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July 2019

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Release Date: Nov. 15, 2019


PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on June 8, 2019 @ 7:00 p.m. PDT

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a third-person action adventure game that features an authentic story set shortly after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, when the Jedi have fallen.

Pre-order Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

It's been a good long while since we've had a pure, single-player Star Wars game. Discounting mobile games and LEGO titles, you'd probably have to go back to 2010's The Force Unleashed 2 to find a major single-player Star Wars title. That's why there's a lot of hope riding on EA's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It has the potential to return us to the days of Jedi Knight, so it's no surprise that fans have been waiting with bated breath for the first gameplay, which EA provided earlier today at its EA Play event.

For those not following Fallen Order, it is set between the events of "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith" and the original trilogy timeline. Players control Cal Kestis, a Padawan who narrowly survived the deadly Order 66 that wiped out most of the Jedi Order. As one of the only living Jedi left in the galaxy, Cal sets out to finish his training, defeat the Empire, and restore the Jedi Order to the galaxy. Since we know what happens in the original trilogy, it's safe to assume Cal's journey is destined to end in failure, but perhaps (like Kyle Katarn and Starkiller before him) he'll help build the path to the defeat of the Empire.

At first blush, the game that Fallen Order most resembles is Uncharted. It has the same sort of semi-linear platforming and guided action style. Of course, there are some differences. Cal has access to a variety of Force powers and can use them to move around. Based on the gameplay demo, Cal's powers seem to include Force-assisted jumps, the ability to grab vines in the environment and use them as makeshift Tarzan swings, and the ability to run on walls, Prince of Persia style.

Combat in Fallen Order seems to focus heavily around Force powers. While you have a lightsaber and can tear apart enemies with it, the main danger Cal seems to present to his enemies is that he's a Jedi. In the gameplay demo, you see him do things like drag enemies to him so he can stab them, push them off cliffs, and more. Perhaps the craziest-looking power is what seems like an ability to stop or slow time. We saw him slow time, which allowed him to maneuver around enemy blaster bolts or even drag them in front of their own attack. We also saw what appeared to be him putting an enemy into stasis, so he could clear out the weaker enemies before dealing with a strong one.

There's still lightsaber combat. It was hard to get a feel for it, but it seems like there are two kinds of enemies: regular mooks who go down in one or two swings and foes that are more dangerous. The only one of the latter that we saw in the demo was a black-armored Stormtrooper, who seemed to require more focus to fight because they were wielding a two-pronged electric staff. There were also giant insects that needed multiple slashes of a lightsaber to defeat. The gameplay demo ended with a hint of a boss fight with a robot of the same model as K-2S0 from "Rogue One."

As in … well, pretty much every game released in the past decade, there are also collectibles to find. One of those seems to be "Force Echoes," which you find on dead bodies and serve as audio logs of that character's last moments. There are also various things that can be scanned by Cal's adorable little robot pal, BD-1, to provide additional narrative about the world.

All in all, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order looks very much like Uncharted with a lightsaber. That isn't a bad thing, and it's been so long since we've had a single-player Star Wars game that it's a welcome relief from the near-constant barrage of multiplayer-focused games. Hopefully the final product will have a chance to shine when it comes out for PC, PS4 and Xbox One later this year.

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