Whether you are a Star Wars fan or not, you have most likely heard of the recently released game Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. For better or worse, the game has received a significant amount of notoriety this past week.
Prior to the game’s launch, reviews for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor came out praising the game and stating that it could be a contender for Game of the Year. However, on launch, many gamers had a different experience. On PC, the game was considered unplayable by many. On consoles, the game faced multiple crashes and framerate issues.
Over the past week, we have taken our time to experience all that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has to offer. As fans of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, we have eagerly awaited the release of the sequel. After playing the game, however, we have mixed feelings about Respawn Entertainment’s latest game. Without further ado, let’s dive into our Star Wars Jedi: Survivor review!
This is a review coupled with a supplemental video review. You can watch the video review or read the full review of the below:
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PC (Steam) (EGS), PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S
Release Date: April 28th, 2023 NA
Players: Single Player
Price: $69.99 USD
In Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, the player is reintroduced to Cal Kestis after he has been captured and is escorted to meet with an Imperial Senator. Once in the presence of the senator, the villain gloats and tells Cal that his rebellion is at an end. The captive interaction with the senator turns out to be a ruse in order to get Cal and his team close in order to steal classified information from the senator’s ship.
After originally going according to plan, the plan falls apart as Imperial reinforcements arrive and kill most of Cal’s crew. Out of the original six, only two survive, Cal and Bode. Separated at first, the two reconnect and work on solving a mystery from the High Republic Era days revealing a lost Jedi Temple.
The game’s story feels more like a long fetch quest rather than a well-written adventure narrative. While trying to uncover the details about the hidden temple you will be forced to go back and forth between planets. For how big the Star Wars universe can be, the game’s universe just feels small. The ending does set up the possibility for another game, but in a way, it almost doesn’t warrant it.
If you are a fan of the original Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order then you can expect a bit of a change of pace with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. In the previous game, enemies felt almost merciless where you had to fight to survive, now even on higher difficulties their efforts feel comical.
Outside of being more cautious and needing quicker reflexes the difference between Jedi Knight and Jedi Grand Master felt minimal. Jedi Knight is the equivalent of normal while Jedi Grand Master is equivalent to veteran. For fans of Soulsbourne games, Jedi Grand Master is the closest you will get while playing this game.
Unlike its predecessor, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor seems to focus more on exploration and visual appeal than combat within the game. During our playthrough, a majority of our time was spent solving puzzles or trying to find our way through the levels.
As you progress through the story, the enemies found out in the wild will grow stronger, even former enemies that were bosses will be spotted in the wild. Sadly, the enemies in the wild pose as little threat as the meaningless bosses throughout the game.
In fact, most boss fights within the game took under two minutes to complete and the grunt fights were even shorter. Even on the highest difficulty, it felt like the enemy’s AI was slowed down in order for the player to win the fight. Fighting with the game can be visually appealing but most fights will make you feel unsatisfied by the minimal effort you actually have to put in. In fact, most players can get away with spamming buttons in order to win a fight if Jedi Knight or lower.
If forgettable bosses aren’t bad enough, the developers did an awful job at making the side quests matter. Most of the side quests within the game can easily be skipped and has very little consequence if you choose to do so; rather than rewarding the player for completing the quest with a good experience boost, most quest rewards will grant cosmetic items and potentially a skill point. If you are wanting to unlock more skills, then they can be helpful but are unnecessary.
Choosing to do the quests will unlock characters around the bar and city for the player to interact with. If you are looking to kill time, then these can be fulfilling but they do not improve the overarching story; in fact, most of the side quests feel hollow outside of adding someone new to a bar where everyone knows your name.
Stances and Customization
Beyond that, combat within the game can be satisfying. While playing through the game, players can unlock a variety of stances to help take down Cal’s foes. After a stance has been unlocked, Cal can switch between stances. At any given time, Cal will have two active stances but can change those two at meditation spots.
The meditation hub allows the player to rest, adjust Cal’s stances, fast travel, spend skill points, train, and equipped perks. Perks within the game are rather limited making the player choose which ones are optimal. Resting restores Cal’s health and replenishes stim packs.
Skill points can be assigned to sub-skills in one of three skill trees; the three sub-skills are Survival, Light Sayber, and Force. Each tree has skills within that the player can pick and choose between however skill points are limited. The game features a variety of skills that allow everyone to customize their style of play.
Graphics and Music
Visually, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is beautiful but the occasional bugs can ruin the experience. The game’s levels are massive with a bunch of areas to explore, however, some story progression is required in order to explore.
Cutscenes can be thrilling and action-packed, but almost feel like you are watching a movie rather than experiencing a game. Despite feeling like a movie, the rendered cutscenes feel more reminiscent of the late 2000s or early 2010s art style rather than modern visuals. You can enjoy the game and experience interesting worlds but it doesn’t have as much of an impact compared to its cinematic counterparts.
The game’s music helps set the atmosphere and the mood. The musical composition is arguably one of the best aspects of the game due to the mixing of sound effects, dramatic/suspenseful music, and voice acting. Most of the voice actors kill their roles throughout the game with only two side characters feeling like they phoned in their roles.
Outside of the story following the Star Wars Cinematic formula, the game’s soundtrack lives up to the expectations set by the movies as well. Each environment had its own unique feel with objects within each area sounding how they should. BD is less annoying than in the original game and Cal’s lines feel as if he has grown and matured.
During our playthrough, we had our save file corrupt when dealing with internet issues. We also had a bug that resulted in us falling through the level and continuing to fall endlessly. Upon restarting the game, after running forward for a few seconds, we fell through the level again, however this time we eventually did die. This would lead us to wait until Respawn Entertainment put out a patch. Even after the patch, we still managed to get stuck in objects or have the game crash on us.
Going into Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, we hoped for the story would expand the Star Wars universe similar to how The Mandalorian or Obi-Wan has. Sadly, the game’s story did not live up to that expectation and gives us more of the same. Without spoiling the game’s story, players can the game to follow the formula that Star Wars fans have become accustomed to. Players should expect a familiar tale where the main character experiences adversity, deals with betrayal and death, and has to make tough decisions along the way.
Gameplay-wise, the game feels like it has taken a step back. Yes, it offers a ton of accessibility options to make it easier for anyone to play but in doing so has taken away some of what made the first game special; in a way, it coddles the player too much. Enemies within the game feel interchangeable and the game almost references that with the auto chess game Holo Tactics. Even the bosses feel interchangeable. Outside of a few boss fights, most of the bosses within the game are forgettable.
Fighting within the game can be satisfying if you just want to just smash buttons mindlessly, but if you are looking for a challenge then only the higher difficulties will offer one; those higher difficulties still won’t fill the void that Soulsboune games or the previous game filled. If you are looking to play the game in a variety of ways, you can. By choosing different skills and fighting stances, players can get hours out of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, but in a way it doesn’t feel worth it.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is easily a one-and-done experience. Because of this and some of the game’s bugs, we recommend waiting until the game is fixed or goes on sale.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was reviewed on an Xbox Series X using a copy provided by Electronic Arts. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was released on April 28th, 2023 on Windows PC (Steam), Epic Game Store, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.