Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order 2 is one of the rare star wars games that feels right at home in the franchise’s greater story it’s a more grounded take on being a Jedi and its well-rounded characters help tell a compelling story that makes it feel true to the star wars universe.
friendship is a major theme of star wars and the core of Jedi fallen order is the relationship between protagonist Kal testis and his faithful droid companion bd1 the Jedi and his droid spend the entire game together as they explore vast interlocking maps spread across several different worlds with cal and bd constantly conversing and assisting one another. Bd is a main component of the story he contains the information that helps cal to complete his mission of finding a list of force-sensitive children spread across the galaxy but bd is also a big part of gameplay providing support like stims for healing opening doors and navigating zip lines which make him an essential companion you’ll need bd’s help both in and out of combat because fall in order can be punishing it borrows liberally from souls borne games enemies do a lot of damage and require careful execution of blocks and parries to defeat often testing both your lightsaber combat skills and your tactical use of force abilities.
you can only replenish bd’s stims at specific locations that serve as checkpoints but like in the Souls games healing yourself at these points respawns all the enemies in the area and while you can gain experience points for defeating enemies and gathering collectibles that allow you to unlock new abilities dying costs you most of what you’ve earned requiring you to find exact revenge on the enemy that bested you in order to get it back.
but while fallen order takes a lot from the Souls games it’s by no means as challenging instead it strikes a strong balance between making you a skilled Jedi warrior and keeping you from becoming an all-powerful force superhero.
that balance makes Jedi fall in order feel grounded and believable and it helps make the empire a more menacing dangerous threat throughout the game combat focuses heavily on blocking parrying and dodging since enemies can do a lot of damage in a single hit you have a stamina meter that dictates how many blows you can deflect without taking damage before you’re staggered and left open fighting tougher enemies like the Jedi hunting purge troopers is often about whittling down their stamina and avoiding attacks so you can get in a few good hits before backing off.
you also unlock more powers as you work through the game which adds a more tactical element to fights because fallen order often has you face several enemies at a time you’ll need to figure out how you can dispatch tougher foes quickly or whittle down a crowd to keep from getting overwhelmed taken together with all these elements often mean fights consist of a mix of twitch skills and strategic decisions testing all of your abilities so you can make sure to get out of a battle in one piece.
the difficulty of fallen order isn’t always perfectly tuned it can be a frustrating game at times it likes to throw handfuls of enemies at you often ambushing you before you know they’re there and the fact that they do a lot of damage can mean things go belly up after one cheap shot.
infrequent checkpoints can make some fights a pain especially when you’re facing off against tough bosses and have to travel a good distance to return to a fight you’ll try over and over again but for the most part fallen order does well to combine the fantasy of being a Jedi with a world and enemies that feel dangerous and imposing especially in the second half though fallen order really hits a stride as it develops.
more force abilities give you tools that make combat encounters exciting while the story builds on the relationships between cal bd and their allies seer and Greece as they explore new aspects of the star wars world.
at the heart of the story is cal’s trauma from surviving order 66 the empire’s purge of the Jedi during revenge of the sith and how he and other characters sort through their feelings is some of the best stuff in the game.
it’s in the story and characters that fallen order really shows that respawn understands the essence of star wars and while the story is a little rough in its early hours rushing to get you on your quest without establishing why you should care by the end it becomes an emotional and rewarding journey.