A long time ago in a galaxy far away…
Ever since I was a young teen and a friend of mine let me borrow his copy of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, I’ve been a fan of Star Wars games. I’ve always been a fan of the movies—well, the original trilogy at least—and the games were my perfect entry into the extended universe.
It seems like Star Wars can fit into most genres of video games. You can do a spot of pod racing in Star Wars Episode 1: Racer—I’m only halfway through this intro and already I’m tired of typing Star Wars. Let’s just assume that the Star Wars part is implied now on. If you want to shoot down TIE Fighters, then you can jump into X-Wing. If you just want to run around and subject faceless Stormtroopers to abuse via Force powers, then you can don the mantle of Starkiller in The Force Unleashed.
I wouldn’t have thought, in all my time, that Star Wars would have made a great “Soulsborne” game.
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order Review
There is no emotion, there is peace (A.K.A Difficulty)
Okay, so this is likely to be an unpopular opinion, but I think From Software should take notes on how Jedi Fallen Order managed to take the Hardcore RPG formula and make it more accessible via difficulty selection. I know most Dark Souls or Bloodborne fans just clicked away in pure disgust. The mere mention of an easy mode in these games sparks a heated debate. Personally, I don’t think it would hurt these games to include an easier mode in an effort to be more accessible and Jedi Fallen Order is evidence that it works.
If you’re the type of gamer that likes to push their skills to the limit and earn well-deserved bragging rights, then you can set the game to the hardest difficulty. The combat will be adjusted, and you’ll have an amazing time. If you’re like most people and you’d like a more balanced game, then you can choose that too. I think this is the way all games should be.
So, my opinions on whether Hardcore RPGs should have an easy mode aside, is Jedi Fallen Order a walk in the park or a torturous stroll on broken glass? Well, a little of both but mostly it falls somewhere in the middle. There are definitely some challenging fights like when you get ambushed by giant creatures or Bounty Hunters. Most fights, however, will feature a handful of Stormtroopers and Scout Troopers of varying rank. So the encounters become about managing the threat—much like Dark Souls or Bloodborne.
All Stormtroopers will die with 1 hit. Scout Troopers too, but you’ll have to break their guard first. As you progress, you’ll encounter higher rank enemies that take a few more hits and/or will have a much stronger guard. Eventually you’ll even come across Purge Troopers, which I found to be the most difficult enemies in the game. They have almost impenetrable guards, electrified melee weapons—apart from one which has a blaster— and they attack relentlessly. You’ll have to put everything you’ve learned into practise to fight these guys… Or you could just Force Push them off ledges.
Like any good Hardcore RPG, Jedi Fallen Order has plenty of boss battles. Although, I must admit, most of them feel more like sub-bosses than properly threatening bosses and you’ll likely not even realise you just fought a “boss”. There are 2 boss fights—that I remember—that actually feel like a real challenge but I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just say you’ll encounter these bosses on Dathomir and Kashyyyk (is it two or three Ys?).
Overall, Jedi Fallen Order feels fair with decent difficulty spikes here and there.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge (A.K.A Story)
Star Wars would be nothing without a good, classic story of good vs evil and I’m happy to say that Jedi Fallen Order definitely has this.
The game picks up about 5 years after the infamous Order 66, which includes two number 9’s, a number 9 large, a number 6 with extra dip, a number 7, two number 45’s, one with cheese, and a large soda. No. Wait, that’s the wrong game. Ah, Yes. It says here that Order 66 was the execution of all Jedi… Yikes. Okay so, most of the galaxy’s Jedi have been slaughtered and the Empire have seized control. Everything is bleak and the situation is dire.
The game follows Cal Kestis, a young padawan who survived the purge, who has his under-the-radar life interrupted when he decides to use his Force powers to save his friend from a fall. The Empire must have sensed this because faster than you can say “Now this is podracing!”, the Inquisitors have Cal by the midichlorians. An exciting, Uncharted 2-like chase through a high-speed train later, Cal is introduced to Cere, a former Jedi Master, and Greez, the rugged yet lovable ship captain. Together, this little rag tag team set out to restore the Jedi Order.
Now, I don’t want to spoil the entire story so I’ll just say that you end up following the trail of Eno Cordova, a Jedi Master, in order to unlock what he has hidden deep in a vault which just might be the key to bringing back the Jedi Order.
Greez is probably my favourite character. He starts out kind of cold and direct—clearly distrustful of Cal and his ability. But as Cal proves himself over and over, Greez starts to warm up. He begins to admit that Cal “ain’t so bad” before eventually claiming to like him outright. He even names one of his precious flowers after Cal.
I was probably most surprised by Cere. She shows up and immediately has the stock “Mentor” vibe so I originally wrote her off as a character. I’ll admit I was wrong because, like everyone, she’s got a complicated and messy history that makes her significantly more interesting and deep.
Of course, the best character in the whole game is BD-1. He’s cute, helpful and he’s really, really cute, but I’ll talk more about him in the gameplay section.
There is no passion, there is serenity (A.K.A Combat & Skills)
So, I briefly mentioned the enemy types early, but I neglected to mention more about the combat. So, other than it’s difficulty, what’s combat like?
It’s simple, yet satisfying. Every fight starts with you pressing to lock onto your target. This makes it so you can strafe around a single target and all your attacks will be focused on that enemy. Then, with the right timing, you can press to parry an attack which will open the enemy up for an insta-kill by pressing . Of course you can just hold to block most incoming attacks, but the more you block the more your guard meter is depleted. Once your guard is completely broken, you’re left staggered for a second or two.
If your attack is too weak for you, you can press for a stronger attack but this will use up some of your Force.
Your Force bar is probably the most important resource in a fight because it lets you use Force Slow , Force Push and Force Pull . These skills are more than useful in almost every fight. Some enemies will be too fast or guarded and so using Force Slow will let you get a slash or two in. Some enemies are too weak for you to worry about, which makes them perfect for a quick Force Pull and Throw to launch them at their comrades. You can always just throw them off a ledge too.
Possibly the most used button in combat is , press and Cal kill do a little kick. This is pretty great for doing a little guard damage to enemies while you dance around them.
Outside of combat, you will encounter Meditation Points which are essentially just like Bonfires or Lanterns in Dark Souls and Bloodborne. You can use them to upgrade Cal’s skills by pressing and to respawn all enemies by pressing .
The skill tree, unfortunately, feels a little shallow. Half the upgrades seem to be quality of life improvements, like more health per health stim used. The other half just extend the functionality of your force skills and lightsaber attacks a bit. This is to be expected since Cal is a choirboy who is unswayed by the infinitely fun dark side so he won’t be using Force Lightning or Force Drain any time soon.
There is no chaos, there is harmony (A.K.A Gameplay)
There’s a bit of a Castlevania vibe to Jedi Fallen Oder. You will visit most planets and after a certain point it will appear like there’s nothing else to be done and leave. A little later, you will return with new skills and suddenly there’re parts of the planet you had no idea existed ready for you to explore.
That’s pretty much the core gameplay loop. Exploration. Each planet you land on will have enemies for you to kill, chests for you to find, climb to and loot and force echoes for you to find. To help you with this, Jedi Fallen Order gives you BD-1.
You will meet BD-1 on your first planet after escaping the Imperial Inquisitors and as soon as you find him he immediately becomes the most useful tool at your disposal. He acts as the map for every planet you visit and will update said maps as you explore. He does more than let you see a map though. He will highlight sections in yellow if you haven’t explored that area, red if you can’t proceed and green when you can.
When he’s not showing you a map, he can slice (hack) terminals, scan points of interest and even help Cal use ziplines.
All of these are pretty useful as you explore planets and solve their many puzzles.
However, the most useful thing that BD-1 does is shoot out a little health stim when you press . This is great during fights when you’ve been roughed up a little too much.
Now, BD-1 doesn’t do all this right off the bat. You have to play through the story and find workbenches to upgrade him, but that’s part of the charm. You’re no longer just playing as and upgrading Cal. You’re also kind of playing as BD-1. He’s an extension of Cal.
There is no death, there is the force (A.K.A Audio & Visuals)
Now and then I’ll play a game that makes me regret not upgrading to a PS4 Pro—I mean, I still can but we’re so close to PS5 now that it almost doesn’t seem worth it—and Jedi Fallen Order is definitely one of those games.
The characters look amazing, the love and care that went into animating their faces is just incredible. The environments range from dirty and derelict to the lushest green flora you’ve seen, which is kind of important with planets like Kashyyyk (it’s definitely three Ys, right?).
My favourite planet is Zeffo. It’s really old and covered in thick, wet mud. The buildings are made out of white stone that contrasts the green and brown floor, and they’re all squeezed together and nestled into the rocky mountains. Despite its peaceful appearance, there is a heavy Imperial presence and so half of it has a lifeless, grey metal base built right into the rock. The most striking part of Zeffo is, upon your 2nd visit, you will come across a crash site. A huge Venator ship lays crashed in the water. Its sheer scale is amazing, and I just had the most fun exploring the area.
All of these pretty visuals would be wasted if they didn’t have the sound to back it up. Which they most definitely do!
It’s truly astounding running through Jedi Fallen Order’s planets and hearing classic Star Wars sound effects like blasters and lightsabers. I mean, all Star Wars games have these sound effects but Jedi Fallen Oder’s sound effects sound the closest to the original trilogy movies and as an original trilogy fan, I just fell in love with them.
Aside from the sound effects and the wonderful use of Black Thunder by The HU at the beginning, the soundtrack mostly sounds like it could have been lifted right from the movies or made up of rejected tracks from the original trilogy but with enough originality that it stands on its own two legs.
Respawn Entertainment did a fantastic job at capturing the look and sound of a classic Star Wars movie.
My Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order Platinum Trophy Experience
So what was expected of me for the platinum? Well, mostly it was completion. Whether it’s the story, fully exploring all planets, finding all customisation options or fully upgrading Cal, I had to do it all.
First up, I decided to play on Story Mode but that proved to be way too easy and I wasn’t enjoying the combat so I bumped that up a difficulty or two.
With that sorted, I blazed through the story, making sure to scan every enemy and pick up any collectibles I came across but I didn’t go actively looking for them except for the 10 Terrarium Seeds. There was a point where I got stuck fighting the Ninth Sister. It’s not a particularly hard fight, but I made a few mistakes and I ended up too tilted. One coffee and some breathing exercises later and I kicked her butt and was back on track.
I was almost finished with the story when I remembered there were a bunch of combat trophies that I should have been working that I totally neglected so before fighting the final boss; I went back to each planet and farmed kills until I had popped all combat-related trophies and went back to the story.
Now that the story and combat trophies were done, all I had to do was find all collectibles and 100% each planet. Easy.
Except it wasn’t so easy. Finding the collectibles went pretty smoothly but there didn’t appear to be a way to track what collectibles I had already found and with 113 Force Echoes, 107 Chests, 32 Secrets, 45 BD-1 Scans, 8 Stim Canisters and 19 Encrypted logs I really needed to make sure I marked off each collectible as I found. Unfortunately, I didn’t do this while playing the story so I had to retread a lot of ground.
This process didn’t end up taking as long as I thought it would and before I knew it, I had all collectible trophies except for finding all of BD-1’s encrypted logs but a quick Google search fixed that for me.
I sat back, thinking I was done, and waited for the platinum trophy to pop. The seconds went by and nothing happened. I checked my trophies and apparently I still needed to 100% each map. That couldn’t be true. I spent the next few minutes confused before I figured out that not all Force Echoes are needed for the Collector Trophy and I was somehow missing a few, expertly tucked away on Kashyyyk (yeah, it’s 3 Ys. Looked it up.), Zeffo and Dathomir so I went and hunted those down. Man, they really were hidden rather well.
I sat back again, certain of the platinum… Nothing. I couldn’t believe it. I found everything. How could I not have 100% on all planets? I opened the map on Dathomir, the last planet I visited, and sure enough. I was stuck at 96%
I could feel the tilt rising as I resorted to running over every inch of Dathomir over and over again until the trophy popped. Fortunately for my sanity, as I approached the center of the Nightbrother Village, the trophy popped and shortly after, so did the platinum.
That concludes my Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order platinum trophy review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!
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