My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and to be honest it wasn't the best. Mainly because all my friends were busy so nothing was planned. To compensate for the pain in my cold heart, I decided to buy a new video game. Lucky for me, "Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order" released the day after my birthday so I decided to drop $70 and get the game. Now a little context, the new Star Wars games are published by Electronic Arts Entertainment. They are known for being a company obsessed with microtransactions in games so I was skeptical about buying the game. There's a narrative that game studio executives try to proliferate that single-player video games are dead media; multiplayer online 24/7 games are the way to go. Electronic Arts received a lot of backlash two years ago with the release of Star Wars: Battlefront II for their implementation of microtransactions over in-game video game content. So there's a lot riding on this game and to be honest, they did not disappoint.
For people who might not know a lot about Star Wars, basically there was this society of people known as Jedi. They protected the galaxy but then they were betrayed and mass executed. The few Jedi that survived the purge are either being hunted down while the Empire takes over the galaxy. Our protagonist, Cal Kestis, was a Jedi in training at the time of the mass execution and is now in hiding working for the empire. But one day when he uses his powers to save his friend he is forced to flee across the galaxy. He then stumbles upon a team of individuals looking to help rebuild the Jedi and thus your mission is to help them do that. Cal is played and motion captured by Cameron Monaghan. He's the same actor who played Ian Gallagher in Shameless. He does a phenomenal job at portraying a hero with PTSD trying to find confidence in himself. Watching the Game Development Process that came with the game, the game director explains how even though they're making a game it's a Star Wars game and that comes with a lot of responsibility. It's a more narrative tale than most single-player action games but there is still a heavy dose of action. The whole story overall was very engaging. I remember hopping from planet to planet hoping it wasn't the last one.
Fallen Order - Stormtrooper Combat GIF by Illeva | Gfycat gfycat.com
The combat was very fluid and difficult. This isn't a simple pick up and go type of game. Every enemy in the game is difficult to combat. Some of them are hideously ugly. But with every death, whether a stormtrooper or a giant ice monster, I was motivated to respawn and not quit until I defeated that boss. Every time I learned a new power or unlocked a new upgrade I felt like I was becoming more and more like a Jedi in the films. On top of that, I even got to customize my own lightsaber! You can tell the developers really put their time into this game. Everything is just perfect, the last half hour of the game was the most challenging and thrilling experience I've had with a game this year.
What may have started as an impulse buy has turned into the game of 2019 for me. "Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order" reinvented my love for Star Wars and is truly one of my favorite stories to come out of the universe. Cal Kestis might even be one of my favorite Star Wars characters, next to Han and Obi-Wan. If you are a skilled gamer looking for a challenging game, you gotta play this one.