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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – a good game, but so goddamn hard!

So, I just finished Fallen Order yesterday and I really wanna talk about it. I basically bought this game on impulse a few weeks ago, as I'm a fan of Star Wars and I've heard good things about this one, particularly the fact that you could become a true Jedi which is always a badass proposition. This game ended up surprising me in more ways than one. Let me explain:

  • First off, with the story: it's solid. Former Jedi padawan Cal is a really likeable protagonist, with his journey of self-discovery and reconnecting with the Force being genuinely inspiring at parts. The supporting cast is also likeable, and particular the former Jedi Cere receives fascinating character development. The plot itself is your standard Star Wars "find the artifact" quest, but it's done in a way that doesn't feel too derivative. The inquisitors also serve as intriguing villains due to their nature as fallen Jedi. The Second Sister serves as the heart of the story, and her backstory is super interesting. All in all, it's legitimately a better Star Wars story than some of the movies.
  • Now, let's talk about the gameplay, because oh God, I have some stuff to say about this. First off, it's very tactical, which I liked. Unlike the Force Unleashed, where you just kinda swing around wildly, Fallen Order forces you to take your time and learn how to parry attacks and mix in your various force abilities. The lightsaber feels and sounds awesome, and only gets cooler as you get upgrades. Overall, the game has a refreshing sense of realism to its combat. Now, I had heard that Fallen Order's combat was something like Dark Souls, which worried me a little but I didn't pay too much mind to that. As someone whose only experience with that series is an hour of Dark Souls 3 at my cousin's house, I don't know how similar the gameplay actually is, but it definitely shares one key attribute: this game is HARD. Like, soul-crushingly hard at some parts. And I was playing on normal difficulty for most of it. Enemies can be brutal and unforgiving, and if you don't precisely learn their attacks, you'll be falling to the ground every five seconds. If you're a Dark Souls fan, you might not find this so bad, but if you're like the rest of us and you're interested in this game because you want a fun little Jedi experience like the Force Unleashed, be prepared for a world of hurt.
  • Okay, so I'm exaggerating just a little: once you get the hang of the combat, it's not too bad. I think the pace you acquire upgrades is really well done, as is the skill point system and the different OP Jedi moves you can unlock. The bosses are all super difficult though, I died like 7 times against the Kashyyyk boss and like 20 times against the final boss. Thankfully, the game does have difficulty options, but the problem is that the normal difficulty (Jedi Knight) is too hard for scrubs like me and the easy difficulty (Story Mode) is a bit too easy. I wish there was a true normal difficulty for those not willing to suffer through Dark Souls masochism.
  • Combat isn't the only part of gameplay though, as there are also numerous platforming and puzzle elements similar to the Tomb Raider games. Here, you have to use your various Force abilities that you re-discover over the course of the game, like slow, push, pull, and jump. I enjoyed the puzzles and the Force abilities, which feel awesome (pushing people off ledges is always immensely satisfying), but I was not a big fan of the "slip-n-slide" sections, which were finnicky and caused me to die frequently. The map design is good too, with each planet you visit having a lot of variety and tons of collectables and such to find in hidden areas. There is quite a bit of backtracking though, so make sure to constantly be looking for shortcuts.
  • Finally, a word about graphics and performance. I was playing on an original Xbox One, and the performance is….rough, to say the least. Constant texture pop-ins, sections of the game loading before my eyes, and just a general lack of polish. I got used to it, and there were some genuinely impressive vistas here and there (I was particularly impressed with Kashyyyk and Dathomir, very cool planets). So it's not really a big deal, but just something to note. Maybe it looks and runs better on the One X or the PS4 Pro, I don't know.
  • Overall, I enjoyed this game, and I'd probably give it an 8/10. I would definitely recommend it to any fans of Star Wars, as it really does give you the full Jedi experience that I'm sure everyone has been dreaming of ever since EA acquired the license. I'd also recommend it to any fans of action-adventure games as well, as it provides solid gameplay with an engaging story. It's a short one, probably about 15-20 hours, which I greatly appreciated; not every game has to be a 50-hour rpg. What did you guys think of it?
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