Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

How do you top one of the best Star Wars games ever made? It’s no easy feat, but Respawn seem to have done it in a lot of ways with the long-awaited sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Despite a bit of a rocky start due to some performance issues on all platforms (but especially PC), I had a mostly enjoyable time with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

Taking place five years after Fallen Order, we find Cal fighting the good fight with a new crew on Coruscant. Things go sideways pretty quickly, and before you know it, you’re hacking limbs off Stormtroopers — dismemberment being a new (and welcome) feature of the sequel. I was thrilled to find that Cal wasn’t stripped of all his abilities that were acquired in Fallen Order. The only things that you have to regain are the health and Force power meters. Better yet, Cal is immediately given a new traversal ability and they keep coming at a steady pace.

As with Fallen Order, Survivor’s lightsaber combat is absolutely stellar and extremely satisfying. Dramatic camera movements and speed ramps really make these close-quarter duels something to get excited about. This time around, Cal has a number of different stances, which are awarded at various points in the story. I experimented with all of them but I definitely had my favourites. During my first playthrough, I always had the double-bladed stance at the ready, since it was great for crowd control and larger enemies. Of the new stances, I enjoyed the Kylo-ren style Crossguard the most. It’s essentially a broadsword, which is slow and unrelenting. The other new stance contains a blaster (so uncivilized), so you’re basically Han Solo with a lightsaber. You can equip two stances at a time, and I had fun mixing up combos and finding my favourites.

I was pleased to see the Fallen Order cast return and many laughs were had throughout the story. There’s a lot more to do in Survivor, so the story is longer than the first game, but the side quests and collectibles don’t get in the way if you want to focus on the story first. Unlike other recent open-world games. A’hem, Tears of the Kingdom. Survivor does a great job of allowing you to explore, but keeping you focused on the task at hand. Mostly by literally blocking paths that require a certain ability or Force power. I found it easy to focus on the story without feeling the need to find everything in a given area, as I realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t going to be possible on my first playthrough.

Customization options in Survivor are plentiful. Cal now has three outfit pieces, which can be mixed and matched and have a set of colour schemes each. And you can even change his hair and facial hair. BD-1 can also be heavily customized this time around. Not only can his paint job be changed, but he’s made up of several components, all of which can be changed. Customization pieces are found in chests, similar to Fallen Order.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though. Performance issues aside, there were a few things I wasn’t super keen on. It’s great that you can fast-travel now, but I found using the map to be really tedious and often had to keep popping it open and rotating to figure out if I was going the right way. This became really noticeable after the story was complete, while hunting down collectibles. Another major issue I have with this game is the amount of ridiculous platforming puzzles. I must have died hundreds of times trying to figure things out or struggling to complete a time-based platforming puzzle. What made it even worse, is that Cal can’t fall more than like twenty feet without dying, which makes no sense for a Jedi since they’re basically except from fall damage.

All things considered, I would call Star Wars Jedi: Survivor a great game with a few notable flaws. And while it’s bigger and grander than its predecessor, I would say that I had a much more enjoyable time with Fallen Order. The former has more memorable moments, like interacting with BD-1 for the first time, or the Vader reveal/fight at the end. In fact, I went back and replayed Fallen Order for a third time just last year.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
4/ 5