Well, 2024 is finally here, and before the first wave of new games are released onto the world. Let’s take a look at one of the more underrated games of 2023, I say underrated because it was timing that made it quickly forgotten. Star Wars Jedi Survivor is the next installment to EA’s “we can make a Star Wars game that is really good” Jedi sub-series and follows the adventures of Cal Kestis, a Jedi in hiding in the in-between period of Revenge of the Sith & A New Hope. The things I remember about this game when it came out in April was it came out within days of Tears of the Kingdom, so it was on borrowed time for its time in the spotlight, and that game was broken on nearly everything, especially PC. So, I played the long game so it could be patched out, and that caused me to forget it even came out last year. After giving it a weeklong session, I’ve realized that a lot of people may have passed over this great gem from last year; as for those who are saying this is the best Star Wars game since Knights of the Old Republic, ehhhhhhhhh.
The game picks up years after the events of the last game, Cal and the gang have split up and gone different ways, while Cal continues to fight against the Empire. Since this is a prequel that has the effect of breaking down a wall and finding a hundred more right behind it, I liked these moments in the beginning because it attempts to ask the question, “what is the point when they keep on coming”, which slowly becomes the main theme of the story. The story is slower paced when compared to what came before, mainly because that one felt very one-shot in nature, as this one feels like every arc ends with “find out what happens next time”, that being said, when the story starts to get good it gets really good, primarily the 3rd act made me remember why I love Star Wars.
As for the gameplay, it is the exact same as before, a MetroidVania hybrid mixed with Dark Souls, but this time it improves on the MetroidVania side with some welcoming quality of life changes; the main one is the map isn’t a total waste this time. Though it still takes some time to get your bearings but when compared to last time, it’s perfect, and also the addition of being able to fast travel from any bonfires, I mean focus points that you discovered on your journey shave hours of the traditional backtracking that is common in these types of games. As for the combat, the improvements made to lightsaber fights are ten times better, mainly on how satisfying they are now. Now when you slice an enemy, they will either have a burn scar on their body, or you cut off a limb and it rag dolls across the room. It brought back to my childhood playing Jedi Knight 2 on my GameCube, which given the identical nature between the Jedi games and Dark Forces, may be on point.
As for the issues that have plagued the game’s narrative since launch, they are a lot less prominent than from what I remember, which is a good start. The biggest improvement I noticed was the performance mode actually works months later, because at launch, it was a stroke of luck if you could get the game running at 60fps, but now it runs at 60 for most of the time, I still had moments of slowdown, but it was during the sections that felt like sensory overload so that was understandable. The clipping issues I remember are still there, and sometimes they can kill the immersion of the moment when the item Cal grabs is stuck on his elbow. But I was able to look past it because it is in a much better state on consoles than it was at launch; I’ve seen PC had it much worse, but I didn’t play it on that, so enough said on that.
So should you add this to your 2023 backlog? Yes and no, I say yes if you are a Star Wars since it’s one of the best new Star Wars content since the buyout, which that doesn’t say much; it just means that it’s either watchable or playable without triggering anger within you. As for the other side of the coin, you won’t get much if you didn’t like the first one because this is clearly Jedi Fallen Order 2.0. But I did enjoy my time with the game, I feel like I enjoyed it more than if I played it at launch because it’s not a masterpiece hidden behind a broken mess like Cyberpunk was; it was just a fine time killer Star Wars that I enjoy in the moment that when something better comes along it will leave my mindset, which is what happened with this game and Zelda. But like I said, the game is good; I’m glad people are finally starting to remember what made Star Wars games good and focus on that, and I’m glad we are getting more of this instead of more Battlefront.
Score: 8 out of 10
Reviewed on PlayStation 5