Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
It's been a long time, but with my completion of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor coming in around 35 hours for the main story and some extra timed needed to clean up the optional content; I felt it was needed.
For those who know me; you will recognize Star Wars as the IP that I am fiercely passionate about, if I know anything about anything it's Star Wars to a near ridiculous degree, some call me a walking Encyclopedia on the topic, let's get into it.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor follows up with Cal Kestis 5 years after the the conclusion of Fallen Order. Cal and the crew have split up for reasons unexplained initially and after some much needed repairs for the Mantis, Cal discovers a big secret in the Galaxy and must seek help and guidance from his friends to figure it out.
It continues to add to the already rich universe of Star Wars that we have, with many references to the things we all love old and new.
If you loved Fallen Order's Story as I did, you will absolutely love where Cal's Adventures take him next, even more so if you are a fan of the High Republic Novels & Comics.
From the very jump Survivor feels very much like Fallen Order left off. Which is not a bad thing, a Parry & Dodge focused Combat System similar to Sekiro, and while this may put some people off due to the lack of overall Combo Complexity I find that it creates an accessible game across all difficulty levels whilst also Combat Complexity via other systems.
The way this is accomplished is absolutely incredible, as a player you are no longer limited to Single Blade focused Lightsaber Forms, but from the start of the game have access to Single Blade, Double-Bladed, & Dual Wield Lightsaber Stances (with Crossguard and Blaster Stance unlocked later in the story)
On the base difficulties (Story, Padawan & Jedi Knight) these Stances feel almost cosmetic in nature, not having all that much difference in the overall way you play the game outside of what you think is the coolest and fits how you want to enjoy the game.
With an increase in difficulty to Jedi Master and Jedi Grandmaster you begin to notice that while you could make your way through the game successfully with any of the Lightsaber Forms as you choose, each one of them has strength and weaknesses which might make you change your choice from Planet to Planet, Area to Area and especially Boss to Boss.
Lightsaber Stance Breakdown
Single Blade (ol' reliable) as I like to call it being extremely beneficial in almost any combat situation and the style Fallen Order players will be most familiar with. Alongside Double-Bladed which makes a return from Fallen Order and remains supreme in situations where you need to fight many enemies at once.
New to the series is Dual Wield is now more than just a Finishing Move Special, and is a stance that is entirely about aggression and speed. Best used against enemies you want to break through their blocks with rather than relying on the parry mechanic to break their defenses.
You will also unlock Crossguard which is Kylo Ren's design of choice and a staple of the High Republic Era of Jedi Knights. This stance gives you a much slower swing, akin to using a large broadsword which can leave you open to attacks, but the damage you inflict with this larger more powerful blade are absolutely devastating.
Blaster Stance is our final stance a love letter to Kyle Katarn, we see Cal master using a Blaster Pistol in combination with his Lightsaber to have a strong ranged presence whilst maintaing his mastery with a lightsaber.
I found that the addition of Stances especially on Grandmaster where I spent my entire playthrough really changed how challenges in the enemy encounters could be challenged, even if I spent most of the game using Dual Wield and Single Blade personally.
Fallen Order was a game filled with little secrets that enabled you to return to planets you visited with new abilities to unlock cosmetics and small power-ups (stim packs and force meter increases). However it was overall a very linear game with Zelda like Puzzles inbetween it's Soulslike gameplay.
Survivor changes this up just a bit while keeping the main loop the same, the exploration that is possible especially on the main planet of Koboh is at minimum double the amount that we had previously.
There are cosmetics, BD-1 upgrades, stim packs, side stories as well as currency that can further unlock these same benefits across all the worlds you will visit, it's done in such a way that the feel natural to progress through and don't feel like you are forced to do them in anyway (in fact you don't need any of the bonuses to be able to complete the game).
Puzzles make a big return in Survivor, however this time around, they are more accessible with a better hint system and much more variety which enabled them to make less complex Puzzle Dungeons and more Open World Puzzles that whilst there are more in the game including many that you will stumble into early on unable to complete until much later in the narrative, they are much easier overall this time around. Personally, I would lying if I said I didn't miss having larger Puzzle Dungeons as a staple part of the game however.
All of these systems create an immersive experience behind playing Cal Kestis, and solving the side quests often times makes Cal feel more like a Jedi than ever.
For full transparency I must notate that I played Star Wars Jedi: Survivor on Playstation 5, which means that I didn't experience any of the issues Xbox Series X and PC players to a much greater extent have been having.
My 35 hours playing the game were near flawless. The only bug I encountered in my playthrough was on Day 1 which involved a mechanic that allows you to spray a type of particles to create pathways and prior to the patch the very same day you could spray so many particles that the game would use all available resources and crash my PS5, fortunately this problem was solved very quickly.
While I did not perform any Framerate Analysis for this title, I can say that if there are any frame rate issues, it was not noticable to me during gameplay, there was not a stutter or frame skip to be noticed.
While I believe Star Wars Jedi: Survivor to be an absolutely incredible game with some of the best Star Wars Game Story we've seen since it's predecessor, I need to state just how unacceptable it is that these games are releasing PC Ports that are in such horrible Day 1 States that the games become next to if not fully unplayable for many people. I was absolutely blessed to play on Playstation, but as an avid PC Gamer it is absolutely ridiculous to see, I would much rather see delays in PC Versions of these games than to have them come out in such horrible states just to increase sales numbers while the consumer experience is so poor that it doesn't even exist for some.