The direct sequel to the 2019 action-adventure game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order,” Star Wars Jedi: Survivor continues the story of Cal Kestis five years after the first game takes place. 2023 has already been an eventful year for "Star Wars" fans, with new installments for pre-existing series such as “The Bad Batch” or “The Mandalorian” and new projects such as “Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures.” This new game is a great addition for Star Wars fans looking for a more interactive experience.
Developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts, players are greeted by a more matured Cal Kestis, who is the clever and cunning Jedi from the first game. While his main motivation remains rooted against his enemy the Empire, the story is not as linear anymore. Five years have passed and it is apparent that the Empire’s strength is only growing.
The game does a great job of intertwining different perspectives on the "Star Wars" universe through its diverse cast of characters, and portrays different eras in the universe, such as the High Republic and Clone Wars eras.
Combat was a large part of Jedi: Fallen Order, and it has been enhanced in Jedi: Survivor. This can be largely attributed to the introduction of different lightsaber stances. Jedi: Fallen Order teased both the double-bladed stance and the split saber stance, which were used by characters like Darth Maul and Ahsoka Tano. But in Jedi: Survivor, players are given the choice to choose what combat style fits them the best.
In addition to the new lightsaber stances, Cal can now wield a crossguard saber, similar to the one wielded by the character Kylo Ren. Probably the most unique combat style is the blaster stance, where Cal alternates between his lightsaber and a newly acquired blaster pistol.
Each fighting stance acts as its own weapon choice, with unique movesets that can be upgraded as you progress through the game. In addition to lightsaber upgrades, players can access a skill tree where they can build upon Cal’s force powers or his overall survivability. While the skill tree is nothing new to those who have played Jedi: Fallen Order, Jedi: Survivor introduced perks, where players can collect different attributes that can affect combat gameplay.
Platforming returns as the main way for Cal to navigate new environments. Besides the usual scaling of steep walls and wall runs, Cal learns how to double jump, dash through the air and grapple hook to explore out-of-reach places. One of the strengths of Jedi: Survivor is its worldbuilding, and players can completely immerse themselves and essentially get lost while exploring different planets.
Puzzle-solving was another staple that saw its return.Players would be tasked with a puzzle that would incorporate different skills and tools given to receive new skills, customization components and much more. A majority of the rewards were merely cosmetic items, so some prizes felt underwhelming compared to the challenge of solving the puzzle.
The customization was a pleasant surprise for Jedi: Survivor. With its predecessor, players were able to personalize Cal’s lightsaber and its four different components. Additionally, there were different color schemes for Cal’s outfits, his companion droid, BD-1 and his starship, the Mantis.
Jedi: Survivor builds upon the pre-existing customizations and adds a whole new level of personalization. On top of weapon customization, players can change Cal’s appearance, with different hair, facial hair and outfit components. On Koboh, the home base planet,, players can cultivate a garden with seeds you find while exploring. There is also a saloon where Cal can recruit strangers met through rumors and side quests.
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM - THE PERFORMANCE
There is seemingly a trend of game companies releasing new projects that are not correctly optimized for those on a PC. EA and Respawn Entertainment released a statement acknowledging the issues that PC players are encountering. Jedi: Survivor is just another game that has been released within the past year that is encountering issues. Since its initial release, an update has been issued to address the numerous bugs andperformance issues.
Inefficiencies aside, Jedi: Survivor adopts the already great formula created by Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and takes it to a whole new level. The storyline, the details, gameplay variety and overall atmosphere make it a worthy experience for any "Star Wars" fan.
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