Full of hope, awaited this Star Wars adventure from Respawn Entertainment. A grand and thrilling single player adventure without multiplayer or micro transactions. And that of publisher EA, who declared games without an online component death a few years ago. Single-player enthusiasts can breathe with relief: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is fun, but perhaps not as epic as hoped.

Padawan Cal Kestis spends his days on a gloomy planet, where he plunders ships to survive. He’d better keep his Force powers secret, this game is set between Episodes III and IV, at a time when the small remaining Jedi are being chased by the Empire. In the first five minutes, he saves his best friend using the Force and that same friend sacrifices himself to protect Cal. Even before you get the chance to get emotionally involved with these characters, the game drags you to the next location.

It will not be the last time that the story of Fallen Order feels somewhat frayed. Characters are introduced as if they are of great importance, to be discarded again shortly thereafter. Ultimately, Cal’s adventure is about finding an important source of information that can make or break the future of the Jedi. It is a simple setup that is meant to guide the player through the entire universe on a quest.

In the run-up to the game, a comparison was made with metroidvanias, but that is too much honor. In essence, Fallen Order is a very linear game, it’s always clear what your goal is and how to get there. You do, however, gradually earn new forces, such as pushing back barriers with the Force, so that you can open new paths at previously visited locations. This is more like the God of War design, they are small side paths that lead to an extra reward, but they are not essential parts of the game that will send you on major explorations.

These rewards are often not worth the trouble. A new color for your robot com panion or your spaceship that you rarely see from the outside are not exactly satisfactory. The most common thing is that you constantly find new handles and buttons for your lightsabre. The other collectables are interesting, they all belong to a series that ultimately tells a mini story about an event. For example, you will find traces of a fight, see where the victims then hid and how they later escaped.

So the story is not as compelling as Star Wars fans would have hoped, but the way the license is used will appeal to them. This is clearly a Star Wars game, but does not constantly rub it in your face. You will not be fooled by Kenobis, Palpatines or Fathers, but small references will always make it clear that you are walking in the same universe. The game prefers to get its inspiration from the various animation series and comics, with multiple characters and locations that the biggest fans will recognize. And at the few moments that the game does turn out with iconic fan service, that also comes extra hard.

The combat also contributes to the real Star Wars feeling, because the lightsabres and Force powers are used excellently here. Fallen Order is not a fast-paced action game, but a game in which well-designed melee attacks predominate. Cal must parry, avoid and strike at the right moment.

It may take a while before you master the combat. For a long time it may feel like you’re just pushing the buttons a little, without Cal always listening carefully to you. If you continue playing, you will soon notice that the battles are pretty tight. With some practice and newly unlocked skills, you string the combos and Force forces together. It feels great to push some enemies into the abyss with the Force, to just dodge an attack and then strike with a swishing lightsabre.

Only if multiple melee opponents approach you at the same time, your options are not always sufficient. For example, you have just parried perfectly and then launched a counter attack, but are hit by the second opponent because you can no longer stop your animation.

The meditation points where you can save the game are plenty. Here you can rest to replenish your health, but then all enemies will return to the world. This way you learn to use your health sparingly. Of course you don’t want to have to hurry all those hordes of enemies over again.

The combat is a must, but the movement and platforms are sometimes curling. This game thinks it’s a much better platformer than it can deliver. Cal constantly misses out, ropes, tree trunks, everything easily can go wrong. However, it is mainly the sections in which he slides down from a mud mountain or ice rink that get bored quickly. The game sometimes presents this as large spectacle pieces, but sliding is boring and difficult to control, so you constantly fall off the edge.

The graphics can be called changeable. Sometimes the game is stunning, with beautiful planets and spectacular effects. The next moment, however, you are confronted with ugly character models. Or vistas that look more like an abstract painting. In addition, the game has quite a heavy pop in, textures are loaded while you are playing.

In the end, the feeling lingers that the game has been somewhat rushed. For example, videos often don’t match. Animations do not always play well, for example when you open a box under water.

So there is a lot to criticize on Fallen Order, but in the end its fun to play. If you’re looking for a game that makes 15 to 20 hours of Star Wars sounds, you won’t be bothered by this. The main characters in particular take the predictable story to a higher level. Cal himself is a somewhat meaningless protagonist, but the crew of his ship appeals more to the imagination. Especially the BD-1 robot, which hacks doors for you and throws health potions at you, steals the show. He constantly talks to Cal with blinking beeps and blooms and in the end that little droid has the most satisfying storyline in the entire game.

With a little more time, Respawn could have really made something special out of it, but there are now too many hooks and eyes on Fallen Order to be able to rank the game among the toppers of the year. All individual parts do not come together in a credible way. But if we can’t get a masterpiece, a good single player Star Wars game is still better than nothing.

This game has been tested on an Playstation 4 Pro. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is now available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

You can find the Achievement/Trophy Guide here.



+ Good use of the license.
+ Many secrets to discover.
+ Good combat.

– Not as much freedom as hoped.
– Feels rushed in terms of story and appearance.
– Technical defects, provocative platform sections.