At EA Play 2019, the kick off to the gaming extravaganza that is E3, Respawn Entertainment debuted a solid 15-minutes of content of their new game, based in the Star Wars universe shortly after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Announced at E3 2018, this is the first look we’ve gotten of live gameplay to go with the hype building trailers that have dropped so far.
Taking place after Order 66, which started the galaxy-wide purge of the Jedi Order enacted by the Clone Troopers, players take control of Padawan Cal Kestis who is played by Cameron Monaghan through motion capture. Cal is one of the last surviving Jedi and he is now on a path to survive while being chased by the Galactic Empire.
In the gameplay shown we see Cal infiltrating an Imperial Refinery on Kashyyyk with the objective of freeing the imprisoned Wookies, with a loyal exploration droid on his back, BD-1. Throughout the 15-minutes of play, BD-1 hacks, scans, and directly responds to player input by dispersing stim packs for survival.
As Cal progresses through the base he encounters a variety of stormtroopers that are both new and old. With traditional stormtroopers, scout troopers, and flame troopers trying to kill you, you can easily progress through them, using the free form combat system making your way through these mobs looks rather simple.
The combat is fast-paced melee clearly based off combos, chains, and counters but the introduction of force abilities makes the lower level mobs easy to handle especially by using the environment around you. That being said, the introduction of the brand new purge troopers, created specifically for Fallen Order, offer up more complex combat that necessitates counter and dodges, although well-times force pushes may make these enemies easier than most mini-bosses in mobs, however the moderator at EA Play stressed that it was a skilled player behind the controls.
In the combat section of this gameplay, we’re also introduced to a fan favorite, the K-S Droid, the droid type played by Alan Tudyk in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. With a montage of gameplay showing Cal versus the droid as the demo ends, it looks as if the droid will be featured as a boss, and it looks like a tough one at that.
Throughout the demo, you can see skill points being added to the character. While we don’t get a look at the mechanics of the skill tree, the team did explain that they would be used in some of the force abilities, of which they announced four: force push, force pull, force flip – which functions as a traditional double jump, and force slow – which like the flip ability is pivotal for movement through the platforming elements of the game. However, there look to be many more force abilities that can be unlocked.
As a fan of platformers and platforming in third-person action adventures, see my many articles on Tomb Raider, the inclusion of it in Fallen Order adds a dynamic to the game that can absorb some of the redundancies that come with fast combo-based combat. The utility of the Force in this traversing aspect adds hope that the difficulty of the platforming will increase as the levels progress or as the game develops further. The wall running aspect is beautifully implemented, but that’s to be expected from the studio that brought us the beautiful movement mechanics in the highly underrated Titanfall series.
The final thing that we know is quite possibly the information everyone has wanted to hear: Fallen Order is canon. With the game beginning with an interaction between Cal and Saw Gerrera, voiced by Forest Whitaker, the actor who portrayed him in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the excitement is here to stay. In fact, it was also revealed that there would be no light or dark side choices in the game, as the linear story is of the utmost importance because Cal will be used in “elsewhere.”
While we may not know where else Cal will pop up, there is a lot of universes represented in books, upcoming movies, and with the series coming to Disney+ later this year, the games will finally mean more than just a good time.
With more to come at the Microsoft Conference tomorrow, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is set to excite fans of the franchise while also serving as a way for people to come into it. In truth, it’s a good time to be a Star Wars fan.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.