LOS ANGELES -- Fresh off the plane, I'm standing in line to see EA and Respawn's latest love letter to geeks like myself. The anticipation only heightens when I see the art on the wall as I'm ushered into a darkened theater (No gameplay? Boo!). A hush falls over the crowd and my first taste of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (available on PC, PS4 and Xbox starting November 15, 2019).
The scene opens on Kashyyyk, where we meet our protagonists, Cal Kestis and his adorable bot BD-1. They swim towards a pair of AT-ATs covered in marine foliage. Kestis starts to climb one of the massive mobile battle tanks, making his way to the cockpit, dispatching the pilots. Commandeering the AT-AT Kestis assaults an Empire stronghold, causing Saw Gerrera to drop in and investigate the newcomers.
After identifying himself as a Jedi, Kestis quickly gets recruited into freeing captive rebel Wookies. And here's where things get complicated. In combat, Kestis is the most un-Jedi Jedi I've ever seen. By that, I mean that the dude is very liberal with the force choke.
When he's not putting Darth Vader's signature move to use on helpless Stormtroopers, he's flinging his lightsaber into them. Even in situations where it seems like stealth seemed like a viable route, there he is, choking and stabbing. He even uses the force choke to use enemies as a human shield. Needless to say, the force and moral code is very gray with this one.
Force chokes for everyone
Questionable moves aside, the combat looks extremely fun and fluid in Fallen Order. Lightsaber strikes vary between light and heavy and like any good Force wielder, they can be used to deflect blaster shots. And while using a lightsaber is thrilling, things get really interesting once Kestis' Force powers come into play.
As I mentioned earlier, you can use your power to force choke someone and fling them into other enemies or use them as a human shield. However, the Force can also be used to freeze enemies, putting them in a kind of stasis.
I even saw our Padawan use his power to slow down time and take a leisurely stroll to take a leisurely stroll out of the way of incoming blaster fire. But the Force isn’t just an offensive tool as Kestis uses it to help him successfully dodge enemy strikes.
Maybe I’m being a bit hard on Kestis. After all he’s trying to survive in a world after Order 66, the secret protocol branding the Jedi as traitors and subject to execution with extreme prejudice. It’s a cold, unfriendly galaxy and Kestis is just trying to survive, by any means necessary, even going so far as to suppress his powers.
But when his cover is blown and the Empire is on his tail including an Inquisitor, you can understand if he’s taking a Sith-like approach with his powers. During the third-person action adventure title, Kastis will revisit famous Star Wars locales as well as interact with some familiar faces.
A feast for the eyes
Fallen Order is really a visual spectacle. From the silky-smooth water effects, to the telltale glowing hot trail of destruction left by a lightsaber, I was sort of glad all I had to do was watch the action unfold. It made it much easier to enjoy the view. The jungle planet of Kashyyyk was full of lush greenery to admire. Detail was sharp enough to see the lustre in the captive Wookies’ hair as well as the pores in Saw Gerrera’s face.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to go back to that world in a galaxy far, far away and rub elbows with the likes of Saw Gerrera and play as a loose cannon Jedi in a fight for survival. From the looks of things, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order offers stylish combat and a complicated story, which I’m excited to dig into. And as much as I keep harping on it, I do want to Force choke a stormtrooper at least once.
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