Star Wars Jedi Survivor REVIEW (PS5)
''THATS NO MOON, THAT'S A BUTT''
Developed: Respawn Entertainment
Genre: Action Adventure
Release Date: April 28th, 2023
Platforms: PS5/Xbox Series/Windows/Epic
*Review copy provided to me by EA*
*THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS*
Star Wars Jedi Survivor is the latest entry into Cal's story and it is developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. Having been a few years since Repsawn's previous entry, Fallen Order, Respawn now attempts to push this franchise even further with its sequel. But is the force strong with this sequel? or does it leave it proclaiming MEESSA MADE A BIGGA MISTAKE!. Only one way to find out, so lets go!
Cal's adventures as a seasoned Jedi Knight introduce new Force powers, lightsaber stances, abilities, and equipment to master as he faces new threats, explores unknown frontiers, and fights to protect those he cares about. With the force as unbalanced as ever, can Cal and the rest of his friends stop the threat of the Empire that looms over the galaxy before all hope in the universe is extinguished?
''SO MANY PEOPLES LIVES TO RUIN, SO LITTLE TIME''
With the series originally beginning with Fallen Order and now continuing with the sequel, Jedi Survivor, right off the bat, you're probably wondering, ''Mucka Omb Boga backa UM Jaba''. What? Oh, sorry, that's just my hut language, my bad guys. What I was trying to say is you're probably wondering if you need to play Fallen Order first before diving into this one. Well, honestly, no not really. The game offers you a great re-telling of the first games events in the opening moments of Survivor, but also on the main menu, it allows you re-cap the events that took place years prior. So do not worry, no Order 66 will be called upon you should you happen to skip Fallen Order. Well... maybe. One thing right off the the bat that is commendable to me, that most games falter at or just don't do, is letting the hero, in this case Cal, start off the game with most of their powers and upgrades from Fallen Order still intact. THANK YOU. This crap aint rocket science you know? it aint as hard as figuring out who shot first, han or greedo, it's not as hard as figuring out why I like picking on Rick The Technician and being an overly douchebag to NPC's and enemies in games. Uh. Well ok, that part actually isn't hard at all, I just love being a jerk and messing with anyone I can, humans, aliens, birds, and yes... even poor Rick The Technician. He got what he deserved. But that's besides the point. The overall fact is that you keep majority of your powers and there's no need to re-learn them or attempt to regain your lost gear. You're a powerful Jedi and your journey this time around, is only going to make you STRONGER. Yes, even nearly as strong as Kylo Ren's infant like self, raging out. What a freaking ween.
Survivor starts off with a big and exhilarating escape from Imperial Coruscant. Which is supposed to give you super nostalgia vibes of the countless younglings and Jedi that lost their lives there and portray a somber feeling, but me? nope, I'm just like Oh hey! look! that's the window Mace Windu got thrown out of to his death, super hype. Pushing your cold hearted humor aside like me, you are immediately thrown into action, using Force pushes to screw with variety of enemies the further you unlock it in your skills menu for force related powers, alongside saber abilities, etc. Like I said, I was a jerk, so any chance I got to mess with someone using Force Push or Pull, I used it. But of course, with the huge variety of skills you learn, it becomes imperative to utilize them in cohesiveness alongside each other, which involves you chaining together various movement techniques, such as the mid-air dash. Mid Air dash allowing you to do a Jedi double jump and then proceeding to dash quickly for extra movement. This helps in scenarios where you must reach a platform to run on as you hop back and forth from area to area or in order to reach a springing platform that will launch you to the next explorable section of your map. Of course, me being me, I screw up and died dozens of times, yup, I think my coordination for platforming in some games is getting as bad as my driving in racing games. Time to put me out to pasture like good ol yeller I guess or give me the old Count Dookie and off with my head. Count Dookie, get it? because he's poop and dies super easily, meaning.. he's dookie? no? fine then. Its treason then.
''SPOILER ALERT: THE STORMTROOPER MISSED''
As far as the overall combat goes, which is what 90% of the game pertains to, the main focus of the game, is the lightsaber combat, which is extremely elevated here in Survivor. Using five different fighting stances that are introduced, resulting in some of the most visually stunning Star Wars melee battles that I've ever experienced in a Star Wars game, which some of my favorites dating back to the Jedi Academy titles. Stances vary in their usages, such as Single saber stance being your default Jedi stance that is most balanced, Dual Wielding sabers like you're Ahsoka that is versatile, Dual Blade like Maul that deals heavy damage, Cross Guard stance like Kylo Ren that deals even more damage to your enemies, etc. The combat system is overall very accessible and straight forward to use for your average player, but yet, at the same time, offers some depth for more skilled players. Which isn't me. Its fun sneaking around areas and listening to Droids talk to each other or in self conversation about how hard their job is or that they're finally going to be brave and take out the intruder to prove how useful they are. Yeah... no, sorry buddy, not when GNC is around. Sorry to FORCE the issue bro, but time to die. Thus begins their end by either me jumping over a platform and slicing them and their limbs off, which is awesome to do in this game throughout, or pulling them off a cliff to their death. Hey, to be fair, its not the fall that killed them, its the IMPACT, so technically, in a way, its totally NOT my fault, okay?.
Going into a tiny bit more detail before moving on and talking further about the two new fighting stances are introduced, the Crossguard style and the hybrid Blaster stance. The Crossguard is slow but powerful, making you focus on your timing and precision for best overall use, and then you have the Blaster stance that allows for ranged combat using your trusty pistol when engaging with flying droids or hard to reach enemies. The expanded set of Force powers also adds to Survivors versatility, allowing players to create their own playstyle. Which my ''style'' is just being brutal as heck, chopping off limbs and laughing as I pull people back and forth using force choking and force pushing and pulling and then laughing at them at their stupidity. ''Hey you, YOINK and WEEE, bye byeee''. The one negative about the combat though, If I had to complain for a second, would be that you can only equip two stances at a time, which to me feels limiting and a bit of a hindrance. Mainly because should you enter a battle and decide, oh man, I should've brought a Crossguard stance. ''Ugh DOGGA ICK JAMBA, OH HO HO''. Am i right? exactly. What that means is you have to go find a work bench or head back to your ship in order to equip a new stance again. This can take 15 or 20 minutes to accomplish. Which can get pretty tedious and annoying.. However, while yes it is annoying for sure, this restriction does encourage players to specialize and develop a unique fighting style for Cal, so fine, whatever, ''EEKA JOOK CACA''. The story? oh yeah, oops, almost forgot about that one, derp. The story itself unfolds with Cal's quest to find a specific planet to re-locate on that is out of the reach of the Empire rule. One that is thought of as just a myth and a thing of legend, but as it turns out, its anything but just a mere spoken myth. The narrative as you push through its 25 hour journey, 30+ for completionists, allows players to explore ancient locations, solve puzzles, and engage in side quests without feeling rushed. Although the side quests leave much to be desired, they aren't very good and basically amount to nothing more than gather and fetch quests. But to be fair, we have Turgle, a crazy little frog alien who thinks we are the COOLEST. Good thing he knows when to slow his roll though with all his fanatics, otherwise, I would've had to give him the FAN treatment from Elder Scrolls Oblivion. That's right. I DONT PLAY. The story is to me in the overall is well-executed but suffers from heavy foreshadowing that gives you an idea of the plot twists that are coming and predictable turn of events. Which to me is pretty lame, you want to be surprised, but the game is like ''hey remember this, wouldn't it be crazy if it happened again.. right? RIGHT?'.
''HEADS ARE ABOUT TO ROLL... LITERALLY''
The cast from Fallen Order return in spade in this entry and feel more fleshed out this go around than you are used to, with Cal becoming a more realized protagonist that involves his internal struggle with the dark side and trying to free people from the Emperors grasp. You see him struggle with the decisions he makes for ''the greater good'' as he keeps ending up the one that survives to keep the fight going, while all his friends and anyone that gets involved in him keep dying over and over and he begins blaming himself. Bode, from the Mantis crew also returns as the close friend of Cal who struggles with his own problems like taking down the Galactic Empire, while also trying to keep his young daughter safe from harm at all costs. Cere, a Jedi Master and a mentor to young Cal, who's an absolute bad ass in this game, such as incidents during a last stand against invading empire forces on the new Jedi temple hideout, in which she must stand against the forces of HUNDREDS of stormtroopers and even AT-AT Walkers. For a brief section of the game you get to play as her, but while she's a pure bad ass, nothing prepared me for the biggest ''oh my god'' moment I encountered. As Cere is rushing to save the Jedi archives from a fire, a door behind the flames slowly opens. I'm like really? another stupid general fodder? I've fought hundreds of them in the game, whatever, come get your ass kicked. But then door opens just enough to where I see a freaking black helmet. I literally gasped out loud and I'm like oh no. I'm sorry Cere, you dead as all heck, girl. Absolutely no way for her to get out of this one. Heck Vader straight up fights her with one hand the whole time and then trolls her like ''Oh nooo you got me, ahhhhh'', only to be like HA, GOT EEEEEM and ends up giving her the good ol stabby stab. It was totally awesome fighting Vader, but sucked because I knew she ain't beating Vader, not even close. This leads to an emotional scene of Cal embracing her and screaming in pain at ANOTHER loss to his family and friends. He didn't make it back in time to save her and again blames himself. Really deep stuff.
Enemy wise in the game, you have Inquisitors still hot on your trail, Stormtroopers, Droids, AT-AT Walkers, Force users, B1 Droids, Sentry Droids, Droid Enforcers, Wampa, etc etc. This title blends the new and the old of the original trilogy and prequel trilogy rather well and nothing really feels out of place or has you thinking ''Hey! that shouldn't be there!''. Other notable features before we wrap things up is in regards to the games customization with you being able to customize every single part of Cal, from his beard, changing his clothes and its color, collecting pieces of armor or scrap to be able to custom build a lightsaber however you want to look, like its shape and coloring. I kept jumping back and forth between the standard blue Jedi color and then using white for my saber so I can act like I was a grey Jedi and feel like I was a bad ass. But customization goes even further than just making your pistol and sabers looking all fancy, oh ya, because your good ol buddy, BD-1? He is also fully upgradable with new parts, new lenses and even changes to his wear and tear and coloring. He's cute as all heck. He's no Johnny Five of course, but he's a close second. BD-1 is ALIVEEEEEEEEE AND NEEDS INPUT, GIVE HIM INPUT, CAL!, DO IT!, DEWWWW IT!. Sorry, lost myself for a minute guys.
''EXCUSE ME DEAR SIR, HAVE ANY MARMALADE?''
At the end of the day, Jedi Survivor ends up becoming one of the best examples of ''how to do'' a Star Wars game. Sure, its not perfect AT ALL, with stuff that annoyed the hell out of me like certain sections having really bad platforming areas, backtracking happening far too often, Holomap being useless 90% of the time and not very accurate and making you feel like you're in a Metroidvania, and even my biggest pet peeve no no of doing the ''There's the bad guy, oh no he outsmarted us, we'll get him next time'' approach. This literally happens 5-6 times... IN A ROW. You fight bad guy, win, they out smart you, escape, you chase another 2 hours, repeat that same formula five times until its over. I HATEEEEE PADDING AHHHH. But other than those gripes, the game has fantastic story telling that lives and breathes Star Wars, engaging and fun combat with lots of abilities to use for your Saber and Force powers, great cast that moves each of their characters forward narratively and and heartfelt and glorious set up towards the inevitable third game. This game IS Star Wars and it IS fantastic. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW.