What kid didn’t want to be a Jedi growing up? Me, for one. I wanted to be Han Solo, because I was one of the cool kids. All the less cool kids wanted to be a Jedi, though, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order gave them the chance a few years back. Now that game has spawned a sequel in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and, unlike those other kids, the experience has gotten just a tiny bit more cool.
It’s been a while since the events of Fallen Order, and Cal Kestis (voiced and modeled once again by Cameron Monaghan) is tired. He’s tired of running, tired of fighting, the guy just needs some time off from the day-to-day trauma of life as a Jedi on the lam. He’d like to settle down, but the universe just isn’t ready to let him, and that’s how he ends up searching for a mysterious lost planet, getting involved with ancient Jedi and, of course, battling the Galactic Empire. Some folks just can’t catch a break.
At least Cal’s got some new tricks up his sleeve to help deal with his many problems. New flavors of lightsaber combat, for one, including a Kylo Ren-style crossguard blade and fan-favorite dual wielded sabers. You’re able to equip two lightsaber styles at a time and switch between them on the fly, giving you options to address a variety of threats. He’s also got new gadgets, like a Zelda-esque hookshot, and new Force abilities like mind control.
Cal’s going to need all this stuff, since he’s up against some of the nastiest opposition he’s faced yet. Yes, those horrible frog monsters from Fallen Order are back. Sorry for the nightmares. Fallen Order’s Souls-style combat remains just as tough here, particularly on higher difficulties, and Survivor features a vastly expanded rogue’s gallery of aliens, humans and humanoid aliens to battle. That’s no surprise given the large number of different worlds Cal visits during his journey.
Those worlds are also far more expansive and contain plenty of secrets to discover, as is often the case with modern games. Star Wars’ swashbuckling feel is a great match for open-world gameplay. What’s more, the variety of cosmetic options you’ll collect for both Cal and his droid buddy are solid rewards for inquisitive players. That includes lightsaber customization, of course, and naturally I couldn’t help but have a Samuel L. Jackson-style purple saber.
A long, long time ago – by which I mean prior to a patch or two – Star Wars Jedi: Survivor had some pretty sizable performance issues on PC. It was enough to cause a lack of faith in the developers…but that lack of faith would now be disturbing, as a little extra work put into the game means it now runs smooth as space-butter. This is a fantastic-looking, premium-quality experience that benefits from powerful hardware and a nice, high resolution, so those of you with fancy gaming setups ought to hop on this one ASAP.
Fallen Order fans are going to love this one. So are Star Wars aficionados, Soulies, open-world folk and…well, pretty much anyone who ever wanted to swing a lightsaber with abandon. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a great example of Star Wars gameplay done right and a credit to a franchise that’s felt overdrawn on credit these days. It’s a pretty solid experience all around. Play it, you should.