Even in the absence of a gameplay trailer, we’ve been able to learn how Respawn Entertainment’s upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will actually play. The combat’s focus on assessing your enemies and their weaknesses and then going into a dance of parrying, striking, and dodging has come to light, and these descriptions have predictably led to comparisons with Dark Souls.
But as per game director Stig Asmussen, while combat definitely takes cues from the likes of Souls, Devil May Cry, and God of War – which, in his view, any melee action game has to, by default – direct comparisons aren’t very accurate. According to Asmussen, Fallen Order isn’t going to a be a “super punishing” game, simply because of the fact that by virtue of being a Star Wars game, a lot of people are going to want to play it, and Respawn doesn’t want to alienate that large audience.
“Look, I love the Souls games,” said Asmussen while speaking with Press Start. “You’re not going to be able to make a melee action game without having a little bit of influence from the other games. DMC is really cool. God of War’s awesome, but we don’t want to have something that’s super punishing. There’s a lot of people that are going to want to play this game, and as much as I like those games, we’re going to have to do a little bit more, kind of, I don’t want to say hand-holding, but we have to — Players have to be able to just pick it up, and it’s like, ‘Oh yeah. This feels right. I felt like this at other experiences before.'”
But that accessibility, according to Asmussen, isn’t going to come at the cost of mechanical depth. “I still think there’s a layer of depth within the combat, and how you use the Force powers to take down enemies more efficiently,” he said. “As you grow, those that are keen will recognize that there are different things, maybe tells that enemies give, that allow you to open them up, and take them down a little bit faster.”
Considering the fact that Fallen Order puts almost all its focus on combat, with stealth not factoring into gameplay almost at all, depth in melee encounters and using Force powers is something that the game will have to nail just right. That said, at least we know this drive for accessibility is something Respawn has envisioned itself, rather than being a mandate from EA.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order launches on November 15 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.