game. We’re happy to report that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor expands in every direction compared to its predecessor and even takes a few notes from other games to improve its open-world appeal.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor review
Tested on PlayStation 5
The story picks up at a more consistent pace than the previous game. Cal’s more enthusiastic about denting the Republic’s schemes and is ready to fight tooth and nail to restore the Jedi Order. This drives the story from different situations and planets that need to be solved with a soft kiss from the lightsaber.
Respawn Entertainment has given a lot of attention to how players indulge with its characters. Not much can be done about Cal’s disengaged personality (and that’s not because of Cameron Monaghan) so Survivor brings the next best thing — support characters. It makes Survivor, a less lonesome adventure and in pure Star Wars fashion, it brings heart to this game. After all, The Rebel Alliance was not just a lightsaber-wielding Luke and Princess Leia.
The side actors are not only limited to the star cast but also the populace of different planets, specifically planet Koboh. Koboh functions as the biggest map in the game and it also serves as a player hub to give you a personal place in its Wild West-inspired town. The main hub on this planet is Pyloon's Saloon where you interact with different characters to pick up side missions, access different shops and even engage in homely duties like sprucing up a dirty fish tank and gardening on the roof. It’s similar to Sindri’s house in God of War Ragnarok but with more mundane things to do.
Cal is also not a newbie anymore. He’s a capable Jedi Knight that follows the decorum of all those who came before him; Help everyone and be the star of every galaxy’s hope. Such is the life of a Jedi and Cal executes his duties with a lightsaber that can be a single-blade, dual-wielded or joined into a double-bladed lightsaber. You will also unlock two more stances later in the game. The game doesn’t force (pun intended) an oopsie to make you regain these abilities from the previous game. Cal is a Jedi Knight and as such he can use the Force for push and pull, and wield the lightsaber in five different stances.
Each stance changes your attack speed, damage, parry, defence and more and you can only switch between two stances at a time. The skill tree also lets you unlock moves of the stances you wish to use the most and you’re never forced to wield only a single blade. I personally enjoyed the single-blade and the crossguard stance that Kylo Ren had from the recent movies.
Enemies and combat behave largely the same from the previous game with the same stagger meter, health bar and Souls-like difficulty. We would recommend playing on hard difficulty (Jedi Master) for veteran gamers. However, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor manages to introduce variety (and the subsequent intrigue) by increasing the pace of its planetary missions. You hop from one place to another at a quicker pace than before and the first planet itself has many interesting enemies.
You can also decapitate humanoid enemies this time but not as brutally as Kratos. This is as far as Disney would allow I guess but the brutal difficulty still remains. You can easily come back to a boss fight after gaining a few new moves and more abilities, and the open world offers a ripe place to hone your skills and level up. Each planet has its unique flora and fauna, and meteroidvania-ish map design. Navigating requires a bit of skill and proper hand-eye coordination. The path ahead is often a jump or a wall run away but you will also need to hitch a ride from horse-sized chicken (a Nekko) or glide across chasms using a feathered local (a Relter). I grew up playing Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider so I enjoy wall running, double jumping, sliding down caves, walking on pipes and climbing walls conveniently covered with vegetation. This has a good amount of mechanics from the old games but is done at an enjoyable scale. One that doesn’t feel overbearing or pushy.
As the story progresses, Survivor also gives you new moves to reach places that were gated by said moves. This motivated us to go back and enter certain sections of the map that were inaccessible before and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor approaches sides missions with a bit more sophistication. It’s done visually. You’ll feel invited to explore the region simply by moving around. Something Breath of the Wild did, and Elden Ring too. If you spend time gossiping in Pyloon’s Saloon, you can get a marker for the side mission area that is either Bounty Hunters or puzzle rooms. Admittedly, these Jedi Meditation Chambers don’t really massage your brain cells like Zelda’s puzzle rooms and it mostly relies on your movement skills.
You either get some cosmetic items for meagre tasks or one full skill point to spend on the upgrade tree and perks. None of the laborious fights will end up in a poncho but opening chests that are littered around the open world will bring a new hairstyle, facial hair options and colour options for your items. So some things can feel unrewarding if you stray off the chartered path.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is bigger, better and has more heart to its story. There’s emotion, drama and above all, better pacing to everything. However, after the end credits rolled, we couldn’t shake the feeling that the story kept going in circles.
It is definitely influenced by the new God of War games but compared to Kratos’ adventure, this one’s definitely missing large-scale heart-pounding set pieces. Boss battles are more human and tamed but don’t let that distract you from playing it. It’s still a great game and for Star Wars fans, this is as good as it gets. Oh, and there are more soundtracks by The Hu this time.
Bigger and better than before, Survivor reminds us why we love Star Wars