Respawn’s Star Wars story is almost upon us- here’s what you need to know about it.
EA’s handling of its exclusive Star Wars license has been painful to witness, but it feels like it might be time, at least temporarily, to take a more positive outlook. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is unconcerned with being a live service game, is focused on delivering a single player narrative adventure, and most importantly, is being made by Respawn Entertainment, a developer that inspires a lot of trust in audiences. Fallen Order will be out soon, and as we gear up for its launch, in this feature, we’ll be talking about fifteen vital pieces of information you should know about it. With all that out of the way, let’s get started.
Fallen Order takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, after the Empire has been established and Order 66 has wiped out most of the Jedi from the entire galaxy. In this backdrop, we step into the shoes of former Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis, who has been hiding his identity and his Force-sensitive powers for years while being on the run from the Empire. As the game begins, certain events transpire, forcing Cal to reach inside and use his Force abilities, which alerts the Empire to his existence. The Second Sister, a Force-sensitive Inquisitor trained by Darth Vader, is dispatched to track Cal and hunt him down.
Cal is, of course, going to be the main playable protagonist, but who will he be accompanied by throughout his journey? No good Star Wars story is complete without a droid, and in Fallen Order, that droid is going to be the tiny bipedal BD-1. He will also be accompanied by Cere Junda, a former Jedi who becomes Cal’s mentor, and Greez Dritus, an alien who pilots The Stinger Mantis, the ship Cal finds himself on eventually. Meanwhile, players can also expect to see some familiar faces from other Star Wars stories. For example, Rebel leader Saw Gerrera has been confirmed to make an appearance in the game.
NO STORY CHOICES
Given the duality of the Force and the fact that that duality and the conflict between those two sides has often been a major plot point in Star Wars stories, you might think that Fallen Order would allow players to make their own choices and shape the narrative that way. After all, it’s not like we haven’t had Star Wars games with branching narratives in the past. However, Respawn have confirmed that Fallen Order is going to be a linear game, with no story choices.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – especially since it’s an EA game – is that it’s a single player-only title. Respawn Entertainment have confirmed that there is no multiplayer component in Fallen Order at all, nor does its campaign have any online elements. It’s a purely single player game with no other distractions.
Fallen Order is going to be a largely linear title, which means there’s no open world areas to explore. but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a game full of corridors that ask you only to go from point A to point B. According to the developers, the game adopts a metroidvania approach, of gating progress behind unlockable powers and abilities, which leads to backtracking and intertwining level design.
NO NEW GAME +
Fallen Order’s metroidvania design impacts other areas of the game itself. For instance, due to that design choice, the game doesn’t have a New Game + option. If you already start a save with all the abilities and powers unlocked, you’d be skipping all the ability-based progression gating entirely, messing up the game’s balance, and for this reason, Respawn have chosen not to give players a New Game + option.
EXPLORATION AND PUZZLE-SOLVING
This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that it’s a metroidvania title, but let’s talk about it anyway. Fallen Order isn’t going to be all about the combat. Players will be spending a good deal of time exploring their environments and solving puzzles, whether that’s through platforming or by making use of their abilities to access new areas.
But of course, the main reason any of us is playing Fallen Order is to be able to engage in lightsaber combat as a Jedi- and this game’s approach to combat looks quite interesting. By Respawn’s own admission, combat in Fallen Order is very similar to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and describes as “slow and thoughtful.” Players will have to look for openings, lower enemies’ stamina and armour, and parry their attacks before going in for a killing blow.
Combat isn’t the only area where Fallen Order takes cues from FromSoftware games. You can only save the game at specific save points in the world, and using these will respawn all enemies, similar to how it works in Dark Souls titles. Similarly, you heal yourself by using canisters given to you by BD-1 – which are essentially this game’s equivalent of Estus Flasks – and resting at save points refills BD-1’s inventory of health canisters.
We’ve seen quite a few different enemy types in Fallen Order footage already. We will, to no one’s surprise, slicing up plenty of Stormtroopers and Flame Troopers, but players can also expect to fight against various different kinds of droids, while Respawn have also created an entirely new type of Stormtroopers just for this game- the Jedi-hunting specialists known as Purge Troopers. Meanwhile, the trailers have also given us looks at various other kinds of beasts, as well a few boss fights.
The lightsaber in Fallen Order is going to be a pretty important part of gameplay. Other than being your primary weapon in combat (and acting as a light source in dark places), the lightsaber will also be fully customizable. Respawn haven’t gone into too much detail about how extensive customization options will be, but we do know the game will let us customize the lightsaber’s colour, design, and more.
But of course, the lightsaber is only half the story for combat as far as Star Wars is concerned. Force abilities are also going to be a big part of the gameplay, and a good few of these have already been confirmed. There’s the good old Force Push and Force Pull, of course, but there are also a few others- like Force Jump (which is essentially just a double jump), Force Stasis (which allows Cal to slow down or freeze an enemy), and another ability that gives him a sudden burst of speed.
We mentioned The Stinger Mantis earlier, but what exactly is its significance in the game? The ship will act as a hub for players during the campaign, and is a place where players will also be able to save, upgrade and customize their character, and even speak to companion characters. The developers have also said that their aim is to have no loading screens in the game, which means when you’re travelling from one planet to another, the ship will travel in real time, and players will be able to explore the ship and converse with NPCs that are onboard.
A real concern many people have about Fallen Order is that the game is going to end up being too short, but according to Respawn, that’s not going to be the case. While the developers haven’t given us an estimate of how long the campaign is going to be, they have promised its going to be a meaty experience. In fact, according to director Stig Asmussen, the game is longer than he thought it would end up being.
Now here’s a question that’s pertinent for any game in today’s day and date, but especially so for an an EA game- how’s it being monetized? Surprisingly, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a game published by EA, claims to have no microtransactions. No loot boxes, no in-game purchases, nothing- just a single player game with a full story shipped on day one, and that’s it.