Upon first beginning the game, you can clearly see the graphics are to a good standard. It is clear, crisp and is fairly realistic. I think considering the nature of the game, the company and popularity, the graphics could be so much better; when compared to other games that have released recently. Although it has some beautiful scenery within the play-through, it really is limited graphics-wise on the PS4 at least, possibly on other platforms better quality visuals can be achieved. It doesn’t take away from the game, but just comparing to some of the most popular games this day, it just lacks a little considering a lot of games these days are absolutely stunning to look at.
Throughout the game it is evident that the new status of it has some issues such as frame rate stability, texture pop in, and glitching. The game occasionally froze to load when approaching a door or other area threshold, and it is very noticeable. With it being such a fast paced game during fights, frame rate and glitches should be optimised as it can really impact on the outcome of each fight. I hope in the coming months this is recognised and updated possibly. Of course we bear in mind how new this game is, and how games clearly have lots of updates to be done post-release.
A few things that, for us were just weird and cringe-worthy. First of all was Cals face! I mean..What? It was just a little weird and wonky looking, and on multiple occasions we were just kind of looking and thinking of whether the actor who it’s based on looks like this or whether it was just a mo-cap error. Also the wookies fur.. What happened there Remedy? It was so bizarre and stiff looking and took away from the natural “Awh” effect of the species from all of the films. Considering Kashyyyk is the land of the wookies, and it’s a planet you revisit a few times throughout the game, I thought they would’ve taken more pride and time in making the main inhabitants of the planet look a little better considering they are such a huge part of the star wars universe as a whole. The graphics on Kashyyyk are lovely, so It was a little disappointing upon closer look at the furry 8 foot majestic beings!
There were some sections of the game where I was blown away by the beauty and placement of things such as the wreckages on some planets such as Zeffo and Dathomir. My partner wasn’t too bothered but I really appreciated the graphics during that part.
Gameplay and Controls
Of course when you begin a completely new game you have to figure out and learn the controls and the characters abilities and such. To begin, this was a little bit difficult. There was initially no map and controls had to be figured out without prompt and the freedom came across a little scary as it was such a huge place to begin in doing so many different things. Considering you are a jedi, you were in the dark about abilities and how things would pan out, but the early progression of the gameplay does introduce newer players to the Dark Souls-like style of game in a gentler way than other games in the same genre.
It started with a lot of climbing, fitting into tight spaces and trusting your instinct to move around the place following where you should be going, to get you used to the platforming aspect. There was no skill points shown within the first part of the game and as I said, it was almost too much freedom until you were guided by the gameplay and the story began proper. I could say the same for the save points. As we all know, having save points is a safety net and really does make us feel at ease during a game, especially one full of twists, turns and endless enemies of all abilities.
As the first initial introductory part came to an end it was very hit and miss, jumping, doing what you could with limited abilities and hoping for the best. It wasn’t until you head to the next planet that the game began helping you through the controls, abilities, save points, skill points, a map and your place within the game. The way they incorporated these were actually awesome and had beautiful aesthetics with easy to understand formats. It was all tied into one section and made so much sense once introduced to it after being in the dark with it all for the first part of the game, which does make sense in a story telling way; as its meant to make you feel how Cal would have at that point… No idea where he is going, what he is capable of and how to do it.
One part we loved was having to use the lightsaber as a light throughout caves and dark places. It was an awesome addition and made it very effective and realistic. What an ace way to light up the dark… with a f*cking lightsaber. Hell yes!
I suppose this comes under gameplay. The way you know sort of what to do or not to do is basically Cal just talking to himself out loud. It seemed a little bizarre during playing it, but apart from text cluttering the screen its probably the best option, plus having the puzzle hints was very helpful at various points.
Approaching and leaving planets is great as you actually see the ship leave the planets surface from within the cockpit before entering light speed. Although not your control, it is a great way to fast travel rather than just a boring leave and arrive loading screen mechanism. It adds depth and imagination as well as immersion for the players experience.
One thing I will 100% comment bullish*t on is the mechanics of the ice and mud slides throughout the game. The logic and controls seem to change from what you have been using up to that point, and seems to work against the gamer during these times and tests your patience for sure; as it can bring the flow of the game to a crawl if, for whatever reason, these small sections prove frustrating to get past. I wouldn’t be surprised if players have had to take time out to fix the controller they have just smashed against the wall due to the shear amount of times they have been failed by the mechanics and gone into rage mode! It surely is butthole clenching.
" Badass takedown animations"
I think it took my partner about 6/7 attempts to get through the right angle ice slide because no matter what he did with his controls, the game logic decided to throw him off… I’m glad I wasn’t sitting too close to him.
Apart from those few small frustrating sections, the gameplay overall is top notch; once you get the timing and enemy attacks down, it really makes you feel like a jedi master, reflecting blaster bolts and executing badass takedown animations.
Throughout the game there are various collectables and abilities I will keep a secret so that you can discover and enjoy them for yourself without knowing prior.
I’m sure I, as well as many gamers will want the game for the story; Star wars games I’m assuming the latter! For me I am purely into games for the story they hold. I love combat, missions and graphics but for me if a game has a rubbish story or not much at all, it won’t be one I rave about. For this game, I actually really enjoyed and appreciated the story and I’m so pleased myself and partner feel the same way. Since it’s part of the Star Wars universe it had to be good. Am I right? Star Wars is a huge thing and has been for many generations and for many more to come. With the new releases these past few years, any game part of the universe will need to live up to expectations. The story is set around the same time as the film ‘Rogue One’ and speaking of which, there is a particular character who is featured within this game which was a nice touch. It also features the main droid from ‘Rogue one’ and they prove to be super robust! It’s solely based around the empire being in control and Jedi going into hiding or being hunted and destroyed after Order 66. As you will all gather, your character Cal Kestus is a Jedi in hiding working on Bracca, a junkyard planet located in the galaxy’s arse end; lying low. You’re based there with your friend Prauf who finds out you have the force and, through a series of unfortunate events, forces you to move on and use your power for the good of the universe. He is your pal from the beginning of the game and helps you round Bracca which begins the games story. The story introduction is simple, easy to understand and quite effective. It throws you in the deep end quite quickly and really does get the gamer going within a short amount of time. it is effective in giving the player an idea of how tough the combat will be, leaving you barely making it through some encounters at the start, reflecting on Cals own proficiency at that time. As the game goes on, your and Cals ability grow together which is a nice touch.
After being rescued by your new ‘clan’ on the starship’ Mantis’ who you are introduced to quite quickly and out of the blue, You head to your first planet which is where you’re introduced to the other aspects of the game, and you will find your abilities, maps, save points and companion droid. You will get to know your clan more throughout the game and I suppose you develop your own opinions and thoughts around who they are, where they have come from and the role they will play within the story. Being on this starter planet ‘Bogano’ puts the gameplay and game overall into perspective and is quite a good way to begin the further journey and progression of the planets, enemies, controls and ability access.
On ‘The Mantis’ which is your base, you can meditate to unlock new skills, use the workbench to update and customise your lightsaber and collect and grow seeds in a terrarium. I’m not sure if we found out why growing seeds in a terrarium was in there but it was a nice little add on. The lightsaber customisation is a nice way to ad a personal touch to the game, as each player will have different design preferences for their saber. I have to admit though the selection of parts, aside from a few, are quite similar and generic looking, which doesn’t leave players with much of a range of unique looks to create.
Each planet has stories of their own liking in with the bigger picture relating to the Empire and the universes current situation and story. Each planet is a great way to gain new abilities, find ways of getting around, opening up to new enemies and learning about the impact the empire has on each part of the universe. You also have the power to go back to planets and unlock areas you weren’t ready for to find chests and beat enemies that were difficult to fight the first time round, in a Metroid-Vania style which adds some replayablility plus for the pure joy of whopping their asses easily and taking pride in your abilities haha!
The ending of this game definitely made the hair on our arms stand up, and felt like a logical and satisfying ending to this stage of Cals story. It reached a part where we both looked at each other and felt super badass at what we knew was about to happen (if you have finished the game you’ll know which bit). It was a great ending and to be honest we didn’t feel it lacked anything. It was simple, epic, difficult and exciting and kept it open to the films that came after and possibly another game depending on development and creative ideas that could bring out a way to incorporate the game into the next steps of the Star wars universe.
I think we all knew what or who was going to emerge from the darkness within this game but for spoiler sakes I will not go into detail on how, who or when these turn of events happened. All I can say is I thought it was ace. We were excited to see said character in action as it has been limited within the films and we felt the badassery that this character has.
Overall we were both pleasantly surprised at the game. We both agreed it was quite short and wished for a longer game play however were satisfied with the game story and ending. The game wasn’t particularly long but I think it was done well and if any, only minor things could be added or changed. Although the controls and game mechanics fell a little short on a few occasions, it didn’t take away from the impact of the game overall. It was fun, challenging in parts, interesting and the different planets and enemies kept the gameplay and story progression great. It constantly kept us asking questions and then getting answers which I think is essential for a game to be good, after all you have to keep your gamer intrigued and wanting to keep playing it.
It took about 5/6 sessions to complete, playing about 8-10 hours in total. Shorter than some games but still really good. It was fun to sit by and watch too, for me anyway. At an average game price of £39.99 it lived up to expectations and not once did we feel it wasn’t worth the price.