Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review

Author:
Shane Williams
Published: 28th of July 2023, 12:09 PM GMT
Reviewed on: PS5

Pros

  • Excellent Soundtrack
  • Immersive Story
  • Stunning Graphics
  • Improved Combat

Cons

  • Awful itemization
  • 3D Map
  • Too Many Technical Issues

Final Verdict

7.0 / 10

Jump to Final Verdict

Respawn Entertainment started life as a company back in 2014 with the launch of Titanfall which was a huge success for them, this brought an interesting look to the shooter genre by allowing players to have the ability to Wall Run. A few years later they launched Titanfall 2 which was another hit that gave them time to focus on their next big project, Apex Legends, this was a well-received Battle Royale. Apex Legends has been another hit for them and still has a large playerbase even today. However, Respawn Entertainment wanted to try something new, so they were given the opportunity to develop Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order towards the end of 2019.

Creating a Soulslike

This was a soulslike single player adventure with a canon storyline that is set a few years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. You’ll find yourself in control of Cal Kestis, a Jedi Padawan that has been staying under the radar to keep the fact he is a Jedi a secret. Following some events that occur within the story you’ll need to set out on an adventure through the galaxy with a couple of friends, Cere, Greez, and a friendly Droid named BD-1 to help rebuild the Jedi Order.

Creating a soulslike was a bit of a gamble for Respawn Entertainment, as most of their playerbase are shooter fans, but the gamble paid off as it was a huge success for them and sold more than 10 million copies. Due to the success of Fallen Order, it would’ve been a mistake not to create another Star Wars game, so they got to work on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor that released in April 2023, this brings us onto the main topic of this review.

From Padawan to Jedi Master

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a sequel which is set five years after the events of Fallen Order. In Fallen Order, Cal Kestis was still a Jedi Padawan who spent a lot of his time trying to learn how to use the force with his master, Cere, who found him on the run from the empire on Bracca. The Jedi Survivor story has been improved massively, as you’re now playing as an older Cal Kestis who is now a Jedi Master himself and on a quest to find somewhere safe for any remaining Jedis to reside without having to constantly look over their shoulders.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor offers a visually stunning world to explore.

If you were a fan of the story in the first game, then like us, you’ll be glad to hear that there are a lot of nostalgic moments throughout this game’s story where you’ll reunite with old friends and get to witness dialogue where the characters discuss their memories from the previous game whilst exploring the various planets. This adds a lot more personality to the characters, especially those of which you are familiar with from the first game.

There are many cutscenes to enjoy in Jedi: Survivor and they have been massively improved from the first game, as they are shot to make you feel like you’re watching the movies, this really gives you a sense of how far games have come these days. The story in the cutscenes also left off at points that made you eager to push through the main quest to see what happens next, and the villain of this game’s story was interesting to learn about and well designed. However, it wasn’t very menacing compared to the Fallen Orders Story, but then again, it’s very hard to top Darth Vadar and the Ninth Sister.

Unique abilities and flashy Lightsaber combos which make you feel like a true Jedi!

It’s clear to see that Respawn took heavy inspiration from the very successful From Software games, such as Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro, but they’ve added their own spin on things with unique abilities and flashy lightsaber combos which make you feel like a true Jedi. Throughout the story you’ll be traveling to a variety of planets via the Mantis, this was the ship that was used to rescue Cal at the beginning of Fallen Order when he was on the run from the Ninth Sister. Greez has now retired from flying and decided to set up a bar on the planet Koboh and as a result passed the ship down to Cal. You’ll be visiting a lot more planets than you did in the first game, so having your own ship is cool, but unfortunately, they removed the ability to customize it in this game which was a shame as it removed the ability to give your ship its own personality.

Exploring the Galaxy

Jedi: Survivor has Metroidvania elements in it, so whilst exploring the planets you’ll come across many closed off areas which you can’t access until you progress further into the story and unlock new abilities. Unfortunately, due to the planets being a lot more open and larger than the previous game, the 3D Map which was used in the first game has been made even more unusable in Jedi: Survivor. Additionally, the lack of a mini-map, compass or even a waypoint system makes navigating these areas very difficult, as you’ll have to constantly open the not very useful map to try and see if you’re on the right path. If your memory isn’t the greatest, then getting to your desired location can be a bit of a chore even with the addition of a few fast travel points in the planets now

They could’ve made exploring so much more enjoyable if they used a more traditional map that most games use these days, such as Hogwarts Legacy or Xenoblade 3. Both of these maps aren’t an eyesore to use, and you can easily pin-point where you want to go as there aren’t multiple layers of the map to filter through. Additionally, both of these games had a compass and a waypoint system, so you could pop down a marker and follow the compass to reach whatever it was you’re looking for without having to constantly refer back to the map.

Fast Travel was a much needed addition to the series.

Furthermore, although the planets are stunning visually, there are not very many reasons to explore them outside of doing the side quests, as the main thing you can do is look for chests and these have the same issues as the first game where the rewards you get are purely cosmetic outside of stim and force upgrades. Once you find a look you like for your Lightsaber, outfit, and Cal himself, there is not much point in going out of your way to find them. We would’ve preferred them to add proper stats to the Lightsabers and Armor Pieces, because it would’ve given players more of an incentive to look for the chests, allowing you to make Cal stronger, this would have then allowed you to possibly have made unique builds beyond just changing your combat style.

New Combat Options

With that said, the combat in Fallen Order was already a lot of fun, but Respawn managed to make it even better in Jedi: Survivor, as they introduced the Double-Blade, Crossguard, and Blaster Stances. These massively change how the combat works, although you can only equip two stances at a time, so you’ll need to choose them based on your preferred playstyle and the type of enemy you’re facing.

For example, if you’re tackling bosses, then the Crossguard may be the best option for you, as it allows you to play more defensively, but you can deal lots of damage as a result. Alternatively, if you’re facing large groups of enemies at once, then you’ll want to consider using the Double-Bladed Stance, as it allows you to be quick and flashy, so you will be able to jump in and deal some damage and retreat before you lose too much health.

The new stances made the combat a lot more enjoyable.

Jedi: Survivor also expands upon the skill system too, as you now have nine skill trees which gives you the freedom to select skills that focus on your preferred stance. Also, if you’re someone that gets worried about wasting skill points, then you can put your mind at ease, as this game allows you to reset your skills at a very small cost, so if you decide you want to change up your playstyle at a random point throughout the game, then you can easily do so.

On the topic of bosses there are plenty of optional and main bosses to find and defeat in Jedi: Survivor, which is to be expected considering it is a soulslike. However, because of the variety of powerful abilities you get, a lot of the mechanics in these fights can be trivialized if you’re playing on the default difficulty. With that said, if you decide to play on the harder difficulties, then you may find yourself massively struggling to take down a vast majority of the bosses if you’re not an experienced action-game player.

Jedi Temples offered some interesting puzzles that were a lot of fun to solve.

Puzzles were a large part of Fallen Order, and they make a return in this game, but unfortunately there aren’t as many as there were in Fallen Order and most of them can be solved without too much thinking which was disappointing to us. With that said, there were a few optional Jedi Temples that offered some interesting puzzles that were a lot of fun to solve.

One of the better aspects of Jedi: Survivor was the graphics, as not only are they good, but possibly better than some PS5 Exclusives in the past. A few of the standout things you’ll notice throughout your playthrough is the draw distance doesn’t make it hard to see when you look really far away, this is pretty incredible considering how large some of the areas are. If you’re someone that pays close attention to the lighting and water textures in video games, then you’ll be impressed with the water in Jedi: Survivor, as it gives the feeling of an almost Mediterranean sea style.

The addition of multiple skill trees allowed you focus on certain aspects of the combat.

You’ll also notice whilst progressing through the story that the music in the cutscenes is pretty enjoyable to listen to and is faithful to the movies, so if you’re an avid Star Wars fan then this soundtrack won’t leave you disappointed. Additionally, you’ll be exploring some of the planets for a few hours at a time and the environmental music isn’t too chaotic, which is a problem a fair few open world games struggle to get right these days.

If you play a lot of games, you’ll sometimes notice that the audio doesn’t sync up with the character’s mouth. This can take a lot of people out of immersion, but thankfully this isn’t an issue in Jedi: Survivor which is nice to see as you’ll be watching a fair few cutscenes due to the type of game it is. Whilst you’re exploring the world, you’ll be glad to hear that the sound effects are very on point with the Star Wars theme. The sound effects of the Lightsaber, enemies’ footsteps, and blasters really make you feel like you’re playing a role in a Star Wars Movie.

Technical Shortcomings

Regardless of how good some aspects of this game is, the state of the game at launch was unacceptable. Especially when you consider it’s a £69.99 AAA Title. Although the majority of the bugs have been fixed a couple of months after launch, some players had to deal with a lot of game breaking bugs, such as unexpected errors which results in people having to load up previous saves and losing a fair bit of progress they made during that session.

We even experienced this bug ourselves and had to restart the game, but thankfully we didn’t lose too much progress as it was fairly early on in the story. If you choose to ignore the game’s advice of loading up an old save, then it’ll result in some graphical bugs where your game’s contrast will be too bright to see anything. There were also a few combat related bugs, such as certain enemies’ attacks being able to knock you through the floor, this resulted in you endlessly falling.

Certain bugs made the game unplayable.

Overall, the game had all the parts to be a very good game, but a lot of their decisions made the game not very enjoyable after a few hours of gameplay and they didn’t improve upon the worst parts of the previous game, such as the 3D Map still being terrible to use and the lack of interesting loot from chests and exploration in general. These issues made a lot of us want to skip most of the optional content and just beeline the main quests to see the story to its conclusion. If you’re a huge Star Wars fan and you’ve played Fallen Order, then this is definitely worth a playthrough for the story, combat and graphics alone, but if you’re someone that enjoys exploring then don’t set your expectations too high for this game.

Another downside to this game, and was also an issue in the first game, is its difficulty. If you’re playing on the default difficulty, then the combat becomes far too easy outside of one or two bosses, as once you unlock a few of the abilities you can easily stun enemies, counter their attacks or even throw enemies off the map. This does change a little when you play on the higher difficulties, but Cal still has a powerful arsenal which can trivialize the combat at times if you know what you’re doing.

Final Verdict

OpenCritic
7.0 / 10

Padawan Turned Jedi Master



Star Wars Jedi: Survivor massively expands upon the first game by adding a more mature and interesting story, improving the battle system with the implementation of weapon stances and adding multiple visually stunning planets to explore. It is unfortunately plagued with technical issues again and failure to improve the worst parts of Fallen Order left us a little disappointed.

Score Breakdown
Gameplay 7 /10
Sound 7 /10
Graphics 8 /10
Story 7 /10
Value 7 /10
Editor
Shane has been at Gamer Guides since 2019 where he first joined as a contributor before coming on as an Editor in 2020. He brings an interesting look at all platforms and insight into the world of streaming.

Comments

User profile pic
0
Welcome Guest