Star Wars games have had a prolific, if uneven, history. There are a lot of games, and many of them are truly incredible, due to the great developers and the richness of the universe. Other games aren’t so much though, they suffer from countless other issues. If anything, Jedi: Fallen Order was a shining light in a wave of Star Wars games that seemed doomed to be multiplayer only.
As such, Jedi: Survivor has some big shoes to fill. The first proper gameplay trailer was promising and gave us a nice but very brief look at some of the game. Here are some things that can help the game live up to its predecessor. If we’re lucky, they’ll have this and more, making the game something really special.
8/8 Populated settlements
One of the best ways to make a world feel alive isn’t just cities and ruins and letters filled with text; there is a sense of history and culture, and the architecture that supports it. Sure, it can occur in cities, but it doesn’t have to. Jedi: Fallen Order actually did a good job of showing how Zeffo spread his culture across the galaxy without having to show them.
However, for Jedi: Survivor it would be great to see them go in the opposite direction. Let’s see the same depth of culture shown in the ruins of Zeffo or occupied Kashyyyk in really busy cities. Star Wars loves its overcrowded cities filled with a huge variety of aliens, and who can deny Cal his own cafeteria scene?
7/8 Side missions
In many ways, Jedi: Fallen Order was a 3D Metroidvania, one of the few that attempted and mostly succeeded. It may suffer on some planets where there isn’t as much freedom, but the sheer joy of exploring in any way you want is a lot of fun. In many ways, exploration is its own reward.
That said, the rewards can be a bit dry at times, just being more Stims or Force boosts. In that sense, a handful of unique side quests in Jedi: Survivor can serve as a means to give you more powerful rewards than those found from standard exploration. In addition, they can also be a great way to develop more stories in optional areas.
6/8 More BD-1 Utility
That’s one thing you can guarantee from just about any Star Wars media. No, not lightsaber or Force. Instead, you can always expect a fun and cute little droid to keep you company. For Jedi: Fallen Order, which came in BD-1, who is as strong a character as Cal, honestly.
In gameplay, he actually didn’t do much. Heals you and scans enemies. Hack them too, if you ever found it worthwhile. A nice change could be to give them more functions. Let them play into how the blaster works, maybe some combat abilities that work independent of Cal. For being such a good character, they deserve a little more spotlight.
5/8 Post-game content, or more optional content
Styled like a Metroidvania in many ways, Jedi: Fallen Order allows you to explore many of the planets in your own order and at your own pace. This was fine until you got further into the game and it became more apparent that while you could choose the order, you ended up having to explore almost everywhere anyway.
For Jedi: Survivor, a big change would be to actually make more of these areas truly optional, not just in your own order. The planets already promise to get bigger, so we can hope for more areas like Zeffo. Of course, it’s a difficult task to create many detailed areas that you can’t guarantee players will explore, but it would add so much richness to an already exciting follow-up.
4/8 Fewer set pieces, more depth
In the original advertisement for Jedi: Fallen Order, it felt like it was going to be a bit of a Star Wars version of Uncharted, with linear exploration and a lot of climbing. In reality, however, the game had deeper combat than anyone expected, with worlds begging you to explore them as you saw fit. What the crowd was shown was essentially set piece after set piece, rather than what really made the game shine.
The thing is, though, the game actually still has a lot of the linear setpiece moments, and they drag the quality of the whole thing down. Returning to Zeffo always feels like a joy, intertwined in every way. Meanwhile, Dathomir and Kashyyk were basically linear corridors with almost nothing optional, making them really boring to explore. The solution for Jedi: Survivor is simple: just make more planets like Zeffo.
3/8 Greater enemy variety
When Jedi: Fallen Order was revealed, very few probably expected it to be called a Soulslike in any sense of the word, but it very much is. In fact, it happens to share a bunch with Sekiro as well, with a stance meter that works pretty much the same. Even better, the enemies that are in the game are actually great and work great with the battle system.
The only major problem is that the vast majority of enemies are various Storm and Purge Troopers. This makes sense, but can be visually tiring after a while. The bounty hunters included at the end of the game offer a breath of fresh air, and Jedi: Survivor could benefit from more visually distinct enemies. Tusken Raiders, for one. Star Wars has such diversity across the vast universe, so why not play into that a bit more?
2/8 More ways to search
Traveling between planets in Fallen Order was great, seeing your ship seamlessly fly off and jump into hyperspace before landing on another. Once on the planets it also felt good to explore, with Cal having some great movement abilities at his disposal, and even more being learned as the game progressed. The only thing is that they were limited to Cal’s own tools and powers.
It’s a reasonable compromise since Zeffo was the only major planet that had such freedom of exploration. That said, Jedi: Survivor seems to have bigger planets with more depth, so it would be great to see the movement methods increase to match it. A speeder to drive across vast plains, a ship of some kind to cross the water. Some ways to glide or even fly. It doesn’t have to be universal, but more than just contextual. Which really feels like another option for exploration on certain planets.
1/8 Fewer Cameo Appearances
If there’s one thing Star Wars loves to do, it’s throw in a cameo appearance where it doesn’t belong. It’s been a problem since the beginning, with Boba Fett being retroactively given extra scenes, to a digitized Luke being added to The Mandalorian. In Fallen Order it was a bit more flavorful, mainly featuring Saw Gerrera from Rogue One (and a brief Sith Lord), and no one overstayed their welcome.
The thing is, Fallen Order is loved, so Jedi: Survivor should have the confidence to stand on its own two feet. It has a strong set of characters and a universe to explore. Develop your own characters, add even more and build your own planets. Even take characters from the wider universe that have never been visualized and give them your own spin. The entire galaxy is yours to explore; make it yours.
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