Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (opens in new tab) looks every bit the Star Wars game we have always dreamed of being able to play, especially after being shown in detail at E3 2019 (opens in new tab). Respawn Entertainment, that’s the studio behind Titanfall 2 (opens in new tab) and Apex Legends (opens in new tab), is building a third-person action game where you are thrust into the boots of a young Jedi on the run, hunted by the Imperial’s deadly Inquisitors following the execution of Order 66.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s Game Director Stig Asmussen – who previously directed God of War 3 – spoke with our sister publication Official PlayStation Magazine to detail the electrifying third-person combat. This was all a part of the magazine’s huge cover exclusive on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which you can read for yourself in print and digitally in Official PlayStation Magazine 163 (opens in new tab).
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Respawn is moving away from its first-person shooter roots to create Fallen Order, a third-person action adventure game in which Cal Kestis, a young padawan who escaped the slaughter after Order 66 was given by the Emperor during the events of Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. To survive being hunted by the Imperials’ best troopers, you’ll need to grow your relationship with the Force and expand the array of powers and abilities available to you.
Those powers include things like wall running, force-pulling objects to leap to, and combat. Cal mixes these up with melee lightsaber combat – something Respawn is describing as “thoughtful combat.”
To read the rest of the Official PlayStation Magazine (opens in new tab) exclusive access to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, be sure to pick up a copy of issue 163 in print or from digital storefronts.
“You see it as kind of a trend more in games now. When we started working on the game, that’s how we coined it, ‘thoughtful,’” Asmussen tells OPM. “But you’re seeing some other games right now where it’s not about body count. It’s more about really figuring out what is the best angle to get on your enemy, and what’s the best way to take them down. That’s not only single combatants, but it’s also like, the arrangements, of specific enemies that you have in any given fight.”
The enemies the Inquisitors send Cal’s way can hold their own, even against a Jedi: the black-clad Purge Troopers are able to match lightsaber blows with him in close-quarters combat, and the Second Sister is an Inquisitor herself, a force user who has been turned to the dark side to hunt down the Emperor’s enemies and eradicate the Jedi. In the tense fights you’ll find yourself moving between in Fallen Order, it’ll take thought as well as dexterity to land that decisive killing blow. “Part of that was also born out of the fact that we’re using a lightsaber,” says Asmussen. “Most enemies, if you actually strike them and you get a hit through, they go down, and you basically kill them with one hit of the lightsaber.”
That’s fair enough. Nobody should be withstanding strike after strike from a lightsaber; cutting through flesh and armour with one is like running a knife through the softest butter. It means Respawn has had to get creative with its approach to combat in Fallen Order. “What makes it different than a weapon in any other game is that’s it’s not a sword, it’s not a bat – you can’t just keep on whacking at something,” Asmussen continues. “We had to give the enemies – we had to inject in them a certain amount of intelligence so that they feel like you’re not always landing like ten hits to take somebody down.”
Hence the need for thought when approaching combat scenarios, whether that’s about how to approach a group, or the best way to break through a strong opponent’s defence. “That’s kind of what that was born out of. It was a setup of how we wanted to approach battles in a melee action game anyway, and then it was like then you layer lightsaber on top of that. You really have to think when you go into fights,” says Asmussen.
The Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order story explained (opens in new tab) by developers Respawn and LucasFilm.
All of this means that Respawn is taking a more considered approach to combat in Fallen Order. You shouldn't come into this expecting an experience like 2008's Star Wars: The Force Unleashed or the more recent revival of Star Wars Battlefront 2. Instead, you'll need to use the force to come out of each scrape with the Inquisitors alive – think Sekiro with more lightsabers and less horrible monsters.
You'll need to be mindful of your surroundings, you'll need to think and feel your way through scrapes, and you will need to utilise all of the tricks a young Jedi has hiding up his sleeves. Better still, you'll be able to experience it for yourself when Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order launches this November.
Official PlayStation Magazine #163 is on-sale now, in both print and digital forms. To read the rest of Official PlayStation Magazine's exclusive Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order coverage, pick up a copy of the magazine at My Favourite Magazines (opens in new tab).