I wasn’t super impressed with Jedi: Fallen Order when it came out a few years back. Sure, it was fun, but it felt clunky. The combat felt like a lesser Dark Souls, but got markedly better when turned down the difficulty — though I felt that the game lost that appeal of being able to nail things perfectly. The world was cool, but its metroidvania-esque exploration felt hollow. The story was cool, though, even if it didn’t always work for me. More importantly, though, I got to build my own lightsaber and it was Star Wars and I am Star Wars trash.
The sequel, Jedi: Survivor came out recently and I was cautiously intrigued. Then reviews and impressions started pouring in and the consensus was the game was very good. Deciding that, hey, it’s Star Wars and I wanna be a Jedi, I grabbed the game and, last night, started playing it.
And I’m having an absolute blast. Combat feels a few ticks more refined, such that I can play it on Jedi Master difficulty without it either feeling unfair or that the game is actively trying to make my life difficult. Plus, Coruscant is absolutely gorgeous and, like I said, I’m Star Wars trash. Granted, I’m still very early in the game (maybe an hour or two), so there’s time for my prior complaints to manifest again. But thus far, that fantasy inherent to the game sings.
Hitting parry at the right time to block a stormtrooper’s baton and then cut them down feels good, as does deflecting blaster bolts at opponents. There’s a rush from pulling things off and, I’ll admit, I have found myself grinning from ear to ear as I fight through stormtroopers. Survivor keys into the fantasy of getting to be a Jedi, and it’s such a simple pleasure but it’s enough to make me really happy.
I love it when video games tap into a fantasy and I get to live another life. In Horizon Forbidden West I get to fight giant robot dinosaurs, using my wits and skills to come out on top (and I’ll always remember the first time I beat a Thunderjaw in the first game). Uncharted lets me do that adventure thing that money and conservation efforts prevent me from doing in real life, and Destiny 2 lets me save the galaxy with my brother.
As I said, I’m still early on in Jedi: Survivor (I’m trying to be responsible and write this blog post first), but I don’t remember the first game striking me with this much glee from the onset. I’m looking forward to diving deeper into the game and seeing where it goes, but in the meantime, I get to be a Jedi, and that’s enough for me.