In contrast to last year, which for me personally was poorer in terms of quality titles, 2023 brought the promise of hope in the form of several announced games to my taste. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which is the sequel to the first part of Fallen Order, was definitely among the most anticipated game titles of this year for me personally. Despite the many reservations that could not be denied to the first part, I thoroughly enjoyed the first story of Cal Kestis in terms of gameplay and enjoyed the star wars atmosphere with full gulps. So my expectations were clear – if the developers from Respawn Entertainment manage to upgrade the unit in every aspect, I will be served a good portion of entertainment and I will be able to walk happily again. It would be damned if it didn’t work, right? At the outset, I’ll take the liberty of spoiling and saying that, unfortunately, the devil is in it in the form of (it’s a shame that it’s already common nowadays) approach of game developers and publishers.
You find yourself in the shoes of Cal 5 years after the events of the original game, and we gradually learn that a lot has changed in the meantime. Cal is no longer a padawan, but a Jedi knight seasoned with battles and laser rifles, who continues to fight alone against the entire dark universe alongside his most faithful robotic sidekick BD1. Autocorrection – as we learn right at the beginning of the game, he is not so alone, as he has gradually collected several companions over the years who have joined his side in the resistance against the empire. One of them is Bode, who reminded me a bit of Ľuboľa B. with a jetpack with his appearance and combed hair. But your original old party is scattered across the galaxy as everyone has gone off to fight their own battles in the meantime. But you don’t have to worry, because it won’t be long before you see her again.
The game is set in a third-person perspective and in a semi-open world, which, although it is a corridor, provides several different paths and a wide plan for exploration. You can navigate the worlds at will in your home ship Mantis, return to the original locations after new abilities are available, and thus continue to explore individual planets.
Jedi: Survivor plays superbly, and I’d venture to say that if you liked the first part in terms of gameplay, you won’t be the same in this case. Basically every area is improved in some way. Whether it’s the map, boxed rewards, battle modes, or enemies. Although the map is still somewhat unclear (which is caused by the verticality of the levels), you can already enter your own markers in it and it also shows not only your destination, but also something like the nearest crossing point. Using this point, you can navigate Cal the shortest way to the destination. The almost completely useless rewards in the boxes representing only cosmetic upgrades are now supplemented with various bonuses in the form of increased health, jedi power, experience points or you can discover special computers that open up the possibility of hacking that type of enemy robot. I definitely see this upgrade as a huge step forward. However, I still think that finding cosmetic weapon mods didn’t need to be box by box where, for example, you can find a specific grip in one box, an upper warhead of the same design in another, a lower warhead of the same design in a third, etc. You probably understand where I’m going. I would be completely fine with it if you discovered a whole new weapon visual in one box, which would both improve the feeling of satisfaction and at the same time we would avoid unnecessary frustration if you find all the cosmetics for a weapon except for one specific part and you then don’t know fully unfold the sword of the given style. As part of the process, new playing styles will also open up to you, so you will be able to choose the one that suits you best, improve it and then choose in a quick selection of two modes. Personally, I chose one “stance” that suited me best for a 1 vs. 1 and one “stance” with a dual sword to fight groups of enemies. There will also be a firearm in the game, so the gameplay will once again move in a different (and it must be said innovative) direction. However, I would find one complaint – in the battles, paradoxically, I fought not only with enemies, but also with switching the designation of the enemy you are attacking. I didn’t really master this mechanic until the end of the game, and here the game would deserve a correction.
New mechanics are also made available (firing an electrical impulse to activate specific devices or a special “assembly foam” to relink energy), which are skillfully incorporated not only for the gradual passage of the game, but also for the fulfillment of some logical tasks in specific locations of the Jedi Knights’ temples. In the game, you will be able to mount several types of mounts, which you can use either for a time-limited movement through the sky or, according to your will, for movement through the game world.
As part of improving your character, you will also be able to discover perks that will slightly adjust your gameplay after being placed in the slots.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a nice example of how it is possible to listen to the constructive criticism of the gaming community and, as a result, improve the gameplay of the original work. I really enjoyed playing the game and not just because I really like the Star Wars universe.
Story and characters 7/10
We open the story with one of the two biggest injuries of the game. I guess in the first hour of the game there will be a message, where I said to myself that the main plot twist of the game is clearly lined up, and I just suffered for the next hours of playing to be wrong. But I was right, and at the end comes the “big” revelation, which I guess even an illiterate peasant would have guessed. I admit that at this moment I was overcome by a very unpleasant negative emotion and I wanted to rate the chapter of the story with a maximum of 3 points out of 10. But why is the story and characters a seven in the end? Because the game does not end with the mentioned plot twist and the story reveals its other layers. I’m not talking now about the plot twist in the plot twist, which was required rather by the situation, so that the final fight doesn’t seem pointless (I know, these hints are a pain, but I don’t want to give away too much and spoil someone’s surprise), but rather about other narratives that ultimately they sound very complex compared to the predictable plot. The story thus opens up themes of hope for a new beginning alternated with feelings of skepticism and whether it all makes sense at all, the narrative of the Jedi Knight’s struggle with his dark side, friendship (and something more) and the quite understandable motivations of the villains. As a result, the story is interesting and except for the aforementioned predictable twist, I guess there is nothing to complain about it, and what’s more, it retains the complexity of better films. We mostly know the characters and they will not be new to us. Although the characters are not flat, except for one specific case of a relationship, there is no further development of them.
The graphics are very nice considering the nature of the game and the vastness of the worlds. Yes, sometimes you’ll think that some textures could be better, or some worlds could use more flora, but the game has plenty of beautiful vistas to enjoy. I’m not necessarily just talking about the views of the hills in the distance, but also the sophistication of the Imperial base or some of the interiors. But for me, the most beautiful passage is right at the beginning of the game, when the space city is shown beautifully not only horizontally, but also vertically. Not only the quality of the graphics itself, but especially the visual stylization of the sites is something that deserves praise. The undeniable atmosphere of the Star Wars universe breathes on you at every step of the game.
If we’re talking about the Star Wars atmosphere itself, the inherent reason why Survivor is a must-ride for all SW fans is also the music and sound. I’m not just talking about the legendary sound effect of the activated lightsaber, but especially the music. It is so excellent that I set the dominance of music to the expense of effects in the options, so I could raise the volume on the TV and enjoy the atmosphere even more. The musical themes stick to the motifs established by the film by John Williams and represent the créme de la créme. The spatiality of the sound is also nicely incorporated and mainly functional.
Technical condition and accessibility 5/10
Stumbling block number two. You all already know the state in which the game was released – long story short, unacceptable for a triple-A title. So I will try to describe my experience and explain the given number of rating points.
During the 26 hours of playing the game, I completed only one game crash (of course, as usual, right after the boss, which the game subsequently did not count towards my progress), but I noticed several bugs. Mostly, it was only about unimportant things, like jamming the enemy, or overlapping the character with objects. But several of my deaths were due to a malfunctioning camera, which several times got stuck in such an unnatural position that I had practically no view and it cost me a fall from a cliff or death in battle. The fire in the game is also shown strangely, which I assume is in a reduced framerate frequency and overall it looks distracting. But the biggest problem of the game on PS5 is the shooting. Personally, I usually can’t play 30fps quality graphics modes anymore, because they drag my eyes and give me a headache (it’s curious that even 15 years ago I played games with 15-20 fps on my archaic computer, because I was just celebrating the fact that I managed to run them). So my obvious choice was a mode that should try to maintain higher frames per second. “Tried” is a nice word, because the game fluctuated so wildly with FPS that it (and relatively often) looked pretty bad. In addition, I played the game already after the release of 2 or 3 patches, and therefore in an improved condition compared to its release. What more can I add to this fact without being completely…funny? Better nothing.
The game also lacks technical finishing touches. In some puzzles where you have to pull a rope connected to a pulley to open a door, the rope would undesirably pass through objects and thus the physics would not work correctly. It’s a shame, because games like TLOU beautifully showed us that it can be done. Also, the incomplete transition between the game component and the cut sequences takes away from the perfect filminess of the game, which does not seem smooth, and we could go again, for example, to the competitor GOW Ragnarok, which pimped it to perfection.
The game also loses points for the fact that, apart from an interesting mode for arachnophobes, it basically does not contain any extensive settings options for disadvantaged players. I can also imagine that the vibration response of the PlayStation controller would be processed better. This game literally asks for it.
Game length and replayability 9/10
The length of the game in the case of the second journey of Cal Kestis is really nothing to complain about. I managed to finish the game on the harder difficulty in about 26 hours, with the fact that I also played some content besides the main line. The pure story can therefore be completed in I guess 15-20 hours, but the game offers a lot of content to explore. Mostly it is finding mostly cosmetic content, but also hunting minibosses as part of the bounty hunter side activity, or finding fish, which you can then find in the aquarium in your home tavern, and collecting seeds across the worlds, which you can plant on its roof. Even in this case, the game is more comprehensive than its predecessor and offers new possibilities to extend the playing time.
What I really appreciate about the game is the fact that you will certainly not have all of Cal’s attributes upgraded after the first playthrough, thus offering a high degree of replayability. For example, the game Days Gone suffered from this, at the end of which I had upgraded everything (even what I didn’t want, just to lose points) and thus the replayability dropped rapidly. But this is definitely not the case with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.
After finishing the game, New Game+ is also available, which thank God (surprise surprise) does not need to wait for any patch or DLC, while it offers interesting news for replayability. Experience points remain with you, but you can redistribute them, and at the same time you get new lightsaber colors and new perks. So you can play the second game with completely different fighting styles compared to your first playthrough.
I can boldly declare that, with the exception of the technical condition, the players got a quality successor and continuation of the original Fallen Order, which is a better game than its predecessor in all respects. If there was one thing that got me into Fallen Order game-wise, it was definitely the Star Wars vibe. In the case of Survivor, you’ll get even more, I guess. I firmly believe that the technical condition will still be improved (although I wouldn’t bet my salary on it, because in the case of Marvel’s Midnight Sun, I didn’t see an improvement even after ¾ of a year after its release – but about that sometime next time) and SWJ:S so it will be a must-see not only for fans of the Star Wars universe, but for every single player who just likes quality and fun games.
Source: Sector.sk by www.sector.sk.
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