Jedi Fallen Order is easily the best piece of Star Wars media since Disney bought the franchise. It’s also a fantastic videogame and one of the best games I’ve played recently.

I’d been sort of following this game since it was originally announced. After EA had several failures like with the Battlefront games and after being not impressed with Star Wars Squadrons I was a bit skeptical going in but man am I glad I gave this game a chance.

Trailers for this game all made it look like an action game in the same vein as the Uncharted series. But listening to developer interviews and podcasts I kept hearing it described as more of a 3D Metroidvania sort of game. While both of these things are kind of true what I’d most describe this game as is Star Wars Dark Souls. And as a big fan of both Star Wars and Dark Souls that sounds awesome to me.

Before you get too far into this review check out the trailer below:


Fighting with Scout Troopers

The Story

You play as Cal Kestis who was a child Jedi during order 66. His master was killed and he’s been hiding out on a planet that’s decommissioning and scrapping old ships and equipment left over from the Clone Wars.

Right at the beginning there’s an accident and Cal ends up using his force powers to save the life of his friend.

This draws the attention of Sith Inquisitors from the empire and you’re forced to go on the run. You end up teaming up with an ex-Jedi who cut herself off from the Force and her pilot and head out on a quest to find a Jedi Holocron that has information needed to help restore the Jedi Order.

The main antagonist is an ex-Jedi who’s gone slightly insane since the purge. It’s an excellent well-written character.

The writing for the whole story is fantastic as well and is easily better than any of the sequel movies or TV shows that have come out since the Disney take-over.

Throughout the story you’ll visit several excellent locations and not the standard ones that keep coming up. You won’t be visiting anywhere like Tatooine this time. Instead you’ll visit a handful of brand new planets as well as some interesting less explored ones like Dathomir, Kashyyyk and Ilum.

Jedi Fallen Order takes place in between episodes III and IV which is the only thing that I’m not a huge fan of story-wise. This is more of a problem with all Star Wars stories set in this era though. At the end of the game Cal and a couple other “force users” are still alive which kind of brings up continuity problems since none of them are around to help out during the original trilogy.

This is why I really with new Star Wars stories would happen hundreds or thousands of years in the past or future rather than trying to fit in around the existing movies and stories.

But other than that little gripe as a Star Wars fan I was thoroughly impressed with the story here.


Walking across the top of AT-ATs

The Gameplay

I’d describe the gameplay here as largely Dark Souls inspired but there are still those Uncharted and Metroidvania elements that overall make a fantastic combination.

There are several major planets to visit as well as some minor smaller ones. You can enter your ship and visit any of these planets at any point once they’re unlocked.

When you arrive on one the area is structured like Dark Souls with tons of branching paths and shortcuts connecting back to previous areas.

As you progress you’ll unlock various abilities and items which will open up more of the map in each location which is where the back-tracking and Metroidvania elements come in.

You’ll also experience Uncharted like action sequences throughout the story as well. For example the first time you land on Kashyyyk you’ll jump out of your ship into a river that several AT-AT walkers are walkingthrough on their way to fight some Rebels in a base in the forest.

You swim up along side one, climb up it and get inside, fight your way to the front and then pilot it and use it to destroy the other walkers and help the rebels.

The entire game isn’t like that but when you encounter these sequences they’re always quite an spectacle and lots of fun. There are even some sequences that remind me of Sonic the Hedgehog where you’ll be sliding down ramps and making jumps.

But overall the game is very much like Dark Souls in both the exploration and combat.

Combat is handled incredibly well here and perfectly walks the line of making you feel like a powerful Jedi but yet still giving you a challenge which can be quite brutal on the harder difficulties.

You mainly fight with a lightsaber and most basic enemies will attack you with various melee weapons that can clash with your saber.

You’ll need to learn how to parry attacks, dodge lots and fight exactly like you would in Dark Souls. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by a group of basic enemies and if that happens you’ll get killed right away. Enemies will also love to hide around corners and ambush you from behind so you need to play slowly and deliberately.

But on the other hand you also have Jedi powers. You can deflect blaster bolts back at whoever is shooting at you and use powers like Force Pull, Push or Stop Time to create some interesting effects with the combat. These Jedi powers always feel awesome to use.

The standard difficulty is tough but fair. If you’re slow and careful you can fight your way through everyone fairly simple but if you mess up or get ambushed you can still get killed pretty quick.

I liked how they handled difficulty as well. Turning up the difficulty changes things like making the timing window for parrying attacks smaller so it’s more skill based instead of just giving enemies extra health or damage.


Wall Running


Like mentioned before, exploration is very much like Dark Souls. You constantly unlock shortcuts back to previous areas and there are meditation points (Bonfires) where you’re safe and can level up. Meditating will also cause all the enemies to respawn.

When you die you’ll return to the last point you meditated at. You’ll lose your experience too but you can get it back by running back to the enemy that killed you and hitting them once.

You have an excellent 3D map of each area that gets filled in as you explore. The game is full of secrets and collectables and one thing I really appreciated here is how the map is divided into smaller sections and each section shows a completion percentage and what’s left to find there.

This way you know if you’re missing a single chest in a specific location and you have a smaller section to limit your searching too which made me a lot less crazy. Normally in larger maps I’d just look up locations of secrets online but there I actually wanted to explore since the size of the area I needed to search wasn’t overwhelming.

The locations all feel exactly like something out of the original Star Wars trilogy so if you’re a fan of that era you’ll have a ton of fun going through everywhere.

There’s also some parkour elements to the gameplay and exploration that are always fun as well.


Cave exploration


The game has a ton of different customization options that are nice too. You can unlock different clothing options, ship skins and different skins for your droid companion by finding them in chests while exploring the world.

You also get your very own lightsaber which has a ton of it’s own customization options.

Hidden throughout the world you’ll find a variety of different lightsaber parts to customize things like the emitter, handle, switch section, etc.

You also get to pick the color of your saber which is awesome. You start out with a blue one but eventually unlock colors like green, yellow, orange, purple, red and more.

If you’re playing on PC like I did there are also mods that let you customize the color even further.


Sith Inquisitor

The Graphics

The graphics are fantastic. Character models look great and are very well animated and that includes both human and alien characters. Lip-syncing is great as well.

The environments are gorgeous and look exactly like something out of an actual Star Wars movie and that includes things like lush forests, alien worlds, cold clean Imperial military bases and much more. There’s tons of detail everywhere and the textures all look great.

I played the game in 1440p and max settings and was able to get a stable 60fps all the time. My computer couldn’t quite handle things in 4k though.


Characters talking on the ship's bridge

Music and Sound Effects

The music is fantastic and feels exactly like something from a Star Wars movie or something composed by John Williams. The music is actually one of the biggest strengths of this game and works incredible well with the environments to make it feel like the frontier of Star Wars.

There’s lots of big orchestral loud tracks but there’s a lot more quieter atmospheric music that sounds exactly like it belongs in a scene like Luke training on Degobah in the Empire Strikes Back or characters hanging out in Cloud City.

The theme song from the game was done by a fantastic Mongolian band called The Hu and it’s probably one of my favorite songs ever.

They fit this song into the game incredibly well too and you’ll have to experience that part yourself.

The sound effects are all Star Wars sound effects so you already know they sound fantastic. Star Wars games always have a big edge over other games in this department since lightsaber, blaster and other sounds are already really well established.

The voice acting from all the characters is done very well too. Each character has a very unique voice and personality. Some of them have interesting accents and the antagonist does a fantastic performance.


Purge Trooper

In Conclusion

Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order combines excellent gameplay with a fantastic Star Wars story. If you ever wanted to live out the fantasy of playing as a Jedi and experiencing excellent lightsaber combat with force powers then this is the game you’re looking for.

At the same time it’s an excellent Dark Souls inspired action game with the perfect amount of challenge.

I had a ton of fun with the game. I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan since I was a kid and this is easily the best piece of Star Wars media I’ve encountered in the last several years.

If you’re at all a fan of Star Wars, Dark Souls or even just action games in general you should definitely get this game. I kind of feel like playing through the game again myself now…

Images are from the Jedi Fallen Order page on Steam and EA’s official website used under Fair Use.