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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - second impressions count

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – second impressions count

If you were disappointed by the unveiling of EAs new Star Wars game there are some surprising secrets that should change your mind.

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If you only watched the gameplay reveal trailer for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order you probably came away pretty unimpressed by what seemed to be a very old-fashioned, very linear action game. Something that barely seemed any more evolved than The Force Unleashed on Xbox 360. But what if we told you it was actually a 3D Metroidvania with influences from both pre-reboot God Of War and Dark Souls? Youd probably say that if that was the case why was the unveil so boring and misleading? We cant answer that, but we can assure you that the Force does seem to be with Fallen Order.

Theres actually a strange trend at E3 this year, of companies seeming to purposefully make their games look less interesting than they actually are. Marvels Avengers looked okay at Square Enixs unveil event, but it was remarkably more impressive in the behind the scenes footage we saw later and will write a preview for shortly. But it was Fallen Order that was the most misleading, going from a game wed already written off to one of our most anticipated games of the year.

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The demo we played had two parts, the first being a wave-based mini-game that wont necessarily be in the final release but which the developers at Respawn (makers of Titanfall and Apex Legends) have been using to test the combat system and act as an ad hoc tutorial. It was basically just an open space with castle-like like ramparts around the edges, but it was a good way to learn how to wield your lightsabre and make use of your various Jedi powers.

Theres one main lightsabre attack, plus a heavy overhead strike and a block, but you also have Force push and pull attacks that work on a recharging meter – as does the ability to throw your lightsabre like a boomerang and briefly freeze time (seemingly inspired by Kylo Rens freezing of a blaster bolt in The Force Awakens). These are all very easy to pull off, as you block incoming blaster bolts to fire them back at their sender, push stormtroopers off ledges, and dodge around the side of flametroopers while you freeze time.

Its an enjoyable combat system with a great sense of impact and weight to your attacks, which is just what youd expect given combat designer Jason de Heras worked on God Of War III and Ascension. The combat is fun but as we move through the waves we encounter increasingly tougher foes, including the new anti-Jedi stormtroopers, the surprisingly tough K-2SO model droids from Rogue One, probe droids, and even a AT-ST.

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Or at least we were told an AT-ST was included, we never got that far as the combat got increasingly difficult towards the end and we had to give up for the purposes of time. But we took that very much as a positive, as it shows the game isnt interested in patronising its audience, in some wrongheaded attempt to appeal to more casual gamers, but is actually a challenging, nuanced action game. Despite the nods to Dark Souls its nowhere near that hard but it does take real skill to get anywhere and thats a very welcome revelation.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Rogue One.Five

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – Rogue One.Five

There was even better news once we started the game proper, most of which you wouldve seen in the gameplay reveal. It casts you as padawan Cal Kestis, whos on the run following the Order 66 purge from Revenge Of The Sith. The games story is set somewhere between that and A New Hope, with Rogue One being referenced in multiple ways, not least by Forest Whitaker returning to voice his character Saw Gerrera. Theres also nods to the Rebels cartoon series, as the demo opens with Cal commandeering an early model AT-AT featured in the show.

This in turn leads to a wonderful nod to The Empire Strikes Back, as you discover two AT-AT drivers at their work and then take over to start blasting away at the Empire with their own weapons. Youre on the Wookie homeworld of Kashyyyk, which is filled with not only Imperial troops but giant-sized bugs and spiders. The demo we played is exactly what you can see in the videos but what interested us most was when de Heras started pointing out all the elements that werent obvious from just watching the footage.

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Rather than the linear level design it initially appeared to have the game is a honest-to-goodness Metroidvania, with the ability to explore the levels however you want – as long as you or your droid has the prerequisite ability or item. Not only are the levels much larger and interactive than they first seem but you can also travel back to other planets youve previously visited in order to useRead More – Source

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