Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is the direct sequel to 2019’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order which personally for me had slightly stiff saber combat, a great premise and a pretty forgettable main character. So when I was given the chance to don on my Jedi cloak once more and follow Cal Kestis on yet another star-crossed journey, I really felt like that was an endeavor I definitely didn’t want to go on.
However, much like those Stormtroopers from A New Hope, I told myself to move along, and gave Star Wars Jedi: Survivor a chance to prove itself worthy of being a member of my “Top Star Wars Games” Council. With all that being said, did Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order earn its rank as Master? Read on to find out more.
A Sequel Worth Making
Being the direct sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Cal Kestis is still the main playable character, with the all of the supporting cast from the previous title returning such as BD-1 the ever loyal droid, Smart-mouthed pilot Greez, and Cere the old mentor filling in the boots as Cal Kestis support structure on the Stinger Mantis as he undertakes a task much bigger in scope than the previous installment.
Without spoiling much, the story sees Cal Kestis finally becoming a formidable Jedi Knight, his ambitions to overthrow the Empires rule across the galaxy still burns brighter than any Lightsaber would. During his adventures, he stumbles upon an ancient relic that showed him the existence of a forgotten planet which may hold the key to the revival of the Jedi Order.
The change in the overall narrative and characters behavior’s in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor when compared to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a much welcomed one as you will have old and new characters play even bigger roles in the story. They don’t just reactively point Cal to the next mission and to fetch the next item. Side characters now have a more proactive role in the story and are more receptive towards the on-goings of the story as you continuously progress through it.
One of the biggest appeals for me personally about the combat in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was that it carried the souls-like DNA while still offering a wide range of difficulty options that suits different players playstyle (none of that “git-gud” mentality here). Souls-like style places more emphasis on the combat where you will need to your moves properly from movement, parrying, blocking as well as dodging to deal with a variety of situations.
This makes combat feel more intense and engaging other than simply devolving into button-mashing fests while also adding stakes to each encounter as your accumulated exp drops on the ground if Cal Kestis finds his way back to the Force.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor carries this feature from the previous title and gives players more emphasis on playing it their way. The ability to play on adjustable difficulties without pulling my hair out after dying too many times during a boss encounter returns and is once again a very much appreciated feature for me. Movement on and off combat still feels as fluid as ever and when played right, it really makes you feel like the Jedi Knight that you are supposed to be with the exception that it does look a bit stiff at times, much like its predecessor.
However, the combat overall is amazing as ever and Respawn Entertainment evolved that further by adding in a new game mechanic called Stance. Stances change the combat style/mode of Cal Kestis’s Lightsaber which consists of Single Bladed, Double Bladed, Dual Bladed, Crossguard and Blaster. Each stance comes with its own pros and cons and it would be up to the player to decide which stance fits the right situation.
For example, with the Crossguard Stance, Cal can launch precise attacks that deal high damage, but when in this stance Cal moves slower making him more susceptible to blaster fire or incoming attacks from enemies, this stance is best used in one on one situation where the enemy’s movements are easily seen and telegraphed so you can react accordingly. Single-bladed and Double-Bladed is similar to that of the previous game while Dual Blade (which is my favorite) allows you to attack in rapid succession and also allows you to parry attacks automatically at times.
Despite having all these stances, you may only equip two Stances at a time with the ability to swap them out at any time through the checkpoints. The Force despite the ability to give life also gives Cal Kestis the ability to take them as well. The Force powers are just as fun to use as they were in the previous game, Cal can pull enemies, push enemies and even manipulate minds to turn them against one another. Mastering these techniques improve the overall feel of combat and allows you to have some really cool moments which separates the Padawans from the Masters.
Unfortunately the Force powers do take a backseat in most of the bosses and elite enemies encounters similarly to that in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order where it is used sparingly as a supplement rather than an actual option.
Skill upgrades also make a return through Meditation. It is very much similar to the one in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, whereby you can master elements related to survival, frontal combat and Force powers to make them more potent and versatile.
The Drip Is Strong With That One
Another change that surprised and delighted me was through the character customization. Gone are the days where you are limited to customizing only Cal’s Poncho as part of his outfit, now it is made more complete as you can drastically change Cal’s overall look in the game, which ranges from his hairstyle and beard to different parts of his costume such as jackets, pants and even his underwear. On top of that, you may also change out the color options of specific costumes with a variety of color themes and presets.
Lightsaber customization returns as well with you being able to customize your hilt, blade color and many more which was much appreciated as you could make your very own Cal Kestis unique to that of everyone else. You can also customize BD-1 with skins once again cementing him once again as your own personal droid.
Exploration and Side Content
The game is now made more expansive in terms of content and play-area especially on the exploration side of things. One stand out in particular was the planet Koboh, which Cal utilizes as his main base of Operations. There are a ton of side quests and activities that you can undertake such as Treasure Hunting, exploring hidden areas and even making the base more lively by bringing in new survivors.
From here you will also be given side quests which are quite and exciting and rewarding. A mount is also given during exploration which highlights just how big the play-area has been expanded, I personally never truly did utilize it to its fullest however because of the fast-travel options as well as Cal Kestis already fast movement speed, but its definitely a welcomed addition and a great departure from linear map structures.
Accessibility and Performance
With Accessibility being a major point in most games now (as they should be), Respawn Entertainment has ensured that the game is playable for most people by adding in features such as Control Scheme Modification, Color Blind Profiles, Field of View adjustments and many more. This helps make the game a lot more enjoyable especially for people like me who enjoy playing on easy or normal difficulty for these type of games.
Performance-wise however is less than optimal as there are FPS drops at times even on the PlayStation 5 with visual bugs present through the lighting and some texture pop-ins which are very obvious especially when exploring the planet Koboh.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is one of those few rare cases in Star Wars branded media where the sequel is improved much further from its predecessor. Almost every aspect from the previous installment, like its Story, Combat, Customization, Exploration and side content were greatly improved upon while also adding in new things to further enhance the overall experience.
The game itself is not perfect by any means, with the combat flow still seeming a little stiff and the performance issues which are inconsistent on the PlayStation 5 version. Mix that in with the graphical bugs and issues in the lighting and texture pop-ins, these minor inconveniences may result in some players feeling frustrated and might affect their overall opinion on the game as a whole.
In any case, who is this game actually for? I believe fans of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order would definitely enjoy this the most as the game is an improvement in almost all aspects when compared to its predecessors. While it still feels lacking in some aspects like the combat flow, the overall package definitely made up for it with its greater emphasis on the characters and the story.
This is definitely the way on how most sequels should be approached moving forward as Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is one of the best Star Wars games I have played to date.
|Improved story||Stiff combat flow|
|More fun and flexible combat with Stances||Noticeable performance issues in PlayStation 5 version|
|Better customization options|
|Decent accessibility features|
|An overall improvement from predecessor|
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC. You may find further details regarding the game at their official website.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was reviewed on PlayStation 5 and the code was provided by the Publisher.