Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Review: The Force is strong with this one

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Review: The Force is strong with this one

In Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the player is taken on an epic journey through the far reaches of the galaxy. In this review, I, Brighton Nelson, will dissect the game's various elements, from its lightsaber-wielding combat system to the awe-inspiring locations that capture the essence of the Star Wars universe. I will also explore the compelling narrative, memorable characters, and the musical score that adds that quintessential Star Wars touch. While the game has its strengths, it also has its fair share of weaknesses. Now, without further ado, RPG Ranked presents... a Jedi: Fallen Order Review: The Force is strong with this one.

Battle System - 5

This is likely one of my controversial opinions, but this game's lightsaber combat is more boring than Battlefront II's and certainly more boring than Jedi Survivor's. My biggest problem with this combat system is that the single-bladed and double-bladed lightsabers are very similar, offering slight variation in combat. And while the boss fights are incredible, the ordinary enemy encounters are forgettable or frustrating. Ultimately, I don't have much else to say here; I just didn't enjoy the combat in this game. If you want more information, feel free to check out my article detailing my least favorite RPG battle systems here.

Music - 8

With tons of classic Star Wars music and new tracks, this game had an atmospheric score that captured the feel of Star Wars, even though it wasn't produced by John Williams. While this soundtrack isn't your most memorable or brilliant RPG soundtrack, it is still terrific. What do I say to you, oh, soundtrack of Jedi: Fallen Order? You have your moments. Not many of them, but you do have them. Just kidding, 8 out of 10 for you.

Sidequests - 7

Collecting all the treasures on each planet and filling up the databanks were just about all the sidequests in this game, but as simple and annoying as that was at times, it added enough opportunities for exploration and story diversion to add meaningful fluff to the game's snappy narrative. My favorite sidequests specifically were collecting beautiful seeds for the Germanium or killing tough monsters to receive stim packs. I also enjoyed attending Meditation Points and fighting in the Battle Arena—something sorely lacking in Jedi: Survivor. Ultimately, sidequests are part of what makes this game great, but having some more memorable and diverse sidequests could've gone a long way to making this game better.

Story - 5

After being whisked off his home planet of Bracca, Cal Kestis, the protagonist, attracts the attention of the Second Sister, an Inquisitor tasked with hunting down surviving Jedi. With the help of Cere Junda, a former Jedi Knight, and Greeze Dritus, a four-armed Latero, Cal embarks on a journey to rebuild the Jedi Order and uncover the secrets of an ancient civilization. The story delves into Cal's personal growth as a Jedi and the broader struggle of the surviving Jedi in the face of the Empire's tyranny, and awesomely, this is part of the Star Wars canon! While this story is not all that interesting, it is well-written and sets up the sequel well! Ultimately, this story has little to offer, but it sure is well-written and well-paced.

Art & Graphics - 9

This game is beautifully crafted! Every planet in the galaxy is fully realized, with many new and old planets alike. The characters are well-designed, the combat special effects are fantastic, and the cutscenes are incredibly cinematic. While this game's graphics age a little more year by year, it still looks great today. It perfectly captures the essence of Star Wars in its art and graphics, and for that, this category scores a 9 out of 10.

Progression System - 7

This game utilizes a skill tree system, and while it is a solid system, it doesn't do much to set itself apart from others and is limited in its depth of choice and specialization. Since the two lightsaber styles don't play all that differently, this progression is linear and doesn't offer all that much replay value. Sure, the game provides some choice, but in the end, the choices matter very little compared to the skill trees found in games like Dragon Quest XI, Ori and The Blind Forest, this game's sequel, and many more skill trees in the vast spectrum of gaming. By the end, I had filled out the skill tree and just pondered why it was necessary over a traditional leveling system—it didn't justify its existence all too much. Luckily, the sequel overhauled the skill tree and made it one of my favorite parts of the game! Ultimately, with only two indistinct saber types and a very linear skill progression system, this game's customization isn't the greatest. Alright, the apparel was fun, but I'm not counting that here because it had no meaningful impact on the gaming experience for me.

Locations - 10

The locations in this game are what makes this game truly special, and is the only way this game is better than its sequel! The planet exploration in this game is fantastic. Not only does the player get to visit fan-favorite planets, but new planets, too! From the jungle, the Wookie-inhabited planet of Kashyyk, to the dark magic-infested planet of Dathomir; from the Inquisitor planet of Nur to the planet of Ilum, the place every young Jedi used to go to obtain their Kyber Crystals for their lightsabers. Additionally, Bracca, Bogano, and Zeffo are all new planets in this game, and they are all phenomenally realized. Ultimately, the exploration in this game is top-notch and is definitely the best aspect of this game—it's some of my favorite exploring of any game I've played.

Quality of Life - 7

This game has very few bugs and glitches! My biggest issue with this game is the lack of fast travel, but, in the end, that can't dock too many points from this game because most planets are fun to backtrack on. Another issue with this game is the maps, specifically of Zeffo. These maps are incredibly labyrinthine, making the locations awfully difficult to navigate. All in all, this game had some frustrating moments but nothing overly game-breaking.

Characters - 7

This game has some incredibly memorable characters—Cal, BD-1, Greeze, Eno Cordova, Cere, Merrin, the Ninth Sister, the Second Sister, Darth Vader, and Taron Malicos are all incredible. While Cal is lacking as a protagonist, after playing a more mature version of him in Jedi: Survivor, I've grown to really care about his character. Every character here is so distinct and full of life, and Cere and Merrin are easily some of the best female characters in the Star Wars universe. They're not an Asohka level of good or anything, but they are excellent. The foundations in characterization here were also fantastic, and these foundations allowed these characters to flourish and bet that much better in the sequel. In the end, this game has some memorable characters, even if Cal was a little weak as a protagonist in this installment.

The Verdict

Fun Factor - 4
Overall Score - 69%
Letter Rating - B

The game truly shined in its world-building, exploration, and characters. While it was frustrating or tedious at times, I do not regret the time I spent on this game, and I would recommend it to anyone who's a fan of Star Wars, Souls-like games (if you use Grandmaster), or adventure games. One warning: don't play this game after Jedi: Survivor, or else you'll find yourself thinking it's a step back in every way. I won't ever play this game again, but I also will never regret the game I spent playing it.

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PC)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Deluxe Edition (PC)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS4)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Deluxe Edition (PS4)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS5)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (Xbox One)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Deluxe Edition (Xbox One)

Primary Version: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PC)