The annoying thing is, for the first ten hours or so, I absolutely adored Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. What a wonderful feeling to finally plunge into a Star Wars game with carefully-crafted alien worlds, references to delight die-hard fans, and new lore to expand that galaxy far, far away. Since EA acquired the licence for Star Wars games in 2013, fans have been desperate for a really good story – and an enormous amount of hope has been riding on this game.
On paper, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order seems to fit the bill. It’s a single-player title combining Soulsborne combat, Uncharted climbing and Metroidvania level design to create something that’s uniquely its own. As a true melting pot of many of the best features of modern and retro gaming alike, I initially thought Respawn might be onto a winner. Yet despite a glowing start, the game has problems sustaining its momentum in terms of both game design and narrative – eventually sagging into a tedious grind with a lacklustre finish. And, on top of that, there’s a raft of performance issues on Xbox One. If only it could have kept that charm going.
Fallen Order takes place five years after the events of Revenge of the Sith and the infamous Order 66. The Jedi Order has been destroyed, as have nearly all the Jedi – but at least one remains in the form of protagonist Cal Kestis, a former Padawan who’s in hiding as a scrapper on the planet of Bracca. Due to events outside his control, Cal is forced to reveal his powers, and only escapes the Empire’s inquisitors with the help of two mysterious individuals, a woman called Cere and a reluctant green alien named Greez, who whisk him away to rebuild the Jedi Order. It’s a fair premise for a story, and the game’s opening action sequences through the industrial metal constructs of Bracca are pure heart-pounding thrills.
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