Jedi: Fallen Order

 Jedi: Fallen Order

[Warning, may contain spoilers. I've not checked]

This was potentially mistitled as Jedi: ordered falling would have been a much more comfortable fit for many sections of the game. Before we go there let's get to basics.

Ordered Falling is a 3rd person game where you control the pug-nosed protagonist. In all honesty, I can't remember his name so perhaps he's not the most memorable character. Maybe this is why he's largely escaped imperial notice to this point. So you can make Cal Kestis (I looked it up) run this way and that, jump, climb and swing on some surfaces, swipe with his lightsaber in a variety of button-mashing ways, block (with his lightsaber) and perform a few force moves. All good stuff but nothing really special. You get to spend experience on upgrading your force powers or aforementioned button-mashing lightsaber swings. Basics covered me thinks.

So the story is good and fits in with the films. The artwork and locations are excellently portrayed so top marks to the concept artists. However, yes there is always a however, a lot of the levels do just feel like a 3d platform game. Not a particularly forgiving platform game. For example on one frozen rock the ancient race you are investigating (again I can't remember their names), and the imperials that have built a base seem to have left much of the transport down to ice slides. So you spend your time sliding down these things having to jump gaps, swing onto ropes, attempting to not slide off on corners. Sounds like fun! Not really, there are only so many times you can appear around a corner and realise you are misplaced to jump off the slide, catch a strangely placed rope with the right positioning and trajectory to land on the luckily placed vines on the far side of the ravine. The things that should be fun soon become a chore as they've completely overdone this aspect of the game. You thought it was bad on the ice planet, wait till you get to the bouncy mushroom zone. Then Mario, erm I mean Cal will have all sorts of problems bouncing up a giant tree. The main problem I had with this was I was hoping for gameplay a little more akin to The Force Unleashed. Something where the combat and story (admittedly pretty basic in that game) are the main focus. Here several times it felt like the somewhat annoying platform aspect of the game was the primary focus.

This brings me to one of my other major bugbears with this game. Some aspect of the game use the old mash button to escape and adapt the set-piece wow moment. The trouble I have with this is if you don't mash the button quick enough, and this could be the moaning of an old guy with failing reflexes, the only consequence if you start the wow moment again. So you fail to catch onto the back of that giant bat and you get stuck in groundhog day. You will be doomed to play the same 15 seconds again and again until you jolly well get it right. This would be really annoying if after catching the giant bat the game director didn't feel that it would be a great idea to make you do it 6 more times. Nothing like thinking of an idea and then doing it to death.

Surely the levelling up of force skills is exciting? Errm no not really. Nothing really had an amazing effect or massively changed the gameplay. Yes, it's fun to force push the more annoying enemies off ledges to their doom. However, nothing really made me feel particularly powerful or special, I think I would have done better with a trust blaster.

Talking of annoying enemies there are a couple of painful ones in there. I'm sure the mechanic is supposed to encourage you to learn how each individual one attacks and they are very repetitive in this. You are to learn how to jump at the right moment, block at the right moment and attack at the right moment. It would then become fairly formulaic to defeat them, which I guess at the end of the day most games are. The problem here is that you often can't use or discover new ways to defeat them. A few enemies like the Tyson Fury of imperial droids occasionally pull an unblockable move which if you are in the wrong position lead to you getting an unstoppable punch in the face. If you are fighting a number of them this can lead to a chain of punches leading to your demise. Not really powerful Jedi material here. Luckily the difficulty levels really do dumb down the damage but the fight mechanics are not really much fun either.

So what are we left with, I personally didn't like the level design, didn't enjoy the repetitive wow moments and really disliked the combat. Doesn't leave much and did almost give up on it and play the next review title. What kept me going was the discovery of the story. I enjoyed uncovering the story and finding out what was going on. I was convinced my bug-eyed compadre was evil incarnate from the start so it was interesting to see how that developed. The game also has a few nice moments involving decimating bases with vehicles and decimating bases with powerful sith.

So in conclusion if you like 3d platform games, very specific formulaic button pressing at just the right moment and knowing exactly what each enemy will do then this game will be great for you. If you are expecting to become a powerful Jedi master or Sith master and create merry carnage think again.

Pros:

  • Story is great
  • The locations and artwork really set the tone
  • There are a couple of standout moments

Cons:

  • Level design made me want to eat my own controller
  • Repetitive enemies proved boring and left the game feeling somewhat unfair at times
  • Do until you get it right, made the outcome feel somewhat pointless.

Score: 4/10

If you want platforming play Mario.

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