Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order showed what Respawn was capable of with the Star Wars franchise, and building on the success of Fallon Order, they’ve crafted a sequel so good that it’s a surefire contender for game of the year.
Star Wars: Jedi Survivor Review (PS5) – A Surefire Contender For Game Of The Year
An Epic Story Perfectly Suited For A Galaxy Far Far Away
Five years after the events of Fallen Order, Cal and his crew have gone their separate ways, and Cal is labelled a terrorist by the Empire as he battles against them with resistance. After an explosive opening, Cal’s Mantis ship is damaged, and he crashes lands on planet Koboh where he discovers ancient temples belonging to the High Republic.
Cal’s entire goal in Jedi Survivor is finding a safe planet that the Empire hasn’t reached where the remaining resistance and the few remaining Jedi can find sanctuary, while also trying to recruit as many people as he can to fight the Empire.
I wish I could discuss the story more, but there is so much going on in Jedi Survivor, most of which I was confused about as I’m not the biggest lore-heavy fan out there and had to do a little research.
Those who know about the High Republic history will have a blast with the story and where it leads, as plenty of historical locations and characters appear from the Star Wars universe.
A Sequel Of Massive Proportions
Jedi Survivor is massive. There are about seven planets that Cal can visit and explore. Koboh acts as the hub planet and base of operations for Cal and his friends. Though you visit multiple planets, Koboh is probably the biggest one you will explore.
This mountain’s planet is full of wildlife, Raiders, Droids, and of course, the Empire looking to find a foothold on the planet.
Koboh is a beautiful planet with plenty of pitfalls and dangers lurking around every corner. One of the things I loved about exploring the planet is how alive it feels. You’ll run across wildlife fighting over territory and skirmishes between Storm Troopers and Raiders.
Jedi Survivor’s planets feel akin to realms you explore in God of War: Ragnarok. The semi-open locations offer plenty of collectables to find and quests to complete. Cal finds unique materials to act as currency on each planet that he can use to exchange for cosmetic items like new outfits and head and facial hair changes.
Plenty Of Secrets Lie Waiting To Be Discovered
Treasure chests are scattered throughout the world that contain just contain cosmetic items, just like in Fallen Order. Though I wish there was something more worthy to find in chests, it was still worth acquiring and seeing all the different looks Cal can explore the galaxy in.
Cosmetic items aren’t the only reason to explore and find all the secrets planets hold. Some hidden paths contain crystals that increase your maximum health and Force meter.
Side quests can also be acquired from residences that send you to locations you may not think of going to yourself.
The town located on the planet is home to various races and species. As you complete side quests, you can recruit travelers to the town, unlocking new things to do.
A Living Universe That Always Has Something New To Do
One side quest unlocks a Droid DJ that provides various music to the cantina there. At the same time, another unlocks a Holotactics mini-game where you can select enemies you’ve defeated as AI-controlled holograms and have them duel various people from across the galaxy for various prizes.
It’s a fun little mini-game that I lost a few hours to. You can also acquire various plant seeds and build your garden, but it’s mainly a visual treat and doesn’t add much to the game.
Some planets even provide mounts for you to traverse them, and some require mounts to reach hidden locations in the world, as Cal himself can’t reach these locations.
In classic Metroid fashion, you’ll also run into plenty of areas early on that you cannot access because Cal doesn’t have the required abilities, forcing you to return to these areas later in your playthrough.
Cal discovers ancient High Republic temples that he can explore. These are some of my favourite parts of the game. These temples are big puzzle boxes that you must use all of Cal’s abilities to solve.
Though I didn’t find them all difficult, some had me scratching my head as you had to combine abilities and timing in ways I didn’t think you could.
Be The Jedi You Always Wanted To Be
Combat is where Jedi Survivor shines. Cal has access to all his abilities and skills he finished Fallon Order with and can acquire many new skills. Cal begins with three different stances to wield for his Light Saber. Single Blade, Dual Wield and Double Sided.
Each of these three stances provides various bonuses. Double Sided is excellent for crowd control, while the Dual Wield stance is great for fast, powerful attacks but isn’t the best for defensive play.
As you progress, you’ll unlock two new stances. Blaster and Cross Guard. Blaster gives Cal a Blaster pistol which is excellent for long-range attacks and quickly stunning enemies.
Cross Guard sees Cal wield a lightsaber like a great sword. A two-handed sabre with powerful attacks at the cost of speed but is great for breaking enemy guards and makes Cal immune to being staggered.
Switching Stances And Combing The Force In Combat Makes You Feel Like A Real Jedi
With so many options, everyone can find a playstyle that suits them. Cal can switch between two different stances on the fly. This allows you to pull off some great combinations of attacks while mixing in your Force abilities, and really feel like a Jedi.
Cal’s animations are one of the most extensive improvements, especially during combat. Attacks flow smoothly, and counters and parries mix perfectly with how combat flows. It almost feels like Rocksteady’s free-from combat is being implemented in Star Wars.
Watching Cal go from wielding his double-sided lightsaber to quickly switching to the blaster stance to block an enemy attack from behind and counter-attack by shooting the enemy with his blaster pistol from behind his back. It is something incredible to witness.
Plenty Of Upgrades And New Skills To Unlock
You can even upgrade your force power to levitate multiple enemies in the air and use your blaster pistol to lock on to them and shoot them while they are floating in the air.
What makes it stand out even more, is its brutality. Though it’s not a mature-rated game, Cal can dismember his opponents. The human enemies see their arms and legs cut off, but wildlife and droids can be cut in half vertically and horizontally using awesome execution animations.
Though combat is excellent, it is quite difficult. Even when playing on an easier difficulty setting, some encounters will overwhelm you until you master the Jedi way.
The difficulty can be a turn-off for a lot of players. I found myself frustrated in some encounters and had to go in and change the difficulty to help me get through some encounters.
Jedi Survivor Provides A Light Souls-like Experience
Much like its predecessor, Cal must find meditation points throughout the world to rest up and restore his health stems, with the added Souls-standard bonus of reviving any enemies you’ve defeated in the area.
Cal doesn’t level up with stat increases. Instead, you gain EXP and acquire skill points that you can use to upgrade Cal’s health and force skills.
Learn new abilities, such as mind-controlling multiple enemies at once and unlocking new skills for your various stances.
Stunning Visuals And Sound Design Rivals The Best In The Industry
Jedi Survivor is a gorgeous game. The vistas and planets all offer fantastic art direction. The visual design is a spectacle, rivalling titles like Horizon Forbidden West and God of War Ragnarok.
Characters are masterfully animated, and Cameron Monaghan continues to bring Cal to life throughout the story. He truly inhabits the character with much more confidence than he did before.
Voice work and music are top-notch. Jedi Survivor’s soundtrack brings the epic-ness of the Star Wars movies mimicking the excellent sound work presented in the franchise. The exceptional voice work on display also extends to everyone from the main cast to random NPC’s you’ll meet.
Star Wars: Jedi Survivor is a bigger, better, and more emotional sequel than anyone could’ve asked for. It’s an excellent sequel in the way that Empire Strike’s Back was to A New Hope. There is so much to love about Jedi Survivor that words don’t do it justice. It must be experienced.
Star Wars: Jedi Survivor releases on PlayStation 5 on April 28, 2023
Review Code kindly provided by PR