Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Revealed, An Underwhelming First Look
There was revealing of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in more detail at a panel at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. Select members from Respawn Entertainment came out to talk about the game, complete with the premiere of a new trailer.
There’s a fair amount of information to unpack with this reveal. New characters added to the Star Wars universe with an original story based after the events of Order 66. Talk of gameplay directed by Stig Asmussen of God of War 3 fame. To cap it all off, a confirmed release date for the game as well.
All-in-all, the trailer doesn’t say too much. It emphasizes who the main character, Cal Kestis, is and the situation he finds himself in. A story about a Jedi that managed to survive order 66 is nothing new. We’ve seen it explored through Star Wars Rebels and through the 2016 book Star Wars Ahsoka, just to name a few. It interests me to see what new flavor Cal, played by Cameron Monaghan, will bring to the Star Wars universe if any.
Since her inception into the universe through the 2008 movie and series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka Tano has been a beloved character to fans. She’s one of my personal favorites as well.
One thing that I think makes her the most interesting is how she and the Jedi order part ways. She didn’t directly go through the Jedi purge, but she is well aware of it and its repercussions. It constantly weighs on Ahsoka’s mind and as a result, she has an interesting case of survivor’s guilt toward something she wasn’t apart of. She feels responsible in some way, and her constant need to help others, even though it could reveal who she is, puts her in compromising positions where she has to make hard decisions.
Going off of the repeated phrase “Accept the past,” in the trailer, it’s safe to say Cal has experienced order 66 first-hand. So that begs the questions: Who was his master? And how did he survive?
If we analyze the other two phrases: “Trust no one,” and “Don’t stand out”, it could mean that Cal’s character will be more reserved than Ahsoka’s. I would imagine this leading to Cal possibly finding a ‘new self’ as his former Jedi identity has been stripped away from him.
A stoic character who is able to find his place in the world through others is certainly something I can get behind. This, of course, is practically true for just about every surviving Jedi. So, what makes Cal different? What makes his particular story worth telling? These are just some questions that we have to answer if the story wishes us to accept Cal and make him as relatable as the panel said he is.
Chris Avellone, the writer for games such as Fallout and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, has a hand in crafting the game’s story. Based on his track record and emphasis being placed on the game being a purely story-driven affair, hopefully, Cal’s character will really shine through in the actual product regardless of his basic looks, and that it won’t go the direction the movies did.
My last thought on it is that the decision to make Cal a human was a missed opportunity.
With so many races spread across the universe, it’s surprising that we still see humans as main characters more than any other race. The Jedi order is filled with a myriad of different alien races from Togrutas and Mirialans, to Nautolans and the ever-loved Twi’leks. It’s kind of disappointing that they all still take a backseat to humans the majority of the time in major media. It doesn’t help that Cal looks about as generic as generic can be either.
It also disappoints me, a little, that there was no revealing gameplay footage. A trailer is one thing, but the gameplay is totally different. With rumors that the game will play like The Force Unleashed series, and game director Stig Asmussen calling the combat “thoughtful” during the reveal, we can assume the game will play like your traditional hack-and-slash style action game à la God of War. But of course, we are ruling nothing out yet until the release of gameplay footage.
Two other things stood out to me in terms of what the gameplay could possibly consist of. One: The prospect of upgrades, and two: The applications of the purge troopers.
Upgrades have always been a big part of action-adventure games. They symbolize a sense of progression for the player and presents a goal and end-game. Acquiring upgrades usually requires a currency or experience system, maybe even both. The Force Unleashed games used experience points as a means to upgrade Starkiller’s abilities. Other games like Devil May Cry, God of War and Bayonetta use a currency-like system.
I wonder what route Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will take and how deep the upgrade tree will go. I can only imagine a cantina-like shop or a black-market smugglers den serving as a place to buy upgrades and other items.
I’d also like to see something that The Force Unleashed did with the different lightsaber crystals. Each one gave your lightsaber unique colors and special properties. Such as setting your foes on fire or giving you enhanced force abilities.
The purge troopers were the most specific enemy type that was discussed during the reveal outside of the inquisitor. ‘One-on-one fights’ was a term used as purge troopers were being explained. While one-on-one fights are usually reserved for boss battles, it doesn’t mean they can’t happen against regular mobs as well.
Purge troopers seem to serve as a secondary system to hunt down Jedi. At the very least, they relay information of a possible Jedi spotting back to inquisitors. They’re specially trained to fight Jedi. I wouldn’t be surprised if they served as maybe sub-bosses or just really tough enemies. I assume the Second Sister inquisitor seen in the trailer will be a possible boss fight as well.
So, what does all of this mean? Well, we still don’t have that much information to work from. While the reveal was insightful on some levels, it was also still very vague on others. The biggest question mark still is what the gameplay will be like. We can only hope that, maybe in the next coming months, the footage will be released.
The members of the panel sounded incredibly passionate about this project. I hope that all their time and effort bears the fruit of a truly great Star Wars experience. It’s nice to see a developer that’s more known for their multi-player shooters working on a wholly single-player game. Even more so with the prospect of keeping the hack-and-slash genre alive and well. Let’s just hope that neither EA or Disney steps in and tries to muck things up.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will land on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on November 15, 2019.
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