Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, the highly anticipated sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, continues the captivating journey of Cal Kestis and his band of allies in their struggle against the Galactic Empire.
Having waited long enough for this sequel, some have even started stating that this game series is ‘the real sequel trilogy we deserved’ – but having one excellent entry does not a series make. Will this game manage to recapture the same lightning in a bottle that Fallen Order did?
One of the standout features of ‘Fallen Order’ was the combat. ‘Survivor’ has done a great job in following up on this with its deep and engaging combat system. Building upon the foundation set by its predecessor, the game introduces five unique stances for lightsaber combat, allowing players to adapt their fighting style to different enemy types. The inclusion of the Kylo Ren-style cross guard lightsaber adds an element of strategy, requiring precise timing and defensive manoeuvres, whereas the addition of the blaster stance provides an exciting mix of close-quarters lightsaber combat and ranged attacks, enhancing the versatility of gameplay and stopping things from getting stale and simply mashing buttons until stormtroopers or other such foes are gone.
The new Force stasis ability adds further depth, enabling players to freeze enemies and blaster bolts mid-air, creating exhilarating moments of combat mastery and making you feel like the seemingly invincible Jedi’s seen in the battle for Geonosis in Episode II, of the prequel trilogy…the one with Jango Fett.
The level design in ‘Survivor’ is a significant improvement over its predecessor. The game presents larger and more expansive maps that are teeming with non-player characters, creating a more immersive and lively environment, whilst previous landscapes were lush, the need to revisit what seemed to be largely dead planets (with the exception of mysteriously respawning enemies).
The planet Koboh serves as a central hub, allowing players to revisit and explore it throughout the game. With each return, new pathways and areas become accessible, encouraging exploration and discovery. The addition of fast travel at meditation points alleviates the frustration of backtracking, ensuring that players can easily navigate the vast environments without sacrificing the sense of adventure – a MASSIVE improvement over the previous game. As someone who usually feels the need to 100% each section of a game, especially RPGs, even I threw in the towel with ‘Fallen Order’.
The Jedi meditation chambers scattered throughout Koboh provide rewarding and challenging experiences. These ‘High Republic’-era chambers offer intriguing puzzles and challenges, granting valuable rewards such as skill points and perks to upgrade abilities. They add depth to the gameplay, encouraging players to delve deeper into the game’s world and test their problem-solving skills. The inclusion of these chambers adds yet more replayability without it feeling too much like padding, even if we’re skirting that territory more than a little.
‘Survivor’ excels in player customisation, offering an extensive range of options to personalise Cal’s appearance. From outfits to hairstyles and facial hair, players can truly make Cal their own. Don’t let anyone tell you that Cal ‘Dudebro with a manbun’ Kestis isn’t the canon saviour of the Jedi. Now that we’ve cleared some of the features that might sell you on the game itself – look away if you don’t want some mild spoilers.
The narrative of ‘Survivor’ takes place five years after the events of ‘Fallen Order’, and it successfully builds upon the established lore while introducing new and compelling characters. The voice performances bring depth and authenticity to their respective characters. The inclusion of iconic characters like Darth Vader and Boba Fett adds an extra layer of excitement and nostalgia for fans of the Star Wars universe.
Visually, ‘Survivor’ is a stunning game and you can tell that not needing to be worked on for previous-gen consoles has really let the development team spread their wings.. The graphics are crisp, and the attention to detail in the environments and character models is impressive. The game takes full advantage of next-generation consoles, utilising real-time ray tracing and other advanced technologies to deliver a visually stunning experience. Coupled with a dynamic soundtrack that captures the essence of Star Wars, the audio-visual presentation immerses players in a galaxy far, far away.
While Survivor delivers an exceptional experience, it does have a few minor shortcomings. Some players may find the combat mechanics, particularly the new stances, slightly overwhelming at first. The learning curve can be steep, requiring patience and practice to fully master the intricacies of lightsaber combat.
Additionally, while the story is captivating, it could benefit from more frequent and impactful narrative choices that directly influence the outcome and character development. Yes I’m moaning a bit about wanting something that means the world bends more to your decisions and feels more impactful when Star Wars has a set canon – but these don’t need to be massive things, just something that makes the world feel more natural and organic.
In conclusion, ‘Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’, is an enthralling adventure that successfully builds upon its predecessor. May the Force be with you on this unforgettable journey through the Star Wars universe.
Author: Tom, Cardiff Store