Star Wars Jedi: Falling Over

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Sweep

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Edited By Sweep  Moderator

For a game that places so much emphasis on freedom of movement, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (I feel like that colon is in the wrong place but it's not and that's upsetting) has some pretty terrible platforming. Many times I found myself repeatedly plummeting to my death as a result of clipping through geometry, Cal stubbornly refusing to grab on to pipes and ledges that were clearly, often offensively, within his reach. It's an issue which plagued the Uncharted franchise (and still does) where an unexpected plunge would break any sense of immersion, and is one of the ongoing issues with any plot-driven platformer; you hurry the player forward with the narrative, but how easy do you make the game to ensure they maintain their momentum? This is compounded by the fundamental jank of Fallen Order - sometimes the player will do everything right but still die, which is a cardinal sin of video game design. To compensate for this Respawn trivializes these falls, each trip to the void removing only a sliver of health - one can't help but feel this is because they expect you to fall so much, and reasoned it was easier to minimize the punishment than to fix the damn platforming.

Other than the slippery-ass jumps, bad cameras, and repetitive force puzzles (which weren't helped by the aforementioned jank and camera) it was pretty fun to traipse around the mandatory jungle/snow/rock planets and viciously murder the (bizarrely unimaginatively named. This big slug is called a Slyyyg? Come on) wildlife that lived there. I played through the game with my girlfriend, who is a huge Star Wars nerd, and she repeatedly expressed her delight at exploring some of the lesser known planets that had featured in the Star Wars books. I wish we had been able to explore more of these locations in a context that wasn't just murdering fucking everything, and it seems a shame that the histories of the towns and villages you explore are only available through audio and text logs while the few NPC's are granted generic and uninteresting dialogue. Although having seen the embarrassingly bad hair rendering on the Wookies I have no desire to visit Kashyyyk again any time soon.

There's still moments of genuine joy to be had in the simple things that, when done right, feel incredibly satisfying, whether that be force-pushing a squad of Storm Troopers off a ledge to their deaths, or nailing a sequence of parries and slicing a huge space frog in half with a lightsaber. Fallen Order entered our lives at a time when we were more willing to persevere and forgive it's jank as a result of not being allowed to leave the house. Now that we're done though, I don't think either of us has any enthusiasm to return.

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sweetz

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#1  Edited By sweetz

I really didn't have any problems with the platforming in this game or Uncharted for that matter. Maybe your stick fidelity is bad. Assassin's Creed is the only series where I find the character jumping in directions I didn't intend.

Agree about wishing there was more to the locations than just enemies, but I'm pretty sure that's a factor of the development time frame. The few characters that are in it are well written and really well acted. I'll take them over dozens of filler NPCs any day.

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Efesell

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I enjoyed what I played of this but ultimately couldn't deal with how fuckin' shitty it felt to traverse the maps and how it refused to include any form of fast travel for some god damned reason.

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I feel everyone took a vote to hide load screens with awful platforming, slow walking and long animation transitions and I missed out. Next gen SSD's can't come quick enough Fallen Order and FF7 have been quite painful.

Fallen Order's prologue and finale is the closest we'll ever get to Star Wars/Uncharted its by far the games best moments.

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#5 Sweep  Moderator

@sweetz said:

I really didn't have any problems with the platforming in this game or Uncharted for that matter. Maybe your stick fidelity is bad.

Nope, stick fidelity is fine and I'm not incompetent at videogames either. If you found the platforming flawless then I'm happy for you, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be the only one who had issues here. Also, the pacing in Uncharted games has been a recurring issue for years and is well documented. Here's an excerpt from Brad's review of Uncharted 3 in 2011:

Some of the game's more tightly scripted action sequences, particularly the ones where you're running somewhere at breakneck speed, can fall apart if you don't do exactly what the designer wanted you to do exactly when they wanted you to do it. When you're running toward the camera from a giant wall of water and can't really see where you're going, one split second's hesitation or missed jump means you're going to repeat everything you just did, which is a detriment to the frenetic way these games move. This isn't at all troublesome from a gameplay standpoint, since the game liberally checkpoints your progress. It's more about maintaining the momentum of these fast-moving segments which depend on the action never stopping. When you miss your cue, it stops, and suddenly the excitement is gone.

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sweetz

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Hmm I can only remember one "platforming under duress" segment which is the chase sequence on the giant tree on Kashyyyk that involved a bunch of sliding. I do think I had maybe one instance there where I didn't realize the slide was ending and missed a jump, but that's it. I really dig Uncharted, Tomb Raider, etc. style games so maybe I'm just more clued into the "tells". Die far more frequently from combat than platforming in those games. Assassin's Creed games are the only ones that drive me nuts and there it's more when you have to chase someone (or a damn collectible...looking at you Black Flag Pirate Shanties) than you are being chased.

FWIW I played on PS4 Pro with an SSD which pretty much eliminated any hitches that can interfere with the stuff. If the game was constantly hitching mid-transition, I'd probably feel differently.

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Also this game has some of the dirtiest rotten carrots on sticks I've ever seen in a game. Traverse an entire map to hell and back and maybe do a tough challenge to get to a chest that almost certainly has a poncho in it that someone fished out of a waterlogged dumpster.

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@efesell said:

Also this game has some of the dirtiest rotten carrots on sticks I've ever seen in a game. Traverse an entire map to hell and back and maybe do a tough challenge to get to a chest that almost certainly has a poncho in it that someone fished out of a waterlogged dumpster.

This. This is what broke me, and I don't think I can come back.

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I wasn't really loving the game but after back tracking a dozen times getting a chest I missed for the plat caused me to loath FO by the end, no fast travel and the garbage map was an exercise in frustration.

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I rented the game when it came out and played a few hours, but ultimately decided to wait for a sale. It's half-off on the PS4 sale right now so I'm gonna grab it. Definitely gonna play it on easy, because I do not enjoy the combat.

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andrewf87462

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To be honest I didn't really have any issues with the platforming. I seem to adjust to it pretty quickly.

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#12  Edited By msouza1991

Anyone know if the performance is still rough on base consoles? Like someone mentioned above, It's on sale right now but I only have a Xbox One S so if the performance is real rough I don't want to spend the cash.

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I didn't really have problems with the platforming my first playthrough, but with how loose and janky it can feel, I can totally understand having trouble with it. I wish it felt tighter, honestly.

That being said, I absolutely loved Fallen Order and it was my favorite game of 2019. I enjoyed the combat, but what I loved the most was the story, the general Star Wars feel of it, and the music. My gosh, the music is amazing.

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#14  Edited By inevpatoria

@sethmode said:
@efesell said:

Also this game has some of the dirtiest rotten carrots on sticks I've ever seen in a game. Traverse an entire map to hell and back and maybe do a tough challenge to get to a chest that almost certainly has a poncho in it that someone fished out of a waterlogged dumpster.

This. This is what broke me, and I don't think I can come back.

One billion percent. Why Respawn didn't implement some kind of fast travel between meditation points baffles me.

I ultimately liked the concept of Fallen Order while rejecting the game's execution wholesale. Nothing felt good to me. Not the platforming, not the combat, not the exploration. And all of its mechanical mishaps were only compounded by relentlessly poor performance.

To answer your question, @msouza1991, no. The game still runs rather poorly even on the premium consoles. I played on an Xbox One X and there were points during idle exploration in which the game would just freeze for seconds at a time, presumably to load in the complexities of the world's level design. No load screen or even a "LOADING" symbol. The whole game would simply lock up—and never consistently, either. Sometimes it happened during climbing sequences, sometimes when sliding down one of the game's countless slippery slopes. Once, and only once to my memory, it occurred during a pivotal late-game combat sequence.

I frankly couldn't imagine suffering through it on base-level hardware.

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#15  Edited By Nodima

I had a lot of fun with this game, but it definitely had its issues. I'm currently replaying Uncharted 4 in anticipation of Last of Us II and I realized that Fallen Order didn't even invent its obsession with the sliding mechanic, that was also borrowed from Uncharted.

I think there's a ton of potential there if Respawn can iterate and I'm excited to see where they go with it. I can't recall anything out right bad about the game but it did have a pretty variable degree of...goodness.

I'll throw my hat in the ring on performance issues as well - the game didn't always run great, but I've often found that games with "abominable" performance issues are generally only noticed by people who own something other than the console they use. Another game I'm replaying is Bloodborne and I really don't see what adding another 30 frames per second would add to the experience, but with Fallen Order it had a few hiccups that mostly lent to its charm and never actively hurt the gameplay. I played it at launch, continuously over a weekend, on a baseline PS4 that takes every opportunity to imitate and F-14 and I'm not sure I would have known it was one of 2019's worst running games if I weren't on the internet.

In any case, performance definitely isn't what I remember about that game. It's the good characters, the bad ponchos, the wonderful combat, the terrible wookies, the interesting worlds, the mostly clever sometimes rote Tomb Raider map design and one of my favorite final boss battles in a while (if it were in Bloodborne, I'd slot it near the top with Gascoigne and Gahrmann).

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#16  Edited By NTM

The game was okay. I am happy it came out, and it's probably the best Star Wars came to come out since... Republic Commando? The intro and outro areas of the game (the more linear sections) were the most exciting parts environmentally and story-wise. It takes inspiration from many games, but it doesn't quite reach the quality of each of those games. The story and characters felt very basic and cliche. It's one of those stories that has dialogue that you can guess what the characters are going to say, and that's a shame. The open areas could have been better. Kashyyyk, which I would say is one of my favorite Star Wars worlds, was probably the worst. It had extremely low textures in areas and was the buggiest. Visual issues aside, it still looked great, and the sound design was terrific.

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#17  Edited By Humanity

I had fun for the most part and the platforming was OK except for those goddamn slides. The sliding sections just felt broken in the way that they chained sections together. One particular spot had me attempting it about 15 times before Cal finally jumped off the lip of the slide in the direction of the hanging rope and actually grabbed on. I knew what I had to do and I was attempting to do it but it felt like there was some sort of algorithm at play randomizing the trajectory of my jump at each attempt. Once you gain the ability to force pull ropes towards you it becomes less of an issue but those beginning areas that seem replete with sliding around are absolutely awful. This coming from the studio that crafted such blissfully satisfying movement in Titanfall made it a real head scratcher as to what went wrong - engine difficulties? Time constraints? Surely not a lack of technical talent.

Lastly regarding the ponchos - that IS a studio problem. Respawn have been terrible at aesthetic unlockables. The different camo that served as primary carrot on a stick in Titanfall 2 was typically abysmal and Apex Legends continues that trend as well even down to the super exclusive skins. Now you’re an ugly green with neon lights moving all over you.. Apex is overall such a weirdly disjointed affair in terms of art direction. While Titanfall 2 had a solid motif, Legends feels like it was cobbled together from left-over assets of failed pitches. At least Jedi manages to have a look to it, but those ponchos were a constant disappointment and I played the entire game in my starting junker outfit.

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#18  Edited By justis

Too bad that only the first minutes of the game made me shiver with pleasure ... Then after that it becomes a maze game with puzzles: '(Not really what I expected from a Star Wars game, the RPG dimension of KOTOR seems to me a lot more interesting than all these puzzles.

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#19 Sweep  Moderator

@humanity said:

Legends feels like it was cobbled together from left-over assets of failed pitches.

Ha, 100% agree. I feel like they were trying to compete with Fortnite and Overwatch by dialing every character up to 11 and the result is they all just look kind of garish and bad.

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I think the game would be improved immensely if they allowed fast travel between meditation points, at least after you complete a planet. For a game that wants to encourage exploration, countless times I would look at the map, full of long one way paths and big stretches of broken platforming and say "well, never getting to that skill point again".

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@hermes: Absolutely, it's like an anti metroidvania. Instead of seeing something inaccessible and wondering what cool thing will get me there later I get dropped down a fuckin' slide and look wistfully back where I was and proclaim it dead to me.

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@sweep: I'm sure you aren't alone, but I also had no platforming issues with this game. I had some issue with the ball puzzle and getting them to go where I wanted some times, but that was me not being careful more than anything.

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