HHW Gaming Review: ‘Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, The Force Is Strong With This Sequel

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Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Source: Respawn Entertainment / Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Respawn Entertainment shocked the world with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Could the studio keep the same energy or exceed expectations with its highly-anticipated sequel Jedi: Survivor? You bet Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber they could.

Yes, I know this review is late, but I got my review key after the game’s launch, and I took my sweet ass time because I loved Fallen Order. Once I pressed start on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, I knew I could not speed through this game like a typical review.

Respawn Entertainment is back with its soulslike Star Wars single-player adventure that picks right up five years after the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Cal is more confident and is working to take down the Galatic Empire by taking on different missions, hoping to throw a wrench in the Empire’s plan to control the galaxy.

Jedi: Fallen Order was a fantastic entry point into the franchise that had some issues at launch, so Respawn Entertainment already had something to build off of when it comes to the sequel, Jedi: Survivor.

Like its predecessor, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is not without its issues, but we are happy to say no sophomore jinx is going on with this game.

The Jedi Training Wheels Are Off

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Source: Respawn Entertainment / Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Cal comes into the game already powerful, so the Jedi training wheels are off for this adventure.

One thing that immediately stands out is that Respawn decided to ditch the old video game cliche of the hero losing their abilities via some form of amnesia or act by the villain.

The Cal Kestis you are controlling is no longer a Jedi on the run but more reminiscent of Luke Skywalker in Return of The Jedi, who is sure of his Jedi abilities because he carries the title of Jedi Master.

Despite some abilities and his trusty droid companion DB-1’s stim pack count being low, Cal comes into the game already powerful, so the Jedi training wheels are off for this adventure.

The game opens up in the very familiar Coruscant, which serves as the backdrop to help players get reacclimated with Cal and his moveset. A small but fun tutorial section will quickly bring you up to speed with young Jedi’s mechanics.

Also, just exploring the underbelly of the fictional city planet is worth marveling at and later revisiting to scoop up some collectibles and other power-ups once you acquire other abilities that will open up once inaccessible paths.

Lightsaber Play On Another Level

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Source: Respawn Entertainment / Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Respawn was up to the challenge, taking Cal’s skills with his trusty lightsaber to another level.

Before 2019’s Jedi: Fallen Order, 2008’s Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was considered the game that gave gamers the authentic feel of a person whose Midichlorian count was off the charts.

Fallen Order had the whole Jedi package, with unique force abilities and, of course, exceptional lightsaber play that made it rewarding to dice up stormtroopers, raiders, Sith Lords, Inquisitors, and the local fauna on each of the planets you visited in the game.

So we can only imagine it would be a challenge to improve on a gameplay mechanic that is honestly on par with Kratos’ Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos in the rebooted God of War franchise.

It’s All About The Stances

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Source: Respawn Entertainment / Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Respawn was up to the challenge, taking Cal’s skills with his trusty lightsaber to another level. In Fallen Order, Cal could switch between a single blade to a dual-bladed saber later in the game and occasionally break out in a dual-wield stance.

In Jedi: Survivor, to showcase Cal Kestis’ mastery of the Jedi’s primary tool, he now has five stances, and they include:

Crossguard, a take on Kylo Ren’s lightsaber style from the polarizing sequel films, adds a hilt to Cal’s saber, making it heavier and capable of more damage, which was also my favorite stance.

Single, the old reliable style if you want a more balanced fighting stance.

Dual Wield makes up in speed what it lacks in power, allowing Cal to get in quick hits and avoid punishment. This style does come in handy against certain bosses.

Blaster is a style Obi-Wan Kenobi would call uncivilized but, surprisingly, is one of the best stances to use in the game giving players an idea of what Han Solo would be like if he was force sensitive.

Double-Bladed stance returns from Fallen Order give Cal more defensive capabilities but also allowing to take on multiple enemies at once.

Exploring New Worlds

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Source: Respawn Entertainment / Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Another bright spot for Jedi: Survivor is the worlds we explore in the game. Like in Fallen Order, Respawn again decided to take players to different parts of the Star Wars universe, thank goodness.

Most Star Wars games will have you in places fans of the franchise are far too familiar with, like Tattooine. Still, in these games, the studio lets us explore beautiful but dangerous new worlds brimming with life, obstacles, and enemies only a powerful Jedi could deal with.

Another nice touch is the much-needed fast travel system because these worlds are enormous. You will often revisit them to explore new paths available later in your journey or grab a collectible you missed on your first playthrough.

In worlds like Jedha, a desert planet, or Koboh, the hub planet where Cal will spend most of his time, Cal will eventually be able to communicate with the wildlife and use them to his advantage. Most fauna all serve as a way for Cal to get to a hard-to-reach ledge or area or travel a great distance quicker, so it’s a welcomed mechanic.

Sadly, the map can be an issue. There are some slight improvements to it, but still, it’s nothing to rave about, and thank goodness they decided to get rid of the 100% all of the maps trophy cause using the holo map to try and accomplish that goal was a nuisance.

There Are Some Slight Disturbances In The Force

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Source: Respawn Entertainment / Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Respawn Entertainment is committed to getting the game what it was intended to be at launch, and based on the studio’s track record with the previous game, I have no reason to believe that will not be the case.

Like Fallen Order, Jedi: Survivor did not arrive without its issues. The PC version of the game was an absolute mess and, according to some reviews absolutely unplayable. 

That wasn’t the case with console versions of the game, but there are still plenty of issues. HDR was broken on the consoles, performance mode was wonky until a fix arrived, and many payers, including myself, experienced multiple crashes during playthroughs.

Still, none of these issues were game-breaking bugs, but they are indeed annoying to experience and just a sign of times with recent triple-a titles launching with issues. 

Respawn Entertainment is committed to getting the game what it was intended to be at launch, and based on the studio’s track record with the previous game, I have no reason to believe that will not be the case.

Final Verdict

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Source: Respawn Entertainment / Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

In a time where Star Wars games are more misses than hits, Respawn Entertainment seems to have a knack for making games based on the film franchise. Fallen Order was the blueprint and Jedi: Survivor is the level-up on that ambitious first title that perfectly combined the worlds of soulslike/Metroidvania games with the world of Star Wars.

Respawn is building a successful Star Wars world that has even entered new shows like Obi-Wan Kenobi because the story is just so good.

When we were first introduced to Cal Kestis in Jedi: Fallen Order, yes, he was a bland character who had some moments, but by the end of Jedi: Survivor, you come to appreciate Cal as a man struggling to walk the fine line of being a Jedi Knight trying to restore the Jedi Order to its former glory and at the same protect his family.

Jedi: Survivor is an exceptional follow-up to a great game and builds on the first game by introducing even bigger worlds, more action, a great story, exceptional characters, and of course, kick-ass Jedi gameplay.

The game isn’t without faults. There are still some graphical issues. I experienced a few crashes during my playthrough, the holo map is still annoying, despite some improvements, and some plot twists are a bit predictable.

None of the issues put a damper on this fantastic game, and once the credit rolls, you will be sitting there wanting more. We’ll have to wait to continue Cal Kestis’ journey when the third game comes, but until then, you can catch me on the road to getting the game’s platinum trophy.

*Review key for PS5 provided by the game’s publisher*

Photo: Respawn Entertainment / Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

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