After three and a half years, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has finally been released on all major platforms. The sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is an action-adventure third-person game that takes plenty of inspiration from popular titles such as Sekiro and Dark Souls.
Set in the ever-expanding Star Wars universe, the game takes place several years after Emperor Palpatine's issuance of Order 66 in the film Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, which led to the Jedi being wiped out.
Some surviving members of the ancient Jedi order have joined the Empire and become Darth Vader’s most trusted assassins, while others like Obi-Wan Kenobi have also gone into hiding to help the resistance whenever possible.
Players take control of Cal Kestis, a lost Jedi trainee who, after years in hiding, has joined a ragtag group of rebels and vowed to fight the Empire, which has never been stronger.
In the first game, Fallen Order, Cal had to complete his Jedi training — while navigating from one planet to the next, aided by a trusty robotic sidekick that sits on his shoulder called BD-1, his adventure took him to several planets.
Five years later, we meet an older, more confident Cal, being captured and escorted to a senator who has placed a bounty on his head for the Rebel Alliance.
After breaking free, Cal embarks on an epic journey — once again traversing space joined by his companion droid BD-1.
From mission to mission, Cal slowly reassembles the group, but only briefly, as this mission is his alone and they all have new responsibilities to take care of. Still aiding the rebels in their guerilla war against the Empire, Cal is sent to seek out a group of powerful Jedi warriors believed to have taken refuge on a faraway planet.
Throughout the game, new characters are introduced in ways that make for interesting encounters. Everything that was fun about the story in the first game has been taken up a level, as the stakes grow higher for the rebels’ cause.
Wielding a lightsaber and controlling the force to fight foes has always been an exciting prospect for Star Wars fans.
For a new generation of gamers, the first title Fallen Order was a dream come true. Not only could players fight with a lightsaber like a true Jedi master — blocking and parrying through exciting duels — but also use the force to hurl enemies around, and even move large objects at will.
The mechanics of that game worked very well, and very rarely felt burdensome, despite their complexity — offering numerous ways to tackle groups of enemies.
In Survivor, the combat mechanics remain more or less the same, with the addition of some new and thrilling abilities.
The biggest change to gameplay is the addition of different stances Cal can adopt in his lightsaber fights. These include different styles, such as wielding two lightsabers simultaneously, or even a blaster gun to use alongside the sabre.
With the release of Jedi: Survivor on next-gen consoles like the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, the expectation for high-quality graphics has never been higher.
There are two things to mention when talking about the graphics. First, it’s important to note that the launch version of the game has not been the smoothest experience, with some players reporting glitches and badly rendered locations.
Although I have encountered some of these glitches, luckily nothing was too world-destroying enough to curtail my enjoyment. Then again, I’ve been playing the game on the PlayStation 5 while most complaints have been about the PC version.
The teams at EA and Respawn put out a statement on launch day to say they were aware of the issues, and that “while there is no single, comprehensive solution for PC performance, the team has been working on fixes”.
The second point is how gorgeous the in-game world looks. The vistas are larger than before and the locations have become more varied and interesting compared to the first game.
When it runs smoothly, it's easy to appreciate every single detail the designers worked on, from smoke-filled rooms lit up by the glow of lightsabers, to sprawling jungle sets that urge players to climb up high and swing from the trees.
The final verdict
During the past three years, the number of games that warranted owning a next-gen console has been slim.
However, with those consoles entering their third year, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a great incentive to finally take a dive into the next generation.
The greatest achievement of the Star Wars franchise has always been the success of its aesthetic. Despite the fluctuating qualities of its films and television show, fans keep coming back because they enjoy spending time in that world.
When playing Jedi: Survivor, I was able to become fully immersed in it. Fighting against the Empire and wielding a lightsaber has never felt this good.