Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Xbox Series X Review

February 21, 2021 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox, Xbox Series X

Game: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Publisher: EA  Developer: Respawn Entertainment 

Genre: Action Adventure Players: 1  Age Rating: 12+ 

Other console/handheld formats: Xbox One, PS4

Related sites: EAStar Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

A Star Wars game with similarities to the Dark Souls series, who would have thought that such a thing would exist? Well, developer Respawn Entertainment and publisher EA certainly thought it would be a good idea, and, being that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order encourages more skill-based play, in many ways it really is quite fitting. You do play as a Lightsaber swinging Jedi, after all. 

In terms of timeline, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order takes place five years after Revenge of the Sith and the Great Jedi Purge, which resulted in many of the Jedi being wiped out, with survivors going into hiding. With all the latter said, ex-Jedi and protagonist Cal Kestis has had to hide his many talents away (working on the planet Bracca as a salvager), although when he is forced to make use of his powers, he then finds himself hunted, eventually joining up with a former Jedi Knight as well as her pilot. Then begins a standalone Star Wars adventure that has plenty going for it, with a decent cast of characters and a likeable enough plot.

The game has a stunning opening hour, which sets the tone of things to come really well with some memorable Uncharted-like set pieces and lots of platforming. It’s here where you learn exactly how the game plays, with flashy combat and a fluid movement system making for an exciting Star Wars game. 

Jedi: Fallen Order is a real looker too. I played the game on the Xbox Series X, and the frame-rate issues seen on last generation consoles have been improved dramatically. While there’s the odd stutter here and there, things are largely smooth when you play in the visual mode in 1080p that targets the frame-rate, with the game now running at 60fps. The planets that feature in the game are distinct and look the part, and captivating animations are also fitting of a skilled Jedi Knight. 

Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

Yes, this is just as fun as it looks.

There’s also plenty of exploring to be done on the game’s planets, and you’ll be revisiting certain planets in the story, returning and adventuring through areas you’ve been as well as large portions that were previously inaccessible for one reason or another. It’s also possible to unlock convenient shortcuts. There’s loot to find, which include cosmetics for Cal and his accompanying companion BD-1 (a tiny robot with huge character) as well as the Mantis ship that takes you from planet to planet, and there’s other secrets which give you extra health and force as well as snippets of background story. Some of these goodies can’t be reached until you have the suitable ability at hand such as, say, the Jedi Roll, which allows you to jump higher; the force push, which can break through certain walls, or the force pull that can pull out of reach ropes towards you, and so on. 

The game also has some larger puzzles, which make use of Cal’s abilities, and if you find yourself stuck you can get some helpful tips from BD-1. There are some interesting puzzles, some of which make use of multiple abilities in order to conquer them, and it’s nice that you can move objects around with Cal’s powers. 

One thing I didn’t like so much about the exploration is that I found the map difficult to read from time to time. It does tell you what remains unexplored, although it can still be tough to work out how exactly to get to it. It’s not the worst map in the world by any stretch, but it’s far from the best one. 

The combat involves plenty of movement, parrying and making use of Cal’s force to push enemies away from or towards you, and you can also heal yourself with a finite amount of stims. It’s all beautiful in motion, and new abilities open up to you at certain points in the story, with Cal having a flashback to his Jedi training when he was a youngster, which fits nicely with the Jedi Knight reconnecting with the force, remembering the things that he has forgotten over time. You’ll get new force abilities as well as additional ways to wield your visually customisable Lightsaber, and the more options open to you, the more the spectacular combat sings. 

There’s a variety of enemies as well, and once you have defeated a type for the very first time, BD-1 can scan the enemy, which gives you a description of the enemy as well as combat strategies to deal with them in future fights. Force abilities offer endless fun when used, and bouncing lasers back at stormtroopers is a moment of glee each and every time, while bosses definitely give you the toughest test, particularly in some of the Lightsaber duels. 

Star Wars Jedi Fallen order

Deflecting lasers back is a good strategy here.

If there’s anything to complain about the combat, it’s the fact that some of Cal’s force abilities feel a little overpowered over time. Being able to push some of the bigger enemies as well as groups of enemies off ledges with the mere forward movement of a hand, does feel kind of cheap. With that said, it’s definitely very fun to be an overpowered Jedi, although perhaps your powers should have been a little more limited to how they are here, as, even if it is never unlimited, you definitely end up with a plentiful amount of force to make use of through a meter.

Every planet in the game has save points (or meditation points), and here you are able to unlock upgrades in the game’s skill tree as well as heal and restock your health stims, although doing the latter will result in enemies respawning, which is great if you are wanting extra XP but not so much if you are just wanting to explore a planet without resistance. Also, if you die, you’ll respawn at these points, and if you attack the enemy who killed you, then you’ll get your health restored as well as your XP back. Other than this and the skill-based combat, the game definitely doesn’t get anywhere close to being as challenging as, say, Demons Souls, on Jedi Master difficulty or anything below that. Upping the difficulty level does result in you having to have a lot more precise timing though, which may be of note to those who have conquered a game such as Demons Souls and want as much challenge as the game can present to them. 

Many Star Wars fans will likely fall in love with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, although there’s definitely plenty here for the non-fan as well. I wouldn’t consider myself a huge fan of the franchise and haven’t even seen any of the films or series since Disney bought it, although I enjoyed every single minute that I spent with this well-made science fiction adventure and ultimate Jedi power fantasy, which just so happens to be set in the Star Wars universe. On the Series X and the PS5, it’s even more worthy of attention thanks to the technical fixes and superior 60fps performance. Let’s hope that this will eventually grow into a series and an expansive side universe all of its own.