Release Date: 2023
Developer: Respawn Entertainment, Lucasfilm Games, Electronic Arts
Official Synopsis: Star Wars Jedi: Survivor picks up five years after the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Cal must stay one step ahead of the Empire’s constant pursuit as he continues to feel the weight of being one of the last remaining Jedi in the galaxy.
Cal Kestis, BD-1 & Crew:
Cal is back with his loveable sidekick BD-1 and he is no longer a scared Padawan in hiding but a Jedi with a crew trying to undermine the Empire.
Although players were very involved in Cal’s journey in Jedi: Fallen Order, the character might not have felt so easily identifiable to everyone. Like John Shepard from the original Mass Effect, Cal can’t be modified to make the player bond with him completely. Despite his diverse crew, Fallen Order’s Cal is ultimately a caucasian boy chasing a mystery left behind by an older caucasian man (Eno Cordova).
An unsubstantiated claim in this article says that the decision to NOT make Cal a female character was because Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII, and IX did that with their main protagonist (Rey) and that Jedi: Fallen Order had already created characters of different genders and ethnicities.
Even though Jedi: Survivor will continue to follow the story of Cal Kestis, in an episode of GamesBeat Decides, games insider Jeff Grubb said that… “he might not be the only one”. Perhaps Respawn Entertainment can deliver fans a workaround by allowing them to play from the perspective of Cal’s Padawan; Nightsister Merrin, or relive times before “Order 66” through the eyes of Cere Junda. Maybe, they can fly the Mantis as Greez Dritus, or perhaps even visit the memories of the mysterious character in the Bacta Tank.
Setting and Visuals:
Set ten years after the events of Episode II: The Clone Wars, means that Jedi: Survivor plays in the same time frame as the Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries.
The first takeaway from the teaser trailer is that the mood feels a lot more ominous than its predecessor. Fans will most likely be on board with this decision, considering that Cal is no longer a kid, and is living during the height of the Empire’s stranglehold on the galaxy.
In an interview with Star Wars.com, game director; Stig Asmussen said that:
That’s why it’s called Jedi: Survivor. They are in dark times, and Cal and the crew are doing whatever it takes to stay alive.
The developers also made the leap from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5, giving them the tools to make the game a mystery-filled cinematic experience. Jedi: Survivor is taking full advantage of next-gen hardware, allowing for dynamic lighting and ray tracing.
As shown in the teaser trailer, Cal’s light saber has fallen into enemy hands. Whether this is just a story element is not clear as of yet but this fact could have a major impact on gameplay. In Jedi: Fallen Order, Cal always had his lightsaber and bit by bit grew into his force powers (and parkour abilities).
If we are made to play without a lightsaber during a portion of the game, would this allow for the addition of other weapons? Back in the days of Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, the protagonist; Kyle Katarn had access to a whole arsenal of weapons including Imperial Blasters and Wookie Bowcasters. It is unlikely that Cal will wield that kind of arsenal but carrying a hand blaster would definitely fit the setting. Even Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi is seen using one in the trailer of his six-episode mini-series.
Respawn Entertainment will have to make some smart decisions on how to reintroduce players to abilities and skills that Cal already learned in Jedi: Fallen Order as well as give them some enticing new force powers. Perhaps a different game mechanic can even make use of Cal’s unique “Psychometry” or Sense Echo ability.
Fans of Jedi: Fallen Order will have a lot to look forward to. If the developers take the feedback from gamers and the Star Wars community into account, Jedi: Survivor has the potential to be an excellent sequel. Let’s hope that Electronic Arts has learned from past mistakes with titles like Dragon Age II to not rush the game’s release or commit to a deadline that they can’t meet (*coughs into hand* Starfield).
Game director; Stig Asmussen had the following to say when concluding his interview with Star Wars.com:
Is there anything you want to say to fans of Jedi: Fallen Order who are excited to continue the journey with the sequel?
Yeah! We’re making the game for the fans. Every day we’re putting our blood, sweat, and tears into it. There’s nothing that’s more important to us than getting the controller into the players’ hands and having them have a Star Wars experience that they feel is worthwhile, they have fun playing, and it puts a smile on their face. We don’t take this for granted. We really appreciate the fact that we get to build in this universe and contribute to it. The fans are right there with us.