The galaxy awaits as Cal Kestis embarks upon an epic journey in hopes of rebuilding the Jedi Order.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order also introduces a new Force ability, Force Slow: a bullet-time system that allows Cal to manipulate enemies and objects in extended time. We saw something similar in The Force Awakens, where Kylo Ren slows a blaster bolt in midair. But here it creates interesting new gameplay dynamics, locking down enemies for a few seconds and giving you time to thin out waves of stormtroopers before taking on their commander.
According to Respawn CEO Vince Zampella, the addition of a fresh Jedi ability required some negotiation. “We worked with the story group to hone what’s acceptable and what’s not, and to figure out how to play within the rules of the Star Wars universe,” he says. “There was back and forth on how that should work and how much is okay. Everyone thinks through all the implications of what anything new could be. It’s a gigantic universe and we’re playing in a small piece of it. They have to worry about what implications it has for everything.”
As your powers grow, so do your Force Slow options: an upgrade unlocked via the skill tree allows you to target entire groups of enemies at the same time, accentuating the crowd control possibilities.
Learning the classic Force Push ability, which shoves enemies around the landscape, allows for some interesting combos, too. A Force Slowed stormtrooper can be used as a barrier, which you can then hurl at other enemies with a quick Force Push. Force Slow can also help with some of the trickier platforming aspects, and it’s essential to progress past certain quick-moving obstacles. It’s here, however, that the ability starts to feel a little stale: stopping a fan so that you can move between its blades is a tiresomely familiar mechanic.
Interestingly, Fallen Order adds Tomb Raider-style puzzles, with a Star Wars twist. Throughout the game, there are environmental enigmas to solve, often blocking progression by way of a closed-off route. At times, it feels like Lara Croft with a lightsaber, but the addition of Force powers creates some unique challenges you won’t find in the Tomb Raider universe. Right now, progression can feel a little frustrating – the HUD is minimal, and it’s often not obvious where you have to go, especially when certain puzzles involve doubling back on yourself multiple times. The lack of a waypoint means you’ll have to pay extra attention to your map.