It’s finally here. Rejoice! Oh, bookworms and lovers of the Light Saber. 5 Years later, after Star Wars Jedi: The Fallen Orde, Cal Kestis now walks his own path, firmly believing in the Order of the Jedi and making numerous efforts to bring down the Imperial Empire. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is here, and it’s got some things to say!
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor releases on the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC on April 28, 2023. Developed by Respawn Entertainment and published under the EA Originals, this sequel will answer many questions left unanswered in the first game.
Are you ready to walk the path of the Jedi Knight? Then May the Force be with you.
Saving the Universe, One Step at a Time
The beginning of both games may seem very similar. But this time, it begins with your capture as bounty hunters are escorting you into the heart of an Imperial bastion. You come across this imperial leader who claims to have been the last person to see Cal Kestis’ Master and possesses his lightsaber.
While everything s seems down, a familiar friend can be seen performing his shenanigans – BD-1. BD had already removed the sabre’s core and rigged the Imperial Leader’s ship, so he has nowhere to run.
This is where Cal gets his opening. He frees himself from the poorly placed handcuffs and brings life to his lightsaber. The leader panics and sends out waves and waves of enemies, enough for a good warm-up, five years since the last game.
Now, what happened to the bounty hunters? Welcome to Cal’s new crew, who disguised themselves as bounty hunters to corner this Imperial Leader.
Cal and Team 1 – Imperial Order 0
While I may be dying to tell you more, this is where I go hush-hush and let you explore the story yourself. Be ready to shout with excitement, wipe your tears and feel moved by how the tale finds hope even in the darkest times.
But from a review perspective, be ready for a 20-hour adventure of non-stop main story action that can go up to 40–50 hours if you do decide to leave no stone unturned and help everyone in the galaxy who ask for your help. Explore caves and hidden paths that no side quest will tell you to, and who knows, you might stumble upon legendary creatures and Bounty Hunters!
The Most Wanted Jedi in the Universe
Jedi Survivor takes your blade work to the next level. While you could briefly single-wield, double-sided wield, and even dual-wield in the first game, Jedi Survivor allows you to hone any two stances that best fit your play style (and the enemy in front of you).
You can now permanently dual-wield and choose to either single-wield or use the double edge. Later in the story, your new friend Bode gives you a blaster. Now, you may not use the blaster as if it’s a Battlefront game, but you may be able to use it to even the odds against range and closed attacks. You will also unlock Kylo Ren’s crosshilt stance later in the game that will help you gain an edge if you like to take it a little easy and wait for openings.
My advice? Blaster+Saber and Dual Wield setup, make your own openings, don’t let them even make their first moves. (This is an aggressive play style appreciation thread). Each combo is unique, and investing in their dedicated skill tree can make it even better.
For virtual photographers, nothing looks more badass than a brooding Cal with a crosshilt saber at nighttime.
As for the enemies, gone are the days of repetitive enemies; you now have two different sets of enemies going after you—the imperials, of course, and now the followers of Rayvis. Now Rayvis was briefly seen in the trailer, but his role in the entire story is significant, and when you cross paths, it will not be easy.
Apart from returning and brand-new threats, your favourite (least) threat will be bottomless pits. While the world design favours faster parkour and helps you reach new heights and areas, you’ll often fall down as you learn to spot markers and understand climbable/ wall run spots. We casuals blame Horizon Forbidden West for spoiling us by making us easily spot climbing spots with a button tap.
Lastly, many returning droids and newer enemy types will come across you on the battlefield, but this time you can see how well they adapt to your attacks as a team. Instead of throwing themselves at you, they wait for an opening and will always hit you when you’re most vulnerable. Most attacks in the game are un-parryable (this is now a word) and the game sure is challenging.
The World and the Best of it
Star Wars Jedi Survivor takes the best advantage of the next-gen consoles. The view distance makes it easily understandable that you’re in a Star Wars game, with things always happening in the background as you explore your path.
The world design is once again tight but now has 80% fewer unnecessary puzzles, allowing you to explore faster and encouraging you to take turns leading to other paths. The jumping is fluid, and the entire climbing experience is delightful, as most are on scenic routes.
While I initially thought there would be more worlds to explore because of the 150 GB-sized download, there is primarily one big world that allows more exploration and unseen places, two medium-sized planets, one moon and one Imperial Base. Having fewer planets with more quality is always better than having more in quantity and less in quality.
You will also be able to get mounts in two of these worlds, allowing you to explore deeper parts of the planets.
In Kobho, you will have your little saloon, where you can invite people you meet on your journey. They will set up shops or add life to your little saloon, allowing you to interact and learn more about people. You might get even more sidequests here. Best part? After finding a DJ droid, you can chill with really great music.
And for people who like to go a little extra, there is also a tower-building-styled minigame.
You also get to free yourself from the uniform-styled outfit and go for many looks, hairstyles, and beards.
So go on! Fight bounty hunters, kill legendary beasts, explore and discover ancient secrets with BD-1 and even go fishing and planting (Jedi – Life Balance or something).
The Not so Best of The Game
In all fairness, the first game had a soulslike aspect when it came to the combat. Once again, people who enjoy the genre will have a great time with the challenge, but it will sometimes be a bit too punishing for casual gamers.
The meditation points, or checkpoints will need you to save/rest on them, or it will not consider itself unlocked, and if you die nearby, you will instead be sent to the last checkpoint you meditated at. Sometimes you will have more checkpoints than you need, but other times you will spend 10 minutes re-tracing your steps while dying to legendary beasts and bosses.
There could’ve been an option for this a more streamlined checkpoint system instead of having the opportunity to disable/enable button mashing and slow motions.
But the one actual flaw that takes away points from the game is the performance. While we haven’t come across even one game-breaking bug, the performance mode might not be what the name suggests. It, moreover, feels like a downgrade button. While you may not notice it in many scenes, there are evident resolution and frame drops during scenes with a lot of foliage and lighting. All our screenshots and footage played in the performance mode look blurry. The performance always feels like it’s running at a not so-impressive 45–50 fps.
On the other hand, resolution mode brings out fantastic crisp quality and lighting out of the game. We also noticed many ambient environmental effects that didn’t exist in the performance mode. But in 2023, does anyone want to play in 30 fps?
May the Force Be With You
Despite the caveats, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a brilliant game with thoroughly enjoyable combat and a compelling story that keeps you going. It improves on many things than the previous game and introduces many new aspects like character customization, new stances, perks, specials, bounty hunters, and much more. While the performance may not be the best and most polished, it still delivers a fair playable experience.
See you in the next game, Jedi. May the Force Be with You.
Disclaimer: The review copy of the game was provided by the publishers for review purposes without any riders
FINAL RATING: 94/100