Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
by Mike Gilbert

Jedi StuffFallen order? More like falling order, amirite? *rimshot*

Dad jokes aside, falling is what you’ll spend most of your time doing in Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Fight some Stormtroopers – fall into a gorge. Fight a giant spider – slip into a crevasse. Jump from one platform to another – tumble into a well. You’d think that someone, somewhere, would install handrails in their space station or ancient tomb, just to prevent workplace accidents, but no. The Sith apparently have all the best workers’ comp lawyers.

The game is set in the post-Order 66 Star Wars galaxy and follows the adventures of milquetoast former Jedi padawan, Cal Kestis. Cal has fallen on hard times since Darth Vader and friends blew up his fancy boarding school, and now he works in a shipyard. The Empire’s version of the Spanish Inquisition tracks Cal down, and he is forced to make a moral decision. Naturally, he makes the most boring decision conceivable, and then he’s off to find some macguffin containing the Jedi’s recruiting list. To say that Cal has all the shading of a white crayon would be an insult to Crayola. I mean, this is an RPG, right? Let’s have some internal conflict to make things interesting.

Fallen Order is a puzzle game at heart, but it plays out in a Tomb Raider-esque fashion. You’ll have to constantly jump over the previously mentioned bottomless pits while pulling vines, time things perfectly, or figure out how to use your Jedi powers to get to the next area. One could argue that this is a bigger part of the game than the combat. That said, the combat is pretty cool. You’ve got a lightsaber–off to a good start–and the Force powers that Cal employs keep the combat varied and engaging. The enemies are never really the problem. Cal’s main nemesis is gravity. Luckily, the saves tend to bring you back to right before you fell.

Considering the huge marketing push that went into this game, I was surprised that it is just…fine. It looks nice and lightsabers are fun. I’m glad I played it, because it’s Star Wars, but I’m not rushing back to play it through again. Unless they take out about 50% of the falling, I probably won’t be back for a sequel. File this one next to Attack of the Clones, Rise of Skywalker, and Solo; it’s Star Wars, but that’s about all it has going for it.

Grade: C

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