Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is really, really good. You’ve probably heard this already. Our own review and other reviews of the game have praised it quite a bit. But this isn’t a review. Instead, this is just us reaffirming that, yeah, it really is as good as so many other people have claimed. In fact, some of us at Kotaku are already penciling it in for our Game of the Year list.
And don’t worry, no spoilers below.
For those just tuning in, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is the follow-up to 2019’s Jedi: Fallen Order. And just like before, in this latest adventure from Respawn and EA, players take on the role of Cal Kestis, a Jedi who survived the purge as a young boy and who now hangs out with his ragtag found family of misfits as they try to free the galaxy from the Empire. Oh and also try not to get caught by all the people hunting them down. (And there are a lot of people after them.) To bring down the Empire, outrun their enemies, and save the day, Cal has to do a lot of jumping, sliding, climbing, fighting, and exploring. And in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor all of this—every jump, lightsaber swing, wall climb, and more—feels great.
Jedi Survivor is one of those games that just feels fantastic to play. Controlling Cal quickly becomes effortless while either platforming or fighting. You stop thinking about pressing buttons or whatever and instead Cal feels like a natural extension of your own body. And to be clear: The first game played really well. But Survivor just feels more honed in, with every part of the game seemingly built to be fun and satisfying to play.
Whenever folks playing the game at Kotaku talk about Jedi: Survivor, it usually evolves into people just gushing about the latest sequence they experienced or just trying to describe how awesome combat or platforming felt during their last play session. A lot of the time people don’t even say full sentences, instead going “Ahhh, man… so good” or “Uhhh it’s sooo great” or making other noises that aren’t words but convey how much they are enjoying it.
I’ve heard some complaints about how animations look in the game, and I get that sometimes they might look janky, but this is just because Respawn has clearly prioritized input and feel over how it looks. So yes, watching someone play as Cal as he jumps around platforms might look odd, but playing it feels heavenly. I’m not sure about others, but I rarely fast-travel in this game because moving around the planets you visit is such a blast that fast traveling often feels like I’m missing out on one of the best parts of Jedi: Survivor. When simply moving and jumping in a game feels this good, you know you got something special.
Jedi: Survivor Is Way Better Than Just A Star Wars Game
It can be easy to assume that all the hype around this game is just because it’s Star Wars, but even some non-Star Wars fans around these parts are having a blast with the game. Again, when you start to drill down into why, it ends up coming back to how mechanically satisfying and fun Jedi: Survivor is to play. You don’t need to know or care about the Clone Wars or Jedi or the Force to enjoy Cal sliding down a cliff, leaping into the air, force-dashing further, and then grabbing onto a distant rope to swing over a group of enemies that you eviscerate in seconds with your laser sword. That’s just universally cool stuff.
And while I just said it’s great not just because it’s a Star Wars game, it’s still an awesome Star Wars game. I’ll have more to say about this in the near future, but something I appreciate about Survivor is just how Star Wars-y this game truly is. Crusty alien cantinas, weird but loveable characters, dangerous bounty hunters, cute droids, excellent music, genuinely charming friends, cool ships, and all the perfect sound effects.
This is Star Wars at its finest (and weirdest), and an example of how AAA games can be big and yet still feel like each aspect was designed with care. In other words, they can still be incredible if done right. Other devs, take note of sequences like everything leading up to and directly following the moment you get the crossguard stance, or the amazing escape sequence on Jedha. More of this, please!
Sure, the game has some performance issues, but even those can’t stop us (and the rest of the internet) from playing and enjoying this latest and possibly greatest Star Wars video game. Good luck to everything else coming out in 2023!