Jedi: Fallen Order has gained a reputation of being Dark Souls light, a statement I can’t corroborate—having yet to play Dark Souls (I’ll get there)—but do not doubt. I did, at times, get dangerously close to controller-smashing levels of frustration, but those moments were thankfully rare. For those of you who are familiar, the Rabid Jotaz was my particular bugaboo not including the final boss. For all the cursing I threw at this game, Cuphead still holds the all-time record, which is probably tied with Mariokart for my rage-quitting record (stupid blue shell).
For the uninitiated: You play as Cal Kestis, a Jedi-in-hiding five years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Your life as a scrapper on Bracca comes to an abrupt halt when the Empire’s sinister Inquisitors (you’re welcome, Star Wars Rebels fans!) come searching for remaining Jedi after the Purge initiated by Order 66. You meet Cere Junda, another surviving Jedi, and Greez Dritus, a four-armed Latero pilot, who aid in your escape. You’ll also meet your adorable droid sidekick, BD-1, a little later, but I’ll let you figure all that out on your own. Don’t want to give away too much.
I’ll start with the good (and I think there’s a lot of good, not all of which is included here): The game immerses you in a Star Wars universe that feels both familiar and new. There are multiple locations that fans might recognize from the likes of Clone Wars and Rebels alongside new planets and creatures. While derivative at times (even a Star Wars adventure game has giant spiders), the creatures do not dial back their intensity. Each enemy has strengths and weaknesses, but I promise that you will die multiple times engaging certain high-difficulty enemies before you find those weak points, especially if you make the same mistake I did and go to Dathomir early! I spent roughly 60 hours in this game (including my treasure hunting completionism) and was left wanting so much more.
Which leads me to the bad: This game does run the risk of feeling short, especially if you’re pouring all your gaming sessions into it. You can supplement that by treasure hunting for all the unlockable cosmetics and lore, but it would be a cop out to let EA and Respawn off the hook with a pat on the back for padding. Also, while I ran into relatively few bugs for a game known for being buggy at launch, I did have some major issues that affected my experience, namely involving the BD-1 health stim mechanic. At times, I would press the button to request a much-needed health boost—triggering Cal’s audio and animation—only to be met with stoic indifference from my little buddy! (A good chunk of my mid-game swearing was directed here.)
At the end of it all, I do have to say I really liked this game. The story felt like a solid Star Wars story. I’d give it an A- on that account though I am confused as to why we are sometimes given dialogue options if there isn’t a way to get multiple endings out of it. Maybe that was left on the editing table? The gameplay is a solid mix of Dark Souls style combat and Tombraider style exploration and puzzle solving with a nice Star Wars bow on top. I don’t regret paying full price for this game, but I can see where some people might. I’d say if you’re hesitant, wait for a sale or a price drop.