E3 2019 Preview | 7 Things We Learned From Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
We took a stop at EA Play during E3 2019 and went to check out Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get a hands-on demo. That being said, we were able to watch an extended playthrough from the developers. Lasting almost 30 minutes, there was a lot to take in, but here were some of the things we noticed.
The Spirit of Star Wars: 1313 Lives On
Right from the start of our presentation, the protagonist, Cal Kestis, starts in the waters of Kashyyyk. This demo starts roughly three hours into the game, so there is a bit of missing context. It appears that some sort of accident brought him and his droid, BD-1, into this situation. AT-AT Imperial walkers could be seen in the distance, each covered in moss and vines, clearly signalling the player to climb them. It doesn’t take long to see that the Uncharted style of platforming gameplay has made its way into Fallen Order. This was one of the main gameplay features of the cancelled Star Wars: 1313, and it’s great to see it used here.
Impressive Performance Capture Animation
It didn’t take long for a cutscene to give us a glimpse at the facial animation in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Lips were synced incredibly well with the dialogue, characters were able to emote realistically, and overall animation was smooth. Most of the time, plot segments were done in 60 fps, which added to the presentation. It helps even more to see the actors faithfully recreated in the game. Saw Gerrera, Forest Whitaker reprising his role from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is a spitting image of the actor. Cameron Monaghan also performs well as Cal, though his voice can sometimes seem a little overenthusiastic.
Star Wars with a Soulsborne Twist
Watching the combat in Fallen Order can seem like a standard Star Wars game, but it goes much deeper. The force powers have a cooldown, enemies have a meter applied to their defenses, and the player can also dodge and parry attacks. This game has clearly been influenced by the Soulsborne games. Specifically, Sekiro, seems to be the closest in how the combat looks. Recognizing enemy patterns to predict attacks for dodges seems crucial, and parrying attacks seems just as vital. Even the finishing moves themselves are reminiscent of the ones in Sekiro. The Souls influence can also be seen in the targeting system, and even the use of healing items.
This is Definitely a Respawn Entertainment Game
While the platforming elements take cues from Uncharted and Star Wars: 1313, there is still one distinctive difference. Respawn Entertainment being the developers, it comes as no surprise, but the wall running mechanic from their Titanfall series is used in full force in Fallen Order. From time to time, deep chasms will need to be traversed by having Cal run along a wall quickly. Sometimes, puzzles will even require the player to create a wall to run on. Even when Cal pilots an AT-AT early on, it shares a lot of similarities to piloting a Titan in Titanfall. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this, and it’s good to see Respawn’s own staples stick to this licensed title.
The Force is Strong with This One
Not since Star Wars: The Force Unleashed have fans been able to see what the Force is really capable of. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order looks to rectify that in a big way. Not only will players be able to use the Force to push, pull, and throw, but they’ll be able to use it to give them an advantage. Thanks to newer entries in the Star Wars film saga, players can even use the more recently portrayed Force powers, like freezing objects in place (in this case, a blaster shot). Each force ability will use a special Force gauge, so it has its limits. Outside of combat however, it seems that players can use the Force to slow down obstacles or pull things closer to them without a gauge to restrict them. The game overall seems to encourage creative use of your abilities, allowing for a lot of freedom.
Cal’s Droid is a Metroid Prime Scanner
The cute and lovable new droid, BD-1, is more than just a little sidekick. Cal’s robotic partner will be used to solve puzzles, for healing, and even traversal. One aspect that is especially notable, is BD-1’s ability to scan objects. Not only can this be used on inanimate objects, but players can even scan enemies. This is a mechanic that largely resembles the scanning in Retro Studios’ Metroid Prime titles. The comparisons don’t end there either, as the map system also takes cues from the Metroid Prime series. Holographic maps display in 3D and give players an interactive visual to help guide them to their destination.
Purge Troopers Will Test Your Skills
During his journey, Cal will defeat many Stormtroopers. Along the way, he’ll come across Purge Troopers, a much deadlier class that acts as Darth Vader’s death squad. Think the mini-bosses in Sekiro, as these foes will be much more challenging to defeat. They’ll block more often, have deadlier attacks, and may even have some resistance to the Force. What’s more, they’ll give players a taste of what it may be like to face an Inquisitor. We watched two Purge Trooper fights in this demo, and let’s just say I can’t wait to fight one myself.
Overall, we’re incredibly excited for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The game seems to offer an adventure that fans have been waiting for for quite some time. Borrowing elements from titles like Uncharted, Metroid, Sekiro and more, it seems to be a good mix. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will be releasing on November 15th on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. What are you looking forward to in Respawn’s new title?