The opening sequence of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is nothing short of mesmerizing. Set against the vast, intricate megastructures of Coruscant, the city-planet, a thrilling heist unfolds. Having evaded Darth Vader’s Imperial Inquisition in the previous game (Jedi: Fallen Order), the fugitive Jedi Cal Kestis now serves the Rebel Alliance, targeting a corrupt senator’s extravagant space-yacht. The ensuing 90-minute chase through Coruscant’s complex underbelly, with Cal slicing through stormtroopers and deftly navigating the city’s incredible architecture, is the epitome of a Star Wars adventure and a high-caliber video game.
Visually stunning, mechanically refined, and wildly entertaining, Respawn Entertainment’s sequel to their initial venture into Disney’s sci-fi realm is a remarkable improvement. Jedi: Survivor is not only a cinematic action tour de force but also features a more polished integration of diverse gameplay mechanics. The result is the most outstanding Star Wars game in two decades, as captivating to play as it is breathtaking to watch.
The distinction becomes evident when Cal departs Coruscant for the remote planet of Koboh to repair his damaged spacecraft and lay low. In contrast to the flat, perplexing, and lackluster Bogano in Fallen Order, Koboh is a vast, visually striking open world that players will return to throughout the game, gradually uncovering routes to its diverse, eye-catching landmarks. Players will scale mountains, explore ancient Jawa-scavenged ruins, and uncover Breath of the Wild-esque Jedi temples. Most captivating is the immense, decaying dome of a crashed Lucrehulk battleship, home to a band of lethal raiders and their re-purposed army of battle droids, which provide both gratifying lightsaber combat and delightful comic relief on Koboh.
Combat takes center stage as players slice through hordes of imperial troops, battle droids, and alien creatures. The battles demand focus and quick reflexes, utilizing parry and dodge buttons to ensure Cal’s survival. As an experienced Jedi, Cal’s repertoire of force powers eases the learning curve and allows for early-game fun, such as flinging stormtroopers off ledges and impaling them with his lightsaber. Players will later access new lightsaber styles with varying degrees of success; while the lightsaber-blaster combo proves versatile, the crossguard stance (inspired by Kylo Ren’s weapon) feels too cumbersome to be practical.
Cal’s innate agility allows for wall-running, midair flips, and rapid climbing, while Survivor introduces a grappling hook and midair dash for even more dynamic movement. This enhanced mobility is expertly utilized by Respawn to craft intricate traversal challenges. Arguably, Survivor’s third-person platforming surpasses its combat, especially in the latter half of the game when Cal spends more time airborne than grounded.
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