DISCLOSURE: This game was reviewed on the following platform: PC! Check out our Review Policy page for more information.
Star Wars media has been very hit or miss with Star Wars fans lately. You can see a lot of fans on the internet (primarily on Twitter) talk about how the movies, the shows, the comics, and the video games suck. Granted, these are the same people that also bullied the actor for Jar Jar Binks and Rose Tico, so one can question if Star Wars fans actually do like Star Wars.
I’ve been a Star Wars fans since the Prequel trilogy, and I enjoyed the Prequels at the time, despite the massive hate that those movies accumulated throughout the years. You can never talk about the Prequels with other Star Wars fans, because you will get a two hour lecture about how the Prequels were an insult to Star Wars and their fans.
Thankfully, that kind of hate has turned into love, and it seems that time may be the primary reason as to why the Prequels are now loved. Time because the people who grew up and love the Prequels are now older and because the internet is that much more accessible. But one thing that hasn’t changed is that Star Wars fans can be very harsh towards Star Wars content they do not like.
But there is one piece of Star Wars content that brings Star Wars fans together, and that is the Star Wars Jedi video games.
Not to be associated with the old Star Wars Jedi Knight video games, the Jedi series focuses on a Jedi Padawan by the name of Cal Kestis, who is played by Cameron Monaghan. Just like our very own Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill, Cameron is known for his role as the Joker-esque role, Jerome Valeska in Gotham.
In Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, we see Cal go through his journey to become a Jedi Knight by facing his past, instead of running away from it. Fallen Order became a massive hit and is loved by majority of the Star Wars fanbase because of its gameplay, story, and acting. Naturally, people kept asking for a sequel, and it’s quite a sequel that we got.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Surpasses Fallen Order in Every Way Possible
Fallen Order was a Souls-like video game that took the world by storm. If you’re unfamiliar with what a “Souls-like” game is, it’s essentially a game that takes elements from FromSoft’s popular Dark Souls franchise. So, Fallen Order included a lot gameplay elements from that game franchise, primarily the gameplay elements.
But with the rest of the game, it was your typical semi-open world that you can explore and collect new cosmetics and collectibles, coupled with an incredible story of a Jedi Padawan overcoming his fear and becoming a Jedi Knight. It also helped that it was the first single player focused game where you play as a Force wielder with lightsabers. The last game was The Force Unleashed II, which released 13 years ago in 2010.
You can imagine how people were very excited about a single player Star Wars game that lets you play as a lightsaber wielder, and no one else. That success led to a demand of a sequel to Fallen Order, and Respawn and EA hear all of us loud and clear.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor takes everything that made Fallen Order great and expanded upon it. From the combat to traversal, even to the world around you. Without going too deep into the story to avoid spoilers, the story features several moments that made me go “oh my god!” in both a good way and a bad way. This game successfully lives up to the hype.
The game also features more content than ever before. If you’ve played Breath of The Wild, then you can think of Survivor as Breath of The Wild’s newborn cousin. There are a lot of collectibles that are scattered throughout the world, as well as activities that are very similar to the Shrines that are spread out all over the world in Survivor.
With larger worlds to explore, the game also takes Fallen Order’s traversal system and improves upon it. A lot of the abilities are locked behind story parts, so I won’t explain how you get them, but the abilities you can get allow you to dash in mid-air and open large doors that are previously impossible in Fallen Order.
Not only does the game elevate the gameplay and story, it also adds more customization features that allows you to make your own unique version of Cal. While Cal is obviously modeled after Cameron Monaghan and we cannot change his physical features, we can however, change his clothes and hair.
Do you want a rugged Cal that hasn’t had a haircut and shaved in months? You can do just that with the several options available in the game. You can even change his clothes with sets of cosmetics and mix and match them. If you think a top would look better with another set pants, you can do just that and even change the color.
You are also able to customize your lightsaber once again. As you saw from the trailers, Cal gets a blaster and the Crossguard lightsaber stance. With the added stances, you can customize your blasters appearance as well as the vents for the Crossguard stance. The color of your blade is customizable as well from the very beginning, and you can now change the color scheme of both your lightsaber and blaster.
Explore Larger Worlds
Fallen Order’s exploration was a fun experience, being able to go through different areas and get collectibles. However, it was very quick to finish as the worlds are designed like hubs, in which Cal would have to travel to different planets and explore long along a linear path. In Survivor’s case, it is different.
Survivor features larger maps compared to its predecessor. The main area where you will find yourself spending the most time in is Koboh. It is considered the main hub location and for good reason. Koboh features different sections from jungle area to swamp area. Not only that, but you will be able to relax and talk to people in Pyloon’s Saloon, which is Greez’s saloon. Other locations include Jedha, Coruscant, the Shattered Moon of Koboh, and some others that I will not reveal for spoiler reasons.
Koboh may be the largest out of the other locations, but that does not mean the others are lacking in size. Jedha is the desert planet you will find yourself on later in the game, and that location also has an area where you can relax and get away from the action.
But out in the world, you can explore to your hearts content and see every crook and nanny of whatever planet you are in. I do advise to be careful, because you might run into a Rancor or two (it happened to me.)
Overall, one can understand why the game takes up 155+ space on a hard drive. Not saying I like it, but I can understand why. However, I do want to recommend everyone who is planning on playing the game to finish the story first before doing any exploring.
Like any game with exploration, there are instances where a player will explore random areas and find something that will prevent them from continuing. The only way to do that in Survivor is by continuing the story until you get that certain upgrade. It happens frequently in Survivor, and it eventually discouraged me from exploring the game until I finished the story and got all of the upgrades.
Significant Improvement to Combat
I said earlier that Cal gets two new stances (three if you include Dual Wield, but that was technically in the first game), and those are Blaster and Crossguard. Now in the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi, blasters are so uncivilized, especially if you are someone who uses a lightsaber. But the game is called Survivor, and Cal needs to do whatever he needs to survive.
The Blaster and Crossguard stances are two excellent additions to the game, as well as Dual Wield. Now technically, Dual Wield was in the first game as a Force move, which is why I don’t see it as new. However, it does become its own stance in the second game. With that in mind, you have five stances to choose from, but you can only use two at a time.
Whichever combination of stances you choose will not really have a big impact on combat, as they all do the job of eliminating enemies, but you will notice that some stances do well to certain types of enemies. For example, the Double Blade stance can easily eliminate the Stormtroopers with the miniguns. The Dual Wield stance allows you to quickly deal a lot of damage on slow attacking enemies.
I personally use the Single and Crossguard stances, because I like the balance of speed, power, and defense on the Single stance, but I also love the devastating damage of the Crossguard lightsaber. However, the Blaster is a second favorite, because you can easily damage enemies from far away.
But it’s not only lightsaber combat that gets an upgrade. The Force also sees improvement too, but not by much in my opinion. Maybe it’s because I never used any of the Force abilities outside of the classic Force Push and Pull, but I can definitely see that Cal’s Force powers have gotten a significant improvement, and rightly so.
This is Cal Kestis 5 years since the last game. After narrowly surviving his encounter with Darth Vader, it’s only natural that Cal would become stronger in order to prepare himself against adversaries like Vader. You will see that he is much more brutal and unforgiving, almost to the point where he might even step to the Dark Side at any time. But that won’t happen, because it’s called Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, not Star Wars Sith: Survivor, right?
Story is Exceptional & A Treat for Star Wars Fans
Star Wars stories are a mixed bunch. You have the really bad ones that everyone hates, and then there’s the good ones that everyone loves. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, in my opinion, is a great Star Wars story. Now, like I said before, I won’t be going into details about the story because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. But I can assure you, this game’s story is fantastic.
I do have one critique about the story, and it is a little nitpicky. The stories sense of urgency can be destroyed if you decide to do exploring. I know, it’s a little nitpicky, but it’s something that bothered me when I was playing. The game actively recommends you to explore the area, but doing so will destroy the sense of urgency, especially when you reach near the end of the game.
But don’t let my nitpick stop you from enjoying the game at your own leisure.
Performance Issues are Horrendous
Despite my constant praise of the game, there is one thing that has affected my experience with the game, and it is performance. Thankfully, I am not the only one who seems to be affected by this, because those with 4090’s and the latest Intel or Ryzen CPU are even struggling to get a stable 30 FPS.
This is a prevalent issue that has been happening since Cyberpunk 2077, where triple AAA video games have been released with issues on PC. Gotham Knights, The Callisto Protocol, Wild Hearts, The Last of Us Part I, and Hogwarts Legacy are all recent games that were released with horrible performance issues, to the point where the game would crash.
Personally, I don’t mind performance issues where I can’t play a stable 60 FPS. I spend majority of my gaming life playing on 30 FPS. What I do mind, however, is if the game crashes every hour or two. It’s the same issue I had with Gotham Knights, where playing the game for too long will result in the game crashing at inconvenient times. Sometimes, it’s not even an hour long, I would crash within the first 20 minutes of a session.
It sucks that this happened, because underneath this stuttering, crashing mess is a fantastic masterpiece that does everything the first game did, but better. Video game developers need to start working on optimizing their games better, or else no one is going to be buying their games on launch.
My Final Rating & Recommendation
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a masterpiece that is brought down by horrible performance issues. If the game released in a state with no issues to performance, then the reviews on Steam wouldn’t be flowing with negative reviews. Because of that, this game only gets a 4 out of 5.
I fully recommend everyone to wait until the issues are fixed and the game is on sale. While I have no regrets in purchasing this game at full price and playing on launch, I don’t want people to spend money on a game that can barely get a stable 30 FPS.
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