Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS4 Review)

“It will be a day-long remembered.” While Darth Vader can be quoted as saying that, I want to borrow it for the recent release of the latest Star Wars game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from EA. When attending Star Wars Celebration this past April in Chicago, I had the privilege of attending the live panel discussing the game. It is, after all, Star Wars, so it’s going to have that massive attention right there. On top of that, fans of the franchise have wanted a solo player game for ages. The last Star Wars title I can remember that fit the bill was Force Unleashed II and that was nearly a decade ago. Games like the recent Battlefront and Battlefront II had single-player scenarios, but those titles are online multi-players more than anything. Ask, and you shall receive, though, as we now have the solo Star Wars game we have been after. Now that it has been out slightly over a week, here’s a look at Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.


The game is set at a time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Order 66 has long since been enacted, and the Jedi are but a memory in the galaxy…or are they? You take on the role of Cal Kestis (voiced and modeled after Shameless and Gotham star Cameron Monaghan), a former padawan whose master was killed in the Jedi purge. He has made it a point to blend into his surroundings and not let anyone know of his Force sensitivity. As an Imperial scrapyard worker, Cal tries to keep his head down and do his job, but it doesn’t take long for his cover to be blown.

As the game progresses, you will travel to a handful of planets such as the familiar Wookie homeworld Kashyyyk and the more foreign and the mysterious Zeffo, just to name a few. You’ll be doing a lot of traveling back and forth between four or so planets in your search for clues, upgrades, and general story progression.


Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order comes with some heavy introductory load times, but once you get to the main menu, things tend to move a little more expeditiously. If you managed to snag the Deluxe Edition of the game, you’ll find some added goodies in high-def that reveal concept art, cover the creation and recording of the soundtrack, and get a behind-the-scenes look at actor Cameron Monaghan, in action.

The game arrives with four difficulty levels to choose from, so whether you’re just in it for the story or you have literal Jedi reaction time and want something more challenging, there is an option for everyone.

As for the game, it is addicting, if nothing else. Exploring the different environments is forever engaging and occasionally frustrating. There are nooks and crannies galore throughout the game, and sometimes trying to find those hidden goods chests or storyline clues is very easy to miss altogether.

The story of the game is without question its strongest point. Assisted by the interaction amongst the players you meet along the way only adds to this magnificent experience of character relationships. Speaking of which, Cal’s sidekick, the short bipedal droid known as BD-1, stands out the most and makes for a great companion in the game as he is rarely far from Cal’s side (or back as the case may be).


Here is where things really take a nosedive. Yes, the various landscapes, rooms, ship interiors, and compartments can look very detailed and quite glorious. Nevertheless, I keep encountering numerous moments where the graphics are rendering as I approach a new area. It’s unacceptable.

The hardware is certainly powerful enough to handle it, and this title runs off the Unreal engine, so the game shouldn’t be visibly populating delayed layers of detail to something as basic as rock formations. Another annoyance, though much less distracting, is how lightsaber scorch marks slowly cool and begin to fade, then abruptly disappear in a blink. It feels like a rushed effort, as it looks completely unnatural.

Other than that, colors are appropriately lush (Kashyyyk) and muted (Zeffo) in ways that fit the environment. Cal, BD-1 and the Mantis (the ship you will be traversing the galaxy with) all have a variety of customizable clothing and paint job options you’ll acquire in the game, providing some additional pop and aesthetic appreciation, It’s still nothing to forgive the aforementioned rendering mess though.


Button functions are divvied up into a variety of actions such as sprinting, climbing, swimming, force abilities, lightsaber combat, and so on. For the most part, everything is spot on here, and things are quite fluid. There are, however, two exceptions that prove to be distracting. One is lightsaber combat. Let’s refer back to 2018’s Spider-Man for the PS4. That title will take the most uncoordinated of gamers and make them a solid fighter/web-slinger.

Fallen Order does not accomplish the same feat. When taking out other melee weapon-wielding bad guys, I rarely came out of a situation unscathed, even after investing hours into the game, presumably surpassing the learning curve. Ideally, I should be wiping out Imperial masses without having always to use force abilities to gain a definitive upper hand. To be blunt, the fighting mechanics feel clumsy.

Another bothersome aspect is the lightsaber throw. It is so frustrating to aim at times that I have to wonder why the developers didn’t just create some in-game highlight or crosshairs or something to lock onto an enemy. After all, the main character is near Jedi status, so the saber throw shouldn’t be such a guessing effort as to where it will exactly go once it leaves their hand.

While my complaints here are more forefront than my praise, it is important to note these drawbacks certainly do not define the gameplay.  They are merely some hindrances that kept it from a perfect score.

Voice Acting/Music:

I bailed on Gotham long before Cameron Monaghan joined on as the Joker, though I heard his performance was quite convincing.  He certainly plays a character on the other end of the scruples spectrum here and his delivery fits to a T.  As the game progresses, players certainly can begin to identify with Cal’s struggle to move on from his tragic past as well as taking on his tumultuous future.

Cal Kestis’ arch-nemesis in the game, the Night Sister Inquisitor, is played by Misty Lee. She’s also known for her voice work in Star Wars: Battlefront II.  Cal’s closest sentient allies in the game, Greez and Cere, are played by Daniel Roebuck and Debra Wilson, respectively.  Even Clone Wars series big wig Dee Bradley Baker steps in to deliver a few lines as various clone troopers.

Arguably, the highest attribute of this game rests in the Fallen Order’s musical composition.  Not only is it exquisite, but it easily outdoes the soundtracks of Rogue One and Solo.  Star Wars is known for its foundation of empowering and emotion-driving music, courtesy of John Williams.  The dynamic duo of Gordy Haab and Stephen Barton put together a soundtrack for Fallen Order that is simply unequaled in the universe of Star Wars video games.  Like the Williams-scored films, the game’s music is a driving force behind the whole experience.


Despite my gripes, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a worthy play-through. For any Star Wars fan, the game is easily a must-buy. It is certainly no Spider-Man, but it has its merits, and they are strong. The story, in particular, has kept me highly engaged. Wondering where Cal will end up next and how this ties into the bigger picture has been both expertly and mysteriously done.

As of now, it is safe to say I am past the halfway mark. I’ve got Cal scurrying across the surface of Dathomir as he’s in search of one of the fabled Night Sisters. There still feels like plenty of exploring to do and plenty of enemies to take down. I presume I will have it wrapped up before the Rise of Skywalker hits theaters, and who knows, perhaps there is some tie-in to the film, as distant a connection that may be. After all, Luke searched for a compass in Battlefront II that can be seen in The Last Jedi. Regardless, the force is pretty strong with this one.

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