To kick off EA’s Play event for 2019, Star Wars fans finally got to see a proper example of gameplay from Respawn’s upcoming Jedi Fallen Order – a game desperately in need of a colon somewhere – and it was quite a departure from other EA Star Wars games.
The demo (helpfully labeled as alpha footage) puts new hero Cal Kestis on Kashyyyk, home of the Wookies. There, he meets up with a faction of the nascent Rebel Alliance, led by Saw Guerra of Clone Wars, Rebels, and approximately ten minutes of Rogue One fame. Cal is tasked with freeing captured Wookies, and we get to see the game in action proper.
At first glance, the game seems like a more dense take on old classic The Force Awakens, though it becomes clear that Respawn has opted to scale down the impact of Force abilities in order to make them more frequent and natural. Cal can pull vines to him, shift metal around to make a path, and more – all far more casually than seen in other Star Wars games. There’s also some more Respawn charm sprinkled in; Cal wallruns when necessary, and is able to take to scaling walls with efficiency. The team’s take on Kashyyyk is also reminiscent of level designs seen in Titanfall 2 (shoutout to fellow TYF writer Jon Winkler for the catch) and it’s clear that Respawn’s fingerprints are all over this game.
Naturally, there was quite a bit of combat in the demo. Cal is able to fluidly move between opponents and utilize the Force to his advantage – doing things like deflecting laser bolts, pushing and pulling Stormtroopers, and utilizing a new power that will freeze enemies and parts of the environment. That said, Cal will be facing a different class of opponent, judging from this demo. Stormtroopers don’t miss, some are even able to go toe-to-toe with the hidden Jedi. The natural life on Kashyyyk was just as hostile, with one moment absolutely worth watching for yourself.
As someone who was extremely disappointed in Star Wars Battlefront II’s (2017) presentation overall, this definitely at least feels like a step in the right direction – but I’m opting to reserve judgement; especially since more footage is promised for Microsoft’s Xbox presentation later into E3 proper. What about you? Connect with us and let us know if the poorly named Jedi Fallen Order will whet that Star Wars appetite!
Jedi Fallen Order is available on November 15, 2019