Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order Gameplay Demo Impressions
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a game that throngs of Star Wars fans have desperately waited to learn more about since its announcement. On the first day of EA Play, we all finally got a significant amount of the information we’ve all been waiting for. EA streamed about 15 minutes of gameplay to the masses on YouTube. However, I was lucky enough to check out an extended 25 minute demonstration.
After watching the entire demonstration, I definitely had…feelings. I will do my best to take you through what I saw and explain my thoughts a bit more.
Battle on Kashyyyk
Alright, so the first thing I saw was, well, the title screen. It was minimalist in nature. Although, what caught my attention is that it featured circular and geometric line art. It instantly reminded me of the “World Between Worlds” episode of Star Wars: Rebels. I wondered if characters from that show could make possible cameos within Fallen Order’s story.
Once the game begins, your character Cal Kestis, arises from a body of water. We learn soon after that he is in the “River of Origin” on the Wookie planet Kashyyyk. Just then two massive AT-ATs covered in marsh plants and mud slowly walk by, wading through the river towards a larger battle. From there, Cal and his droid BD-1 follow along side before Cal begins to grab onto the marsh plants attached to an AT-AT and scale it upwards.
As he scales up the AT-AT he occasionally has to make horizontal jumps from one area to another to proceed. Sound familiar? If you’re thinking Uncharted, then you are definitely not the only one. Even Cal’s animations as he climbed and jumped looked very similar to those of Nathan Drake’s.
After the climbing sequence, Cal reaches the top of the AT-AT and dispatches a distracted trooper by force pushing him off into the water, and enters the walker. Once inside, he uses a combination of lightsaber and force moves to take out two more troopers. Cal then moves to the cockpit and uses BD-1 to cause a distraction. This allows Cal to take out the two troopers piloting the machine. That sequence looked like an Costco-sized barrel of fun.
Enter Saw Gerrera
It is during this sequence that Cal runs into Saw Gerrera. This was definitely a fanboy moment for me. My favorite thing about the new Star Wars canon is how the story connects via different mediums. Saw Gerrera has been a useful tool in tying different eras together. The first meeting is short lived as the AT-AT is attacked by an Imperial fighter ship. After escaping from the wreckage Cal meets up with his friends Cere, a rebellion fighter and Greez, a four-armed alien who was bursting with personality.
Saw meets up with the trio and they discuss their differing reasons to be involved in the battle. Cal and his group are looking for someone (I won’t spoil who), while Saw is there to disrupt the Imperial supply lines. The soon-to-be-Empire uses Wookies as slave labor to harvest the sap from native Kashyyyk trees. According to saw the sap can be refined into a “powerful compound”.
After the discussion Cal enters his ship and brings up a holo-map which seems to be a gameplay element in which you can choose different planets to visit. Soon after another gameplay element was introduced. During a conversation with Cere, Cal has the choice of two different responses. Yes, there is a dialog tree. This is one feature that definitely can’t be confused with something seen in an Uncharted game.
Use the force
Next, Cal decides to help Saw with his mission by rescuing the Wookie slaves. Gameplay then moves to more platforming sequences which reveal more gameplay elements like a skill point/skill tree system, clearing paths with a lightsaber, and platforming puzzles that BD-1 can help solve via hacking machines in the environment. The enemy encounters also reveal more of Cal’s Jedi abilities like using the force to paralyze enemies. This was particularly interesting to me as before this I have only seen that technique utilized by dark side force users like Kylo Ren. Could Cal be a “grey Jedi”?
By now the enemy is well alerted of your presence and at one point you sneak up behind two troopers in the middle of a discussion. One trooper assures the other that they will be ok because they have “the high ground”. A well-well placed Episode III reference.
The platforming continues with wall running and jumping which is a clear nod to Respawn’s hit Titanfall. At this point we discover that BD-1 can scan certain objects and enemies to provide insight and information. For example: weak points and attack strategy. BD-1 can also learn new abilities and even transform into certain items like a zip line grapple.
From here the demo goes into what was already seen in the initial livestream. In case you missed that you can watch it below.
The Phantom Henning
Once the demonstration was over, I was excited about what I saw but I could not help but feel the shadow of Amy Henning over this game. As much as I am looking forward to Jedi: Fallen Order, I could not help but think about the eerie timing of Jedi: Fallen Order‘s reveal.
Star Wars fans wait for months on an ambitious Star Wars game from Amy Henning and the team at Visceral. Next, that game, codenamed “ragtag” was unceremoniously canceled. EA citing that they would rather create a multi-player game rather than the single-player, story-driven project Henning was working on. Then Jedi: Fallen Order seems to come out of no where. It is single-player, story-driven, and features very Uncharted-like elements. It smells like there will be a tell-all book talking about this conspiracy theory in 10 years.
For now, despite that feeling, I am still very much looking forward to Jedi: Fallen Order and how its story will add new layers to the current Star Wars canon. The speculators will have a field day trying to come up with possible connections and guessing character cameos. I have a strong feeling Saw Gerrera will not be the only one. We won’t have to wait long as Jedi: Fallen Order is set to release on November 15th this year. That is about a month before Star Wars Episode IX hits theaters. I wonder if there may be any direct connections?
To watch the 15 minutes of Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay streamed by EA, you can check it out above. Afterwards, let us know your thoughts and theories in the comments below!
Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order screenshot gallery: