In 2019, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order did something unthinkable: It united the fandom, as the universal consensus was it was an excellent adaptation of a galaxy far, far away. Now, the sequel, Stars Wars Jedi: Survivor, is here. The question is, will it be more The Empire Strikes Back or The Rise of Skywalker in terms of a continuation?
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Picking up five years after the previous story, we meet a tougher and hardened Cal Kestis – with his droid buddy BD-1 in tow, of course. Cal still believes in the way of the Jedi, but he is struggling to keep his head afloat as the Galactic Empire hunts him (and his rebel pals) down. However, he finds something on a planet that could signal a very different future for him and the rebellion.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is much bigger
From a continuation point-of-view, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor keeps everything that worked in its predecessor and expands outwards. This means larger worlds, increased gameplay options, and more characters than before. Planets, such as Koboh, are vast and encourage the player to get lost in exploration, offering special discoveries where one might least expect it.
Fallen Order was a gorgeous game, learning all the right lessons from the Star Wars Universe, and the sequel follows the same path. Not only do the character and creature designs look on point — and even Cal, BD, and the lightsabers can be customised cosmetically — but so too do the environments that capture the space western atmosphere of the franchise. There’s also variety in the locations as Cal travels around the galaxy to complete missions. Some locations boast more exotic flora and fauna, while others are sandy (someone console Anakin please) and bare to the bones. Then there are the more high-tech areas that illustrate the sci-fi industrialised side of Star Wars, too.
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May the Force be with you
Where Star Wars Jedi: Survivor shines the brightest is in its gameplay mechanics that were already fantastic but have received a significant upgrade. Let’s be clear here for a second, though: The skills tree is absolutely fundamental to the growth of the player and the available abilities. It will shape the way in which the player performs throughout the game, so the decisions made in what is and isn’t upgraded will impact the way forward.
Much like the previous entry, Cal still has different lightsaber stances, with new ones included for this game. Each one possesses its relative strengths and weaknesses, and it’s about finding which fits the purpose for the battle and playing style. Equally important is the use of the Force here, as different abilities are available. It isn’t only about flinging enemies away or pulling them closer, but it’s also about using various Jedi mind tricks on them.
Throughout Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Cal will also interact with several allies who prove to be important to the battle. They have their own respective abilities and players can use commands to ask these NPCs for assistance in the sticky situations. At the same time, certain creatures, such as spamels, will also prove pivotal for transport purposes, so get used to riding around on fantastic beasts here.
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This is Star Wars
From the moment the first note of Stephen Barton’s score hits, there’s no disputing Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is designed for fans but also with the intention of adding something new to the franchise. Recently, the biggest criticism of the films and TV shows has been how they constantly fall back on the Skywalkers, almost fearing doing something new within this galaxy.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is the outlier. Yes, there are obvious callbacks and references to the movies and original stories, but like its predecessor, this is a story that isn’t afraid to stand on its own two feet. It makes Cal his own hero and establishes him as being worthy of his own narrative arc that doesn’t feel supplemental. In many ways, Jedi: Survivor is the kind of Star Wars story that builds upon the work that George Lucas created rather than simply ride the coattails. It also helps it’s a terrific video game that may well be the game of the year.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
- The enhanced gameplay mechanics are outstanding
- A compelling Star Wars story
- Open and vast worlds to explore
Sound and Music