Star Wars had fallen down the pecking order in the gaming industry. Now, ironically, a fallen order has taken it back to the top. It may not be a perfect game, but Respawn’s jedi adventure is a real treat for fans.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the first proper single-player game in this galaxy for a long time. Not since The Force Unleashed have gamers enjoyed a Star Wars experience like this one — and Fallen Order is significantly better than that series.
In Fallen Order, you play as Cal, a former jedi padawan (trainee) who fled upon the rise of the empire and Order 66, which led to the hunting and slaughter of all jedi.
Now in hiding, young Cal works as a welder in a shipyard, before his force powers are used to save a friend and he is spotted by the Inquisitors, whose sole job is to hunt down jedi and kill them.
What follows is a simple, but satisfying adventure in which Cal travels to a variety of different planets, many of which are well known to fans already, in search of a holocron that contains the names of jedi-sensitive children. In pursuit are two sister Inquisitors, who will stop at nothing to get the holocron before Cal and kill him in the process.
The gameplay is best described as Tomb Raider in the Star Wars universe, which is no bad thing at all. When he is not doing typical jedi things like fighting with a lightsaber and using minor force powers, Cal runs, jumps and climbs just like Nathan Drake from Uncharted or an Ubisoft assassin.
He spends as much time exploring lush environments for secrets and new paths as he does fighting Stromtroopers and local wildlife.
All that makes Fallen Order a pleasant surprise indeed — this isn’t a game built around cheap tricks and action set pieces, but carefully constructed environments that rewards exploring and completion.
As you progress through the adventure, Cal learns new skills, upgrade his lightsabre and you’ll unlock plenty of cosmetic items to give him a unique look. It’s all standard stuff, but nothing we’ve seen in Star Wars for a decade.
There are flaws, unfortunately. There are quite a few technical issues at launch, though they may be patched soon. And while the combat and environments are satisfying, they still don’t quite match the level of truly top tier games like God of War or the Uncharted series.
Fans of the universe won’t care, however,especially as the ending — while predictable — will leave them grinning from ear to ear. Star Wars may have fallen on hard times, in gaming terms, but Fallen Order gives it a timely boost ahead of Episode IX next month.
Meanwhile, while we haven’t played Pokemon Sword or Shield yet, it’s fair to say that the games have lived up to their name by inciting plenty of sparring. While some fans are loving the new setting and updated visuals, many others are complaining about the halved Pokedex and simplistic combat.
Over the course of the series history, there have been over 800 Pokemon introduced to Pokemon. However, developers Gamefreak felt unable to include all 800 in Sword and Shield and instead cut the roster in half, leaving many fans without their favourite creature.
To make matters worse, the reasoning for this decision (the time it takes to create Pokemon in the new engine) was largely debunked by the fact that Sword and Shield uses very similar characters and animations to previous games.
Despite this, Sword and Shield is already selling millions and will no doubt inspire a new generation of players who gotta catch ‘em all. (Well, catch half of ‘em).
Cloud gaming service Google Stadia went on sale this week and instead of launching with 12 games, it was launched with 22 instead. Originally, the additional ten games were due to follow in December, but Google possibly decided Stadia needed a boost in the face of a somewhat indifferent public.
We’ll be following reports of Stadia closely, as success largely depends on the consistency of streaming for users and the ability to play across multiple devices.