Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review – Unleashing the Jedi Within
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is an excellent example of a sequel that not only iteratively improves upon its predecessor but also takes player feedback into account to offer enhancements that solidify it as a fantastic sequel. After playing the game, it’s difficult to return to the original Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which doesn’t hold up as well. Whether this is due to the dated animation, the new changes to combat and traversal, or the significantly improved visuals, the fact remains that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is simply a better game overall.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor picks up right where Fallen Order left off. If you haven’t played it yet, the game begins with a decent summary that provides a bullet-point list of the main story beats. Although it’s not essential to play the first game before this one, the game is already so affordable that it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. Coming off of Fallen Order, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor feels like a significant leap, not just in visuals but also in combat and animation fluidity. The game truly evokes the sensation of playing a proper current-generation game with its vibrant visuals and stunning ray tracing, giving it an almost computer-generated animation appearance.
In the game, we take control of Cal Kestis, who has his trustworthy and incredibly cute sidekick, BD-1. The story is set 5 years after the events of Fallen Order and sees Cal continue his journey as a resistance fighter against the Empire. After the events of Order 66, Cal is still on the run, making new friends and encountering foes, both new and old. The game shifts to a broader design with open-ended levels and a diverse set of locations for players to explore. The gameplay mechanics have also been refined, allowing for a high degree of customization and improved traversal mechanisms, such as the ability to double jump.
One of the impressive aspects of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is how the developers have allowed players to tweak its difficulty. The game boasts an impressive range of options, enabling us to customize and experience the gameplay best suited for us. If desired, you can make it as challenging as a traditional Souls game, or opt for a more casual playthrough of the story. The default difficulty setting was perfect for me, offering just enough challenge to keep me engaged without feeling overwhelmed.
I enjoyed how Respawn Entertainment managed to offer a Metroidvania-style exploration for an action-adventure game of this magnitude, and I was happy to see that they continued to achieve this with the sequel as well. I think the sequel is structured much better than its predecessor, with a handy map that lets us uncover points of interest. The joy of a Metroidvania game lies in revisiting areas, and Jedi: Survivor has made it a simple task to do so. The game features a fast travel system that works well and allows players to quickly jump between locations and revisit them with ease.
The presentation of the game is top-notch, and the gameplay seamlessly transitions between cutscenes and real-time gameplay. This merits a mention because of how flawlessly it blends cinematic moments with hands-on gameplay, something not many developers can successfully achieve as Respawn has done here. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor isn’t solely focused on combat; traversal is also an essential aspect of the game. The game consistently presents puzzles that put our Jedi skills to the test. Thanks to the excellent mix of combat, puzzles, and environmental traversal challenges, there is no repetitiveness, and the game keeps players engaged from start to finish.
The difficulty is not the only customizable aspect; players can also change the appearance and lightsaber of Cal, as well as his sidekick BD-1. These are welcome bonuses in a modern game, considering that many studios tend to lock such features behind a paywall. I also enjoyed the game’s story, which is essentially a Star Wars fan’s dream come true. The narrative includes many interesting characters with well-developed story arcs and a focus on Star Wars lore. It’s always nice to see throwbacks to earlier Star Wars stories, and those who have played the first game can enjoy references to past events. The excellent writing ensures that newcomers won’t feel confused, as they can appreciate these references as well.
While I generally enjoyed my time with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, the game does suffer from some pacing issues. There are moments when the story takes a backseat and the focus shifts to exploration. However, I found these moments enjoyable as I loved spending time in the game’s world, exploring every nook and cranny and discovering its secrets. This is not a small game by any means; on average, it takes about 30 hours just to complete the main story. If you’re aiming for 100% completion, the game demands even more time.
This brings me to the technical performance of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which has become a topic of discussion post-launch. While it’s true that the performance was a mixed bag at launch, the most recent update has improved it to an extent that it doesn’t feel like a major issue now. I played the game on an OLED with variable refresh rate (VRR) support enabled, so perhaps the lackluster performance at launch was less of a concern for me. I spent more time in Performance mode than Quality mode, which improves overall controller responsiveness at the expense of a drop in visual fidelity. However, the game is not entirely free from issues, as I did notice some bugs during my playthrough, including instances where on-screen actions didn’t work or register as expected. The AI behavior can also get wonky at times, but nothing game-breaking occurred for me.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a thrilling sequel that expands on its predecessor with refined gameplay mechanics, breathtaking visuals, and engaging storytelling. With customizable difficulty levels and character appearances, this action adventure offers something for every Star Wars fan. Despite some pacing issues and initial technical hiccups that have been mostly addressed, the game provides a captivating experience that keeps players engrossed in the world of Jedi battles and exploration. Fans and newcomers alike will appreciate this worthy addition to the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Game Information
- Price: $69.99
- Publisher: EA
- Developer: Respawn Entertainment
- Platform: PS5 (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher