I recently admitted in my top five most anticipated games for 2023 ranking that I’ve been replaying and very much getting into Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. I played it at launch in 2019 and found it to be a repetitive and underwhelming experience, full of long treks through samey corridors and caves, spending my time talking to dull characters who wouldn’t be allowed to appear in a mainline Star Wars feature film.
There’s a lot in Fallen Order which takes time to feel invested with, but as it didn’t tick enough boxes with me as quickly as I’d have liked in 2019, I drifted through the story to its conclusion and left feeling jaded and dissatisfied with my experience. In today’s list I’m going to look back at the five reasons why Fallen Order has developed from a middling excursion to a formidable and fun adventure with the Force.
Comparison To Other Star Wars Games
Fallen Order was the first story driven Star Wars title (I don’t count Battlefront 2) I had played since the Force Unleashed games and so I went in with unfair expectations of how a force-wielder with their back to the wall would act. As a result of this, I compared Cal Kestis’ connection with the Force to that of Galen Marek (Starkiller) far too often to really allow me to get to know Cal’s motivation, or to appreciate his steady ability development throughout the game.
I wanted to play as a protagonist with nothing to lose, unafraid of resorting to dirty tactics, stealth and unnecessary force to vanquish any agents of the insidious Empire who dare stand in his way. Instead what I got was a character who gives away his position the instant he steps into a space where all enemies have their backs to him. I know a lightsaber already makes him the most dangerous individual in the room, but I never understood why giving away the element of surprise could ever be a good idea for a lone soldier.
Earlier Access To Double Lightsaber
This is a criticism I still stand by with my first playthrough of Fallen Order. I had been told you can go to Dathomir both in-game and by other people playing it, but as characters warn you against going there too early as it will likely be difficult I decided I wouldn’t bother. Huge, HUGE mistake.
If you’re playing on a difficulty other than easy then I suppose it could be a challenging area, but as I rigidly stick to the lowest level of enemy resistance I breezed as far as possible through Dathomir on my second playthrough in no time at all. The reward for this is being awarded with the double bladed lightsaber drastically earlier than you would usually expect to get it.
As a result, with the option to switch on the fly between two lightsaber types, the combat on my PS5 run was upgraded from being a tedious chore to an absolute delight. Not only do you get the new lightsaber type early, you also get to hoover up several upgrade points worth of experience, invaluable to any Jedi where the odds are stacked against them.
Compare getting the double lightsaber around the 10% mark through the game, as opposed to 70% (I reckon) as you otherwise would and it is not hard to see why the player experience gains a significant lift!
PlayStation 5 Visual Improvements
The upgraded textures, lighting and hugely welcome boost to 60 frames per second that the PlayStation 5 boasts were a significant factor for why I stuck with Fallen Order when the story drops into a slower pace during the early section on Bogano. Like many console gamers, I didn’t think frame rate could ever mean as much to me as it seemed to to PC players. A steady rate of 60 frames has been a revelation for me, even knowing many PC gamers are now pushing 120 a second and beyond.
As I still own my physical copy of Fallen Order I didn’t have to pay for the privilege of upgrading to the PS5 version, which is one of the main factors behind my willingness to try it again in the first place.
Not Trying To Like Cal Kestis
To be blunt, I didn’t like Cal before and I still don’t. The important distinction now is that I’m not trying to see why I should like him, I’m just accepting that I don’t and moving on. It’s not anything specific about his character that I dislike, but his disdain with Cere for giving up information following Imperial torture consistently irks me.
Cal is a video game character whose story and motivations I understand, but who I just don’t click with like most other protagonists. I do prefer him to how Horizon Forbidden West decided Aloy should act now, but that’s a rant for another time.
Survivor Has A Crossguard Lightsaber!
I said in my anticipated games ranking that getting to use a lightsaber like Kylo Ren’s crossguard is the main reason why I want Survivor, and I stand by that. My sudden interest in Survivor is another huge reason for why I gave Fallen Order another chance and the rest, as they say, is history. Survivor is the game I am most excited for this year, and you can be sure I’ll have plenty to say about it when it releases on the 17th of March!
Have you played Fallen Order? Are you looking forward to Survivor? Let me know in the comments, and as always I’ll catch you in the next one. Thanks for reading.
Written and edited by Alexx.