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Review Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, the new epic of Cal Kestis and BD1

The new adventure of Cal Kestis and BD1 holds surprises both in terms of plot and gameplay, will they be enough to do better than its predecessor? Let’s find out in this Star Wars: Jedi Survivor review

It was 2019 when it was published by Electronic Arts and Respawn, Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, a title that we really appreciated and which has given new life to video games set in the Star Wars universe. About four years later we find ourselves dealing (in this review) the sequel to that excellent adventure, Star Wars: Jedi Survivor. A sequel that, we say it right away, has divided our own soul which, staying on topic, declines on the one hand towards positive and bright sensations while, on the other, encounters darkness and uncertainty. Enough talk and let’s get to the heart of our analysis.

A convincing cast | Star Wars: Jedi Survivor review

As usual we will not go into detail the plot and its evolutions in this reviewand, both to avoid spoilers and because, being Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, a very story-driven title, we believe the pitting of the plot itself is fundamental for the experience which, as in the case of the last chapter, is well told with apt and never tedious narrative expedients and solutions. The cast of characters welcomes new entries, just as we will have the opportunity to deal with old (and welcome) acquaintances.

It is a group of characters who, even if not all studied in the same way, appear to be credible and well blended, both with each other and within a universe so vast and so rich like the one from Star Wars. In particular, the protagonist Cal, presents himself as a charismatic protagonist. It will be interesting to note the evolution of him compared to the previous chapter; in this sequel we will find a more mature Cal and even more determined to carry out his mission and in the management of interpersonal relationships.

Review Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, the new epic of Cal Kestis and BD1

S(ouls)tar Wars | Review Star Wars: Jedi Survivor

Many have called Jedi Fallen Order a very derivative title from the genre of soulsnot a real souls-like but something close. This Jedi Survivor is also in the same vein as the previous one. We are not dealing with an exponent of the souls genre but we are dealing with a title that has several points of contact with the aforementioned genre: a fairly high difficulty (even if modifiable), fully explorable semi-open maps, real checkpoints scattered around the map where we will have the possibility to spend skill points and a management of enemies that recalls the rogue-lite genre, with a respawn of minions and minibosses with each save.

All this favors a certain attention to the backtracking which, in turn, is legitimized and justified for plot reasons. This chapter also adopts the 3D map which, in our opinion, has been better cared for and made more usable than its predecessor. The navigation remains almost identical, through the holomap of the Mantis (our ship) we will head towards the planets that can be visited on which we will carry out our missions and where it will be possible to converse with other NPCs who, in turn, will offer us the possibility of start side quests or access their shops.

Review Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, the new epic of Cal Kestis and BD1

Nathan Drake… sei tu? | Review Star Wars: Jedi Survivor

Reflecting on the gameplay of Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, both in the gaming phase and in the review phase, we immediately, from the very first hours of the game, jumped to mind a reference to another giant of the world of video games, or the Uncharted series. This is because, if the platforming component was already very present and full-bodied in Jedi Fallen Order, in the case of Survivor the latter is even more in-depth and, in some cases, even extreme, thus recreating a style very close to that of the series starring Nathan Drake. All this, however, has never bothered us, quite the contrary. Cal’s new abilities (which will also be discovered during the adventure during the final stages of the same) will allow our Jedi to perform extremely spectacular and incredibly reckless actions.

Speaking of skills, we cannot avoid dealing with the beating heart of the whole experience: the combat system. Excellent in all its facets… and there are so many facets! We will have different fighting styles available which will vary according to the grip and handling of our (or our) lightsaber/s and the powers of the Forza. Here is a list of possible styles to adopt:

  • Single: a single sword, classical; a balanced style in every aspect (strength, speed, defense and range).
  • Double blade: A double-edged sword, useful for speed and defense but less so for strength and range.
  • Due spade: a double lightsaber, extremely fast and medium powerful, it lacks range and defense.
  • Blaster: A single sword plus blaster that can be used as both a defensive element (did someone say BloodBorne?) and an offensive weapon.
  • Cross Guard: a real greatsword very powerful but very slow.

Each style will have its own skill wheel which we will develop based on our preferences. This RPG smattering also extends to the aesthetic customization of Cal, weapons and BD1, which is also much more present from a gameplay point of view. BD1 will be very helpful in handling some puzzles through its new features. We will find several environmental puzzles and it pains us to say that not all of them will turn out to be intuitive or well thought out. Level design uncertainties will make some solutions particularly difficult.

Review Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, the new epic of Cal Kestis and BD1

A nasty surprise | Star Wars: Jedi Survivor review

And here we are at the most delicate phase of our review of Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, analysis of the technical sector. We say it right away, in order to avoid misunderstandings: we can consider ourselves negatively surprised by the technical performance of this game. If Fallen Order had represented an excellent technical product, the same cannot be said of Survivor. Our test took place on PS5 and we were sorry to note, from the very first minutes of the game, how much the title presented major technical gaps: huge frame-rate drops despite choosing performance mode, a graininess that accompanies every element on the screen (even Cal!), a series of bugs and clippings and several pop-in episodes.

This is a real pity because it is not possible to fully enjoy, for example, the excellent work done on the animations, of which in any case it is possible to perceive the excellent workmanship. As for the audio sector, however, nothing to say: good music, good dubbing and good sounds of special effects.

Review Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, the new epic of Cal Kestis and BD1

We’ll draw the sums now!

With this title that recalls the way of speaking of the master Yoda let’s sum up this one Star Wars: Jedi Survivor review. A title that, unfortunately, lives with a large sword of Damocles on its head and that, reluctantly, we can say that it has been hit in full by the latter. We are facing an excellent gameone of the best action-adventures of recent years, with a varied and rewarding combat system, spectacular platforming sections and excellent storytelling. All of this, however, is penalized by a technical sector falls short of the gameplay merits and that we cannot fail to consider in the final judgment phase, hoping for a resolving patch.

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Again alongside Cal and BD1

Plus points

  • Cal Kestis is a believable and charismatic protagonist
  • World-class platforming
  • Varied and rewarding combat system
  • Exploration fun and never boring
  • Good sound sector

Points against

  • Technically not up to par
  • Level Design uncertainties
  • Room management not always precise