Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order has finally been shown to the public during EA Play 2019, and the footage shows incredible promise. EA and Respawn also showed additional footage to the press, and what has been demonstrated behind closed doors paints an even better picture.
One thing that emerged from the Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order presentation is how the game closely resembles the latest entries in the Uncharted series as well as many other single-player, narrative-driven games released in recent years. The game is mostly linear, with players moving from one location to the next as the plot demands while they experience spectacular setpieces and fight enemies which include both the Empire and local fauna.
The setpieces are looking great so far. At the beginning of the footage shown during the presentation, protagonist Cal Kestis has to climb atop several walkers while all hell breaks loose around him. The visuals and sound effects faithfully recreated the Star Wars typical atmosphere, so any similarity with Uncharted is in the form, definitely not in the substance.
Traversing locations is pretty straightforward. Cal Kestis is a pretty agile Padawan, so he can perform a double jump as well as a short hop forward (powered by the Force) which can be used to get out of danger quickly. There's also some light parkour to spice things up a little. Quite often, the way will be barred by obstacles which require the use of Cal's own droid and the Force to move objects around. The droid can also be upgraded, which leads to some very short backtracking in the instance we've seen. The experience, however, seems to be mostly linear and there's no risk of getting lost. There are also some on-rail shooting sequences sprinkled in, like one where Cal and the droid advance by piloting a Walker through hordes of enemies, so a bit of variety is still in despite the overall linearity.
Where Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order truly seems to shine and set itself apart from similar games is the combat, which is fast and visceral. Cal Kestis can use his lightsaber to fight enemies, deflect bullets and even perform a kill maneuver if the right conditions are met. The true star of the combat, however, are the Force abilities. Thanks to them, it's possible to do some extremely satisfying things, like stop time, push and attract enemies and so on. This allows doing things like throwing enemies from a height or even to place them near a time-stopped bullet. There are definitely more things that can be done, as the player acquires skill points that can be spent in a skill tree that has been shown briefly. Combat also seems to feature perfect dodges and guards, rewarding more skilled players with openings capable of inflicting huge damage.
Enemy variety seems to be good so far, with different types of Stormtroopers and alien fauna. Different enemy types will often engage one another, so letting enemies kill each other seems to be a viable strategy. Bosses also seem very interesting, as they unleash unblockable attacks and even counteract some of Cal's Force abilities so that players cannot abuse them in these fights.
Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order may not be the most original game around, as traversal is heavily inspired by Uncharted, but it's definitely shaping up as one of the best Star Wars game of recent memory. Combat is definitely the highlight of the shown footage, so even if exploration and story will end up being not quite as good there will still be some fun to be had, provided the difficulty is tuned the right way.
Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order is currently in development for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It's scheduled to launch on November 15th.