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TAC Reviews...Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 

Date Posted: 18/07/21


Initially released in late 2019 Jedi: Fallen Order is set between the events of Episode III and Episode IV. It features Cal Kestis, a survivor of the Purge re-establishing his connection with the Force as he searches for a Holocron which has a list of all Force sensitive children in the galaxy, in the hopes of rebuilding the Jedi Order.



From what I understood going into this game, Fallen Order was following on after the trend of Dark Souls in which the combat is meant to be difficult so you can get better before you finally beat the enemies. Bosses stay dead if you rest at a save point but lesser enemies respawn so you have to weigh up whether you want to restore your health and health stims to full whilst bringing the enemies back or just saving and ploughing on as you are. As it turns out I think that this game might be Diet-Dark Souls but before I get into that let’s give you the plot.


Now considering this game is set in between Episode III and Episode IV in which the Jedi were virtually extinct following Order 66, do you really think that we are going to succeed in rebuilding the Jedi Order or are we going to have an adventure that results in us basically ending in pretty much the same place we did before??


Cal Kestis, a man who is far too bland to be tempted by the Dark Side, is living on a garbage planet following the Great Purge of the Jedi. He has been hiding his Force powers but is recorded using them to save a friend of his which provokes two Inquisitors called the Second Sisters and the Ninth Sister to come to the planet to find him. Cal is forced to flee after his friend is murdered and is saved by the Mantis, a ship captained by Greez and his passenger Cere.


Cal learns that Cere used to be a Jedi but cut herself off from the Force. However, she has learned of a Jedi vault on the planet of Bogano which contains a Holocron that has a list of Force Sensitive children on it. Cere is hoping that if they can find it, they can gather the children up, and train them in the ways of the Force to rebuild the Jedi Order. On the planet Cal encounters a small droid named BD-1 that guides him as he travels towards the vault. Once he arrives DB-1 shows Cal a holo-recording made by a Jedi Master named Eno Cordova, a man that reveals the vault was built by an advanced race called the Zeffo. The Empire are hunting for Zeffo vaults, and they also seek the Holocron. Cal and his allies must race across the galaxy travelling to different worlds following the clues that Cordova left in the hopes of finding the Holocron before the Empire...


Prior to this game my main experience with Star Wars games was Lego Star Wars and The Force Unleashed I & II. In the former you are working through the highlights of the original trilogy and the prequels controlling Lego versions of the main characters. In the latter you were controlling a character that was able to blast doors open, or enemies out of the way, could use Force lightening to zap anything they wanted. He could throw their Lightsaber, Mind trick enemies, pick enemies up and throw them into walls or off ledges. I’m sure there were more powers he had but I can’t remember all of them, Cal on the other hand can use the Force to slow enemies in a less-useful version of the stasis blast from Dead Space, then later he can pull things towards him, and then push things away...that’s it. After a while he learns how to do a double jump, but that is basically all he can do as far as Force powers go. If Isaac Clarke from the Dead Space series was in this game then he could effectively do everything Cal can do with his stasis and telekinesis module, plus a couple of things Cal can’t as Isaac could shoot enemies across the room. Fallen Order is less the Jedi power fantasy than it is about the story.


So is the story good??


Not really, basically it suffers from prequel syndrome, we know that the Jedi Order has not been reformed by the events of Episode IV so nothing that we are working towards is going to work out. Either Cal and co are going to wind up dead, or a contrived reason will drop out of the sky that encourages the heroes to abandon their quest to rebuild the order, and continue their journey with no specific purpose.


Getting back to the Jedi power fantasy the reason the game gives for why Cal has not got his powers is that he has forgotten how to use his them.



Yep, Cal has simply forgotten how to use his powers. He was trained by a Master when he was a Padawan so at one point knew how to double jump, pull things towards him, and push them away yet he forgot how to do them when he was hiding on Bracca. As a result his powers are several limited until he reaches certain points in the story, has a flashback, and can then do whatever he couldn’t do moments beforehand. I get not being overpowered is important but if he had to find Masters to teach him how to use these powers then fine, but the fact that he has just forgotten seems a bit of a cop out.


The graphics can sometimes look amazing and at other times look low textured and just awful. I don’t know if it is a hardware issue but there were times when the graphics would literally pop in, and it looked terrible. The auto-save icon also quite often caused the game to freeze for a few seconds whenever it popped up. There were occasions when I turned to Abbie to point out how awesome the look of the graphics were and yet there were other times when enemies would glide around the level with their arms out so they could get into the right place to activate. I often found once I Rested at a save point and the game started again enemies would appear back in with an ugly pop. It was staggering how some of the game was so carefully and beautifully crafted whereas other parts looked like PS1 era graphics.


I was expecting something like Dark Souls, fortunately combat can be set to your own preference so the Dark Souls comparison doesn’t really hold any weight as you can focus on the story or more focus on the combat. Personally I selected the second of the four difficulty levels because whilst I did not want to get frustrated by the combat to the point where I did not want to play anymore, I did want to be challenged. This worked out quite nicely because whilst there were enemies that were able to paint the walls with me, the more I got a handle on combat the further I was able to get. I may have missed tips and prompts because I was at least three-quarters of the way through before I learned that you could hit a button to lock onto a particular enemy. This made combat considerably easier, unfortunately whilst you are able to turn enemy droids into your allies, the targeting system will stick lock onto them. So you can be in a situation where you had a droid happily smacking the shit out of the enemies that are targeting you, and with the wrong flick of a switch Cal leaps forward and slices his erstwhile ally into scrap metal.


On the various planets you travel to, there are numerous enemies, naturally the Empire pops up frequently but there are numerous variations of the usual Storm Troopers. There are soldiers that have trained to fight Jedi so are harder to beat. Button mashing isn’t going to work, you need to learn when to defend, parry, and time blocks to send blaster shots back at the person who fired them. You also battle hostile wildlife, but what I particularly liked was that wildlife will go after the Empire. More often than not I was happy to sit back and allow the two groups to smash the crap out of one another before I leapt in to clear up and stragglers.


The game has a Metroidvania-style game play loop. What this means as far as I understand is there numerous places that you can go, but as you unlock more powers you need to go back to previous areas to search new parts that can now be opened up. I liked this because it is always fun to blow off story missions for a bit to go back to some planet you have already been to in order to search new parts of the map. I always like games like this because it feels like you are more in control of what is happening and are not just following a very strict and linear path.


BD-1 has a map which is useful as it will show areas you haven’t explored, as well as how chests and secrets you have found. The maps are split into different sections so you can search through them to locate the parts that you have missed things in. I was able to find the majority of the secrets and chests on my own, however I did look up how to find a couple of them. The majority of the time, there are going to be corridors you haven’t gone down before or doors you’ve not gone through so you can usually figure out where a secret might be hiding. Chests only contain cosmetics such as new paint jobs for the Mantis or new parts to customise your Lightsaber, whereas secrets have useful things like upgrades for BD-1, new medical stim slots, or life and force increasers. The secrets are worth hunting down, the chests not so much unless you are a 100% completion nutter.


As far as the characters go Cal Kestis is probably the most boring in the entire Star Wars universe. There is no indication that he is might be tempted by the Dark Side, he trusts everyone he comes across and seems to just be a massive wuss. Nothing seems to really get to him, and most of the time it feels like you are playing as a humanoid piece of polystyrene. He takes the responsibility for the death of his Master during the Purge, but there was nothing he could of done. Everyone knows that apart from Cal himself. Cere used the Dark Side when she lost control of her anger at one time, and is wallowing in self pity. Her relationship with Cal revolves around her sitting around on the ship sending Cal out time and time again to hunt for various things alone. Nightsister Merrin is more interesting as she is the last survivor of a planet that was purged during the Clone Wars, and is under the impression that the Jedi were responsible. Her interactions with Cal are definite highlights, and even Cal’s bland explanations cannot spoil the beginning of a fascinating new part of the Star Wars universe. Unfortunately she remains hostile the majority of the time, so the character development is crammed into the last few minutes of the game, which is a real pity


The combat is designed to be done up close and personal, bizarrely in the finale Cere has a lightsaber and a blaster and she kicks ass. I have no idea why characters can use blasters until they become Jedi at which time they never use them again. I have absolutely no idea why has no other Jedi ever thought of that because all of the combat you do needs to be done close up so the annoying as hell Rocket soldiers can sit on the other side of the area endlessly shooting at you whilst all you can do is dodge their shots.


The AI of the enemies can at times be co-ordinated and will swarm you, but if there is a Rocket guy around then he will continue shooting at you, and if you dodge out of the way then his allies will be blasted into pieces. You can flick rockets back but the timing has to be right or you’ll get killed. You can also be standing directly in front them and they will fire at the floor killing both them and you.


Generally though my complaints with the game were minor, and I did enjoy my time with it. I think that the difficulty setting I chose was perfect for me. I don’t want to be eternally battling minor enemies, and the game does give you back your health and experience points if you strike the enemy that killed you. I did not ever get into a scenario where I wasn’t able to get back to the particular enemy so I always managed to get my experience back. I quickly realised that Resting and respawning enemies was the perfect way to gain experience points which you can use to upgrade your combat, Force powers and Life gauge.


There is a New Game+ mode which allows you to restart with all of your cosmetic stuff unlocked already, but that doesn’t really appeal to me, if I had all my Force Powers then that would be different. I might give Dark Souls a go because I was able to get my head around the combat and whilst I could still get beaten if I just button mashed.


It is a sad fact that Fallen Order was never going to go anywhere because it is locked into the canon established by the films. If there is a sequel then I would happily play it yet I would be happier if they replaced Cal with someone more interesting. I am happy to give Jedi: Fallen Order a Thumbs Up because it was fun to play and the slow boil does get a decent payoff even if the twists couldn’t have been telegraphed any more obviously.



7/10 – The graphical glitches, and the enemies gliding around the map to get into position or simply popping into existence hurt the overall experience. Cal was a dull motherfucker, and the plot very importantly went absolutely nowhere. The ending allowed the door to remain open for a possible sequel which hopefully would give us more opportunities to see how Nightsister Merrin dealt with leaving her home and exploring the galaxy.


TAC Reviews...Star Wars: Jedi Survivor

Date Posted: 21/01/24


Released in 2023, Star Wars Jedi Survivor (henceforth just called Jedi Survivor) is the sequel to 2019’s Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order and sees Jedi Knight Cal Kestis and his allies as they continue the seemingly endless battle against the Galactic Empire. The cast from the original game returned to reprise their roles with new voices joining the familiar faces from the last instalment.


Cover Art


Normally I do a bit more of an introduction before I drive right into a review, but there is a lot to talk about so let’s crack on.


The game takes place five years after the events of Fallen Order in which Cal is still fighting the Empire with his faithful droid BD-1 at his side whereas Greez (the pilot of the Mantis), Nightsister Merrin, and Jedi Master Cere have gone their separate ways choosing to leave Cal to his near obsession of fighting the insurmountable odds against him caused by the Empire. The opening level sees Cal, having been captured, on the city world of Coruscant being handed over to a Senator. In short order Cal breaks free and uses his Force powers to crash the senator’s ship, before forcing the Senator to give us access codes to his computer system. Cal, and his rag-tag band of resistance fighters, are ambushed and in the ensuing escape, all but a bounty hunter named Bode are killed, and Cal is forced to kill the Ninth Sister, a former Jedi turned Inquisitor. The Mantis is damaged and Cal limps to Koboh where his friend and former Mantis captain, Greez runs a cantina in a community that is under the heel of the Bedlam Raiders, and their formidable leader Rayvis. Upon reuniting with Greez, who agrees to help repair the Mantis and return as its pilot along with Bode, Cal explores Koboh and discovers an ancient droid called ZN-A4 or “Zee”, who served a Jedi during the High Republic era who may hold the key to discovering a lost planet that not even the Empire could find. Seeing this as an opportunity to finally find a safe home away from the Empire from which to rebuild the Jedi Order, Cal releases a Jedi held in stasis from that era, who also wants to find the planet as it not willing to share it with others…


The previous game was basically an exercise in waiting for the inevitable moment when the Holocron which listed numerous Force sensitive children was destroyed, which in turn, meant that nothing we were doing would ultimately matter, the question is does the plot of Jedi Survivor have more going on or are we just waiting for our characters’ quest to ultimately fail?


Before I go on let me talk about something that I have likely discussed before, and that is the problem with prequels. The events of Fallen Order and Jedi Survivor take place between Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV-A New Hope, and in the original trilogy there was no mention of Cal Kestis, a hidden planet with a Jedi Order established on it, and the Jedi were largely extinct with no one really remembering who the Jedi are or what they did. Therefore any game or media which hopes to give the impression that the plot is actually going to go somewhere always falls flat. Now I guess you could argue the point and say that the amount of Jedi who survived Order 66 (in which the Emperor had the clone troopers turn on all the Jedi) is unknown, and if the survivors are scattered then just because Obi-Wan doesn’t know about a Jedi Order hidden somewhere then that doesn’t necessarily mean there wasn’t one. BUT, we have had no mention of a surviving order in any of the new sequel films so if it is out there somewhere then those Jedi made no attempt to contact Luke Skywalker in the wake of the Empire’s downfall. That in itself does not seem very likely to me. Are the events of this game therefore considered to be “soft canon”? What this means is that they take place in an alternate universe to the main films or happened in some form or other so if you chose to link them to the established timeline then feel free, but if you don’t, then ignore them and you won’t miss anything. Just for reference Hard canon refers to the events in the films which is seen as fact and cannot be changed, although, it can be ret conned by future hard canon entries.


I’m sure Star Wars nerds could spend hours explaining what is and is not considered canon, but as much as possible I am going to treat this game and its predecessor as their own entities.


Now that is out of the way let’s talk about Jedi Survivor.


Admittedly it has been a while since I played the Fallen Order and from what I can remember the controls are basically a copy-paste from the last one. Now one of the things that I particularly liked was that a lot of the moves that Cal had to unlock over time in the last game are available to you right off the bat here. Cal can Force push, and pull, he can double jump and is pretty handy with his lightsaber. It makes you feel like you are playing as a character that is continuing his journey from the last game without his powers being seen as a hindrance that the game needs to nullify. Infamous 2 took Cole’s powers at the beginning so he wouldn’t be overpowered during the game, and Prototype 2 changed to a different protagonist. If you have a character with powers then don’t take those powers from us in the sequel it is just a cop out. In Jedi Survivor Cal is able to learn more powers and aside from a couple of moments in which we have a flashback moment during which Cal remember some Force trick that he had forgotten, his powers seem to evolve given the situation that he is in. I’m a pretty sure he had a dash option in the last game that he has to rediscover here but I’m not 100% sure.


That side of things is all good.


The graphics are generally pretty impressive with the game taking full advantage of the power of the PS5, however, there are times when textures to pop in or take a few seconds to render properly during cutscenes.


I also liked seeing characters from the previous game return and Merrin has undergone her own arc as she explored the galaxy after parting ways with Cal only to learn how far the Empire’s influence has truly spread. Initially there is a suggestion that she might harbour feelings greater than just friendship towards Cal, and as the game progresses the two grow closer which is good to see, as that is something that no other Jedi (apart from Anakin do)


On a side note I could probably write an entire article about things to do with the Jedi that I don’t understand, starting with, but not limited to: why aren’t they allowed to have relationships? Why are they not allowed to have children? Why did the Jedi Council not rescue Anakin’s mother from slavery? The Jedi have control over the Force but we never see them being taught military tactics or negotiation skills so what makes anyone think they are good diplomats. How many Jedi have ultimately fallen to the Dark Side? Would it be better to just leave Force sensitive children alone rather than take them from their homes to join an order they might not want to be a part of? The list goes on and on. Those questions have particular relevance in this game because the Jedi who wanted to build a Jedi temple of the lost planet to train younglings was denied his request by the Jedi Council, and his temple was left to burn when the planet was attacked. This caused the Jedi to fall to the Dark Side when there was no reason that I gathered why the Jedi rejected his idea. The more of the Star Wars lore that I delve into, the more it seems that the Jedi were basically dicks who had no idea what the hell they were doing most of the time.


Sticking a pin in the inadequacies of the Jedi for now, allow me to try and focus on the game.


One of the new features that I really liked was the fact that Cal can unlock new lightsaber stances including single, double ended, duel wield, cross-guard, and blaster. That last one basically gives you the option to use a lightsaber close up and a blaster upfront.



FINALLY, someone has hit upon the idea of giving a Jedi blaster so they can do more to ranged enemies than deflect their own shots back at them or yank them into close range. All of these stances can be upgraded with new attacks, two can be switched between on the fly and my personal favourites were cross-guard and blaster. Cross-guard was slow but powerful, generally reserved for bosses, and blaster which was weaker but fast. It was a shame that we could only use two of these at one time but it meant the gameplay would be different depending on which stances that you were using.


Some of the mechanics have been straight copied over from the last one, which include things like Skill points which can be used to unlock more Force powers, lightsaber stances, health and so on. The customistion options include your lightsaber, your blaster, BD-1 and Cal’s clothes. Honestly there are a ridiculous amount of cosmetics you can find to make your own lightsaber and you can even customise the wear effect making things look brand new or more battle hardened. But there are things that have been left out, thankfully one of them is Cal’s poncho, but strangely you cannot customise the Mantis anymore and I can’t honestly figure out why. So much was just ripped from Fallen Order why was that taken out, and considering there is so much customisation elsewhere in the game it seems strange that the Mantis custom colours was take out.


There were also fewer worlds to explore, Fallen Order has seven and Jedi Survivor has six, and one of those is a sandbox filled with sweet sod all. The others do make up for some of this deficiency but having sooo much busy work tasks that you need to work through for 100% completeness’s sake. One of these includes pruning plants with your lightsaber to get seeds that you can plant in a rooftop garden, which benefits gameplay in no significant manner at all. It is exactly as I said, busy work. I don’t mind tracking down chests for new outfits, extra stims, or components for BD-1 or my lightsaber and blaster, hell there are even new clothes do find, including Cal’s beloved poncho, but finding hundreds of seeds just made me think Cal should abandon the Jedi thing and go into gardening instead.


Before I go any further I am going to say that I have played the game for around 30-35 hours and have a playthrough which is at 100%, so I did enjoy the game, unfortunately there was a lot which I found more frustrating than fun.


The game is basically 90% platforming, Cal is very agile but he will be spending the majority of his time climbing up walls, wall-running, swinging on ropes, clambering over obstacles, and sliding down slight gradients because he cannot climb up anything steeper than a curb. I would say that 99.9% of my deaths in the game came during platform challenges, a lot of which require precise movements and perfect timing, the problem is that the controls are not sensitive enough to be accurately relied on, and the camera has trouble keeping up. You come across Force Tears in which challenges must be completed to seal the Tear (or something I think) but sooooo many of these were platforming sections in which you needed to dodge through double jump/dash portals, or avoid instant fail traps, which resulted in failure over, and over, and over again. One of the Tears is called something like Determination, and basically that is exactly what it is, only the most stubborn and determined players will get through them because they boil down to more luck that skill. To make things worse none of these Force Tear side challenges have midway checkpoints so if you fail it is back to the start to try again for the umpteenth time. The Force Tears can be ignored if you cannot be bothered, but the game revolves around Cal running along, up, down, and over, every obstacle in his path despite the fact that he is sometimes joined by Merrin who can teleport instantly around or Bode who has a jetpack, and carries Cal to safety in a cutscene or two, so why can’t be give Cal a lift all the time. Or better yet give Cal his own jetpack, if he gets a blaster in this, why not a jetpack too? Also I was 25ish hours into the game looking up how to go certain platforming challenges when I found out that Cal can change direction when he hook shots on to the floating orb things if you hold down L2, when the hell did the game tell me that??? I had completed many challenges but had been making them immensely harder because the game hadn’t told me, nor did it put it in the control options, that I had the ability to change direction when I latched on to them.


BD-1’s role in this game has been developed from the last game, in that game he could be used to cut open chests and carry Cal along cables, here he gets a couple of other abilities that allow Cal to melt this weird black mould (stolen from the Baker house in Resident Evil VII) that blocks his path or charge up electrical devices which open doors or move grapple points around. Unfortunately I encountered a few occasions when I was unable to access BD-1’s other abilities, I’d be attempting to switch to him but was unable to do so. This was a bug because if I quit and reloaded then generally they worked again, but not every time, so sometimes I was trying to solve a puzzle without BD-1 because a repeating bug made me think that I couldn’t access BD-1’s ability so there was a solution elsewhere that I needed to find. It was only when I looked up how to do some of these puzzles online that I realised that I should be using BD-1 and I had encountered a bug that was preventing me from doing it. Me not being able to solve a puzzle on my own is one thing, but a bug that prevents me from solving one is another. This wasn’t the only time I encountered bugs which prevented me from completing missions and was forced to reload the games on multiple occasions in order to complete all the quests.


I think perhaps that everyone can agree that a lightsaber is a pretty OP weapon (that’s Over Powered) within the Star Wars universe. We have seen them cut through bone, flesh, and metal with equal ease. The only thing that can stand up to a lightsaber is another lightsaber, an energy shield, the metal baskar found in the armour worn by Mandalorians, and finally phrik which is the metal used to make electrostaffs. So with the acceptation of those four things, nothing else should be able to withstand a lightsaber, right?




In all things Star Wars related that are not the films or the various series, a lightsaber is basically a glowing stick in which you bash enemies into unconsciousness with it. From a gameplay perspective I get why the lightsaber is so underpowered, because otherwise the enemies in the game would be nothing but irritations. But maybe they should be nothing more than irritating. Jedi can deflect blaster bolts, but not indefinitely from a dozen directions, so enemies that shot at me from miles away plinking away at my health made far more sense than the guys who could hold up a metal shield and somehow become immune to my attacks. Most of the time I didn’t feel like a Jedi, rather instead someone in possession of a glowstick, that they used to pathetically bitchslap their opponents.


This then links me to the combat, get out of the mindset that the lightsaber is anything close to what it is in the films or series, because every enemy is going to be able to power through your attacks. I do mean every enemy from lowly droids to bosses. Keeping with the Souls-like combat you have to break an opponent’s guard before you can begin attacking their health bar. Combat revolves heavily around parrying an enemy’s attack, or dodging out of the way. When an enemy glows red they inflict an attack that cannot be parried so you need to get out of they way. The problem is that if you are attacking when they go red, then you are locked into your attack animation and the opponent will smash through your attack to inflict their own. I don’t get why they can plough through your attack but you cannot stumble them when you attack. The difficulty level has five different difficulty levels, starting with Story Mode. This means that the combat is dialled down to its most basic level, so the player can focus on the story rather than the combat. I played this difficulty for a while and truthfully this was the only time that I felt like a badass Jedi because my lightsaber felt like a proper lightsaber. I could easily slice through an enemy’s defence without breaking a sweat. Next was Jedi Padawan in which the combat is challenging but enemies cause you less damage and your parry window is more generous. Jedi Knight in which all of your and the enemies stats are equal, you have the same parry window, hit about as hard as they do, and this was the difficulty that I chose to play the majority of the game on. Then you have Jedi Master in which enemies hit harder than you, the parry window is much smaller, and finally Jedi Grand Master in which you might as well flick water at the enemy whilst asking them not to pound you into mush. Like I said I found Jedi Master to be just hard enough and usually whilst I would die to bosses or large crowds of enemies it did not take me more than a couple of tries to learn the patterns to defeat my opponents. Which involved using my wits as much as anything else, as I couldn’t just wade in swiping with my glowstick, and expect to win.





Let me set the scene for you…I had been playing Jedi Survivor for around 25-odd hours, and then the story takes a turn with everything you have been working towards unravelling with Cal having a meant-to-lose boss fight. For those who don’t know, a meant-to-lose boss fight is one in which you lose, even if you win. During the game you fight this Jedi turned Dark Side guy a few times and each time you win, he uses some Force power to basically escape, then the game carries on. If he kills you then you die and must start the fight again because there are no mid-point check points for boss fights. Die = start fight again. However, in the meant-to-lose fight if Cal’s heath gets down to zero the same cutscene plays in which he is hurled over a cliff by the enemy. This is what happened to me but I’ve looked it up and even if you beat your opponent this cutscene plays without any variation. At this point you switch to playing as Cal’s Jedi mentor Cere, who is defending her hidden Jedi Archive from an Empire siege. Cere has some cool Force powers but she uses a single lightsaber stance which I had basically ignored since unlocking duel wield and double bladed, before settling on cross-guard and blaster. As the Empire attack, none other than the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader himself, enters the base with Cere engaging him in combat to buy time for the others to escape.


Now, whether this is soft canon or hard canon (like the movies or series) we can all agree that Darth Vader is a massively OP guy. He regularly chokes people using the Force. Is a master with the lightsaber and the scene in Rogue One (and you know the one I mean if you have seen that film) was one of the most terrifying moments in cinema history. It was probably no surprise that Vader beat the ever holy shit out of me time, and time, and time, and time, and time, and time, and time, and time, and time, and time again. I honestly lost track of how many times he killed Cere. You see Vader is basically a tank, he is slow, but his hits are incredibly powerful, and he has a Force Choke move that will kill you instantly if you aren’t at full health. To make things worse like I said you are using a stance I was unfamiliar with. I don’t know if unlocks from Cal’s game cross to Cere, so if I had upgraded that stance the fight would have been easier, but for me my two go two stances that had got me through all of the game’s challenges so far were not available. This might not have been too bad if for the fact that Cere only had four health refills. One of the things that Cal can find (just like the last game) are health stims that BD-1 can carry which restore his health. By this point in the game I had found eight which had enabled me to get this far. So, I was fighting DARTH VADER, a tough as nails boss, with devastating and potentially instant-kill attacks who could power through my pathetic strikes with ease, whilst I was using an unfamiliar stance, with half of the health stims I had before, in a tiny arena in which Cere interpreted by frantic tapping of the evade button as a casual suggestion than a life-or-death command. Several mid-fight cutscenes which played every time I did the fight, that could be skipped yes, but interrupted the flow of the battle, when Vader was brought down to half health, he had a new attack in which he could knock Cere to the floor and throw debris which killed her before she could get up, whilst making me START FROM THE BEGINNING every SINGLE time she died. I don’t know but I might have attempted this boss fight thirty or more times. I cannot remember the last time I threw my controller out of my hand, and leaned back saying out loud “This is too hard, I can’t beat him”. Vader had a stance that needed to be broken like all other enemies so I needed to get close enough to break that, if I was attacking when he struck back, massive chunk of health gone, choke hold, dead. I started letting him kill me if I took damage before I got his health down because I could not see how I could possible complete this fight. The fact that there were no mid-fight checkpoints also meant that once I did get him down to half health I had about half a second to get a handle on his new attacks before Cere was once again painting the walls.


Eventually I dropped the difficulty down to Jedi Padawan and was finally able to beat him, only for the end boss cutscene to play in which Cere has Vader on the ropes, leaps forward to finish him off only to miss with her lightsaber whilst getting impaled on his…



Yes, Cere dies at the end of this fight.





How would the game have been affected by the fact that Cere died during the fight rather than at the end? No one else is present and there is not a timer or anything which states that Cere needs to just keep Vader busy for three minutes or something to allow her allies to escape. A timer would have been annoying but would have meant you didn’t need to fight Vader, just give him the run around for a while, for Cere to die just made the whole thing seem pointless, and it made me realise that I was so over the combat in the game. I was sick of slapping enemies to death with my glowstick, and I honestly can’t remember if I switched back to Jedi Master after the Vader boss fight or not. There were no trophies for playing on harder difficulties so there didn’t seem to be any point in pushing on through the tougher combat for the sake of it.


After this you switch back to Cal who towards the end of the game unlocks a massively powerful attack in which he Embraces the Dark Side, that allows him to freeze enemies in place and slice them up like luncheon meat. I limited my use of it because I thought there might be a Light and Dark Side ending that would be caused the more I used this attack, but there wasn’t. Cal can use this move whenever he wants, as often as he wants, consequence free.


I have seen reviews in which this has been described as “The Best Star Wars game in 20 years” and I really struggle to see why. Yes, I 100% completed it, and yes, I completed every trophy, and yes there is a game+ mode which normally I’d be shouting about from the rooftops but I know that if I did start again, I was going to be doing the platforming again, and that would be how I would be spending the majority of my playtime. Consequently even though I have started a new game+ I have stopped playing in favour of Two Point Campus. Playing on Jedi Survivor in Story Mode is way more fun because you do feel like a Jedi, shields cannot withstand a strike from your lightsaber, and enemies blasting at you from a distance are more of a threat which they should be when you can only deflect their shots back at them. However, the grind of getting all the seeds, all the chests, seeing all the conversations, completing all the hologames just grated rather than entertained me.


Star Wars Jedi Survivor is by no means a bad game, and I would not have poured the time I did into it unless I was enjoying it for the most part, which I was. Sadly it suffered from the same samey gameplay that Uncharted did. I got tired of falling to my death from platforms, and trying to get the camera to behave as I struggled to wall-run through a fiddly maze of tunnels without falling into the abyss below. It does get a Thumbs Up but you might want to take my advise and play the game on Story Mode or Jedi Padawan first, unlock the better lightsaber stances and then crank up the difficulty on a subsequent playthrough. 



8/10 – The sequel does enough to surpass the original but the Vader boss fight just ruined the combat for me, and the grind of collecting all the extra stuff did begin to bore me with my own stubbornness being the reason I pushed through it. That being said if you play on Story Mode then you do get to live out your badass Jedi Knight fantasy and defeat Raider or Storm Trooper that dares to be on the same planet as you


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© Chris Sharman