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‘Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’ Game Review

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Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a new game from the Star Wars franchise that offers players a unique and immersive experience in the world of the Jedi. Developed by an experienced team and published by Electronic Arts, this game promises to deliver an action-packed adventure that will keep players on the edge of their seats.

Being a sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, this new game had to meet certain expectations. Did the bigger budget and longer time to complete the game 100% work? Is this game better than the previous one? Are the glitches and bugs really that bad? You’ll find it all in this massive, mostly spoiler-free review of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

[Note: While I am reviewing this game independently and honestly, it should be noted that a copy has been provided to me by EA & Respawn Entertainment for the purpose of this review. Warning: Spoilers from Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and light spoilers from Star Wars Jedi: Survivor are below!]

How Fallen Order and Battle Scars impact the sequel

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is set 5 years after the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and several months after the events of the Star Wars Jedi: Battle Scars novel. Once again, players follow Cal Kestis, voiced by Cameron Monaghan. If you remember, the last time we played as Cal, it was more of an origin story game than a proper story.

The main story focused on Cal and Cere Junda trying to form a new Jedi Order. We have the opportunity to see Cal fighting the Inquisitors, working with Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), learning the history of various characters, and more. Throughout the game, there were moments when we got to see flashbacks of Cal as a padawan. These are really important and some of the most emotional moments in the entire game.

After surviving the battle with Darth Vader that took place in the game’s final mission, Cal decides to trust in the Force. He destroys the Jedi Holocron in one of the last scenes of the game. Prior to Jedi: Survivor, the prequel story Star Wars Jedi: Battle Scars was published that filled in some gaps. While I enjoyed this book, and recommend it, it’s not required reading because the story of the game is really well written. It tells the story perfectly to the players and even when the characters recall events from the book, it doesn’t matter.

Cal Kestis in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Cal Kestis in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (Respawn Entertainment/EA)

The book’s prequel tells an interesting story, but since we don’t need to know it, the experience is the same. When we meet Cal again, he is all alone, working as a mercenary for Saw Gerrera with some other previously unknown people. Cere, Merrin, and Greez left him and decide to go their own way. As seen in the trailers, Cere decided to rebuild the Jedi Order and the Jedi archives. It’s one of the most surprising and somehow unexpected moments in the game.

Merrin, on the other hand, is trying to find herself and become stronger. By learning Dathomir’s history and gaining some social skills, she is now a more developed character than in the first game. On the other hand, Greez has left the team and has his own cantina. Of all three of Cal’s companions, Greez is the one who is still the same person, obviously not fully. But his positively gruff persona is something that still brings a lot of joy.

Cal Kestis is a very different character in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

If you remember in Jedi: Fallen Order Cal was very careful to remain an incognito Jedi. Since Order 66 was executed when he was a Padawan, his training was not completed. Now we see a completely different side of Cal. He’s impulsive, unthinking, and gets carried away by his emotions. It’s almost as if he has a death wish. Especially now that he is wanted by the Empire.

Every person who knew him in the previous game notices and points out how much he’s changed. He’s truly a broken man who is fighting a war and thinks he is winning. However, at some point, he realizes that Empire is still developing and his fight, will not change anything. Cal decides to find a place where he and his friends can hide from the Empire. And it is a place that is hidden behind a very dangerous space nebula.

In the course of the story, he is reunited with Bode Akuna, one of the mercenaries he met while working for Saw. We see how their relationship evolves, and it’s a really good story. Because of everything that happens between the first and last missions, to say that this is excellent character development is like saying nothing. Cal’s a lost and broken hero, trying to find his way in the galaxy.

We see Cal struggling, especially when he awakens the High Republic Era Jedi Dagan Gera. Cal sees something of himself there, but he doesn’t know he needs to change. The older traditions and mentality of the heroes of the time are something that cannot work in “modern” times.

Technicalities, bigger worlds, customization, and game bugs

Comparing Jedi: Survivor to Jedi: Fallen Order is like comparing riding a speedboat in a pool to having fun at a water park. Jedi: Survivor is better in every aspect than Jedi: Fallen Order. There are a bunch of other customization options like beards, hair, individual weapon & BD-1 items, changing outfit colors, etc. There is something for every player. Also after the first mission, all lightsaber colors are available.

As for exploration, there are six planets, but they are much larger and more open than those in Jedi: Fallen Order. Instead of creating areas with two to three different roads that lead to one point, it’s one big world with lots of available terrains. We can ride various animals that allow us to get to inaccessible places, use powerful abilities to temporarily connect with certain beasts and more. Using different lightsaber stances against various enemies and multiple finisher animations is a really impressive thing to see.

Greez, Merrin & Cere in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Greez, Merrin & Cere in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (Respawn Entertainment/EA)

As for performance problems and other game bugs, there is indeed a problem. I have not had the opportunity to play on Ultra 4K settings and Ray-Tracing on my PC. I had only three problems that were not problematic at all and one after the patch. The first three were bugs that required reloading the save file and that was it. With the latest one, I had to spend almost a whole day fixing it, but another patch fixed it, so it’s fine.

Final thoughts on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

I have to say that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is the ultimate Star Wars experience for me. It was one of my most anticipated titles of the year and certainly exceeded my expectations. Waiting more than three years for this title was well worth the wait. If I were to use the power of mathematics, I would say that there are about 97/98% pros and 2/3% cons.

The downsides are mainly the short length of the game (I really would have preferred a big 60-hour story) and throwing some characters into the background. If you want to enjoy a Star Wars game, Jedi: Survivor is definitely for you. All you have to do is play Jedi: Fallen Order and you’re ready to go. I would definitely like to see some Story DLC that would expand some of the story elements more, but still, the game as it is is good as it is.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is now available to play on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, and on PC . Have you played this game? What do you think so far? Let us know on social media or The Cosmic Circus Discord! And if you haven’t already, check out our review of the prequel novel Star Wars Jedi: Battlescars!

Book Review: Star Wars Jedi: Battlescars by Sam Maggs

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Wiktor Reinfuss

Big fan of all sorts of pop culture stuff. I also enjoy ambitious cinema. Games, music and graphics are all within my interests. I have a great fondness for the Arrowverse series, especially The Flash.

Wiktor Reinfuss has 127 posts and counting. See all posts by Wiktor Reinfuss