When Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order initially revealed its gameplay demo last week, I think it’s fair to say the reaction was subdued. Fans felt it was missing a certain spark, while others expressed disappointment at not being shown the promised Metroidvania-inspired gameplay. Many complained about the protagonist feeling a little boring.
The narrative of the game remains a mystery (and Cal remains a little bland), but I did get to experience some of the core combat and Metroidvania elements during a 50 minute gameplay hands-on session at E3. Like a bumbling Luke arriving on Dagobah to be trained by Yoda, I was guided through the session by lead combat designer Jason de Heras, and got to play both a “gauntlet” training mode and the second half of the previously-shown gameplay demo.
While the depth of the mechanics and variety of ways to approach combat meant I couldn’t achieve the same flair as was shown in the gameplay demo, I got a better understanding of how the combat will play out, and the tactical decisions players will be required to make. Fallen Order has a deep and challenging combat system, which once mastered, will provide players with a full Jedi power trip – and the opportunity to get really creative with the combat. It’s promising, yet I wasn’t totally wowed, in part because I felt I’d need longer with the game to get to the stage where I could be more ambitious and develop a sense of flow. On top of that, Respawn’s still keeping many of the force abilities secret, so we’re not yet sure what the combat will be like in the endgame.