Slashing Through Star Wars: Jedi Survivor.

Strong With the Force This One is.

Carl Harding, Sandscript Author

In 2019, I played Electronic Arts (EA) and Respawn Entertainment’s newest Star Wars game on the market, Jedi: Fallen Order, and I thought it was the best Star Wars game I had ever played. The story and combat were great and the planets I explored were stunning. When I heard a sequel was coming, I was excited to see what would be improved and what new mechanics EA and Respawn would put into the game. I can say without a doubt that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has improved on every aspect of Fallen Order which was released back in 2019. This game has everything a Star Wars fan could want from excellent lightsaber combat, returning iconic characters and enemies, as well as the beautiful landscape of the many planets that Cal Kestis (Main Protagonist) will visit on his journey. Jedi: Survivor takes place five years after the events of Jedi: Fallen Order where Cal Kestis, now a much more experienced Jedi knight, struggles to stay one step ahead of the Galactic Empire and their efforts to exterminate the remaining Jedi once and for all. Cal is also attempting to locate three ancient compasses from the High Republic Era (an era when the Galactic Republic was at its height of power) that will lead him to a lost planet of Tanalorr where he and his allies could potentially set up a base where the Empire would never be able to find them. 

     Cal’s journey will take him to the lower levels of the capital of the empire Coruscant, to the barren wastelands of Jedha and the beautiful scenery of Koboh. EA and Respawn did a spectacular job with the worlds in Jedi: Survivor and I always found myself admiring something in the worlds I visited. Cal will run into many old foes and new foes alike from your basic imperial stormtroopers and the dreaded purge troopers to the vast wildlife that will attack and eat anything in sight like the rancors and giant scorpions found on Jedha and Koboh.

 Like Fallen Order, Jedi: Survivor has the same lightsaber combat from the previous game, but it has been significantly improved since 2019 as now instead of only having two ways to use your lightsaber and cut through your enemies, you now have five stances to choose from. They have the standard single lightsaber as well as the double-bladed lightsaber while introducing new stances that include: a blaster stance where you can use a blaster that Cal gains later in the story and chain it with your lightsaber. There is a cross-saber stance that acts like a heavy broad sword and is similar to that of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber in the Skywalker Saga movies. These stances are entertaining, but the one that stood out to me was the new dual-wield stance as it allowed me to be flexible on how I took out enemies. It also has some of the best combos that make it extremely fun to use. Cal even has new abilities in the force, which include being able to lift a group of enemies into the air and throw them back down onto the ground as well as an ability where Cal can freeze enemies and their blaster rounds in place. Another thing that returns from Fallen Order is bounty hunters, you can find them across the worlds you visit and defeating them will give you a lot of XP. A well-known bounty hunter that many Star Wars fans will recognize shows up in the last bounty hunter fight and when I saw who it was, it left me shocked.

 Customization has returned as well for Cal and his lightsaber with much more availability as in Fallen Order you were only able to customize Cal’s poncho color and for the lightsaber you could only customize a few parts and the lightsaber color. In Survivor, EA has expanded the customization for Cal’s hair, beard, pants, shirt, and jacket which will allow players to make their version of Cal and even make some iconic Star Wars characters with the variety of customization that is available. But, you have to explore the worlds and find chests to gain access to the many lightsaber parts and the many styles of stuff for Cal. Something that I wished was in Fallen Order was companions that would accompany you and help you in fights while you venture through the story. I can say with great enthusiasm that companions are in Jedi: Survivor and they’re great at taking out a large number of enemies, they can even do some awesome finishing combos with Cal which looked amazing. You get two companions in Jedi: Survivor, one is Bode, a new character in the Star Wars Jedi series and the newest member of Cal’s team which takes care of enemies with his blasters and his jetpack. The other is Merrin, a returning character from Fallen Order and Cal’s love interest. Merrin is a night sister from Dathomir (essentially she has magical powers similar to the force) and can use many dark spells to take care of a large group of enemies. 

The gameplay and graphics of Jedi: Survivor is amazing, and the same thing can be said about the story of the game. I thought the story of Jedi: Survivor did a great job of expanding Cal’s story and his character as we get to see how he has matured in a good way. Cal has more experience with the force thanks to his master Cere Junda who is guarding a vault on Jedha where she and Cal have gathered the remnants of the Jedi Temple’s teachings and history. This is why Cal is on the hunt for the ancient compasses so that if Tanaloor does exist, it would allow Cal and his crew to move the vault to Tanalorr and hide it from the empire and their inquisitors. A character that I didn’t expect to show up was Eno Cordova, Cere’s master. In Fallen Order, Cordova never made a proper appearance but he played a big role in the previous game as he left clues for Cal and Cere so they could find a Holocron containing the whereabouts of Jedi younglings who were scattered across the galaxy after Order 66. Cordova again plays a major role in Survivor as he knows how to use the ancient compasses and orders Cal to find them. It is revealed that Cal is growing tired of hiding and running from the empire and at certain points of the game Cal gives in to his darkness and goes berserk on enemies, at one point Cal almost crushed an imperial officer’s chest in. This was something I never expected to see in Jedi: Survivor as Cal was more cool-headed in the last game and to see him go berserk left me shocked. There are many shocking twists and turns in the story but I am not going to spoil anything as I believe the player should experience it firsthand rather than reading it here.

 Overall, Jedi Survivor is a great game and it has lots to offer in its story, combat, and exploration. I give Star Wars Jedi: Survivor a five out of five, if you love the Star Wars franchise and you love realistic lightsaber combat, then this game is just for you.