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IGN’s Staff Reviews Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

As you all know, IGN’s official Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order review score is the opinion of an individual reviewer who has played to completion, and not a consensus among the entire staff. That’s been standard practice among virtually all review outlets for decades, largely because of the challenging logistics of having so many people…

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IGN’s Staff Reviews Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

As you all know, IGN’s official Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order review score is the opinion of an individual reviewer who has played to completion, and not a consensus among the entire staff. That’s been standard practice among virtually all review outlets for decades, largely because of the challenging logistics of having so many people play so much of a game in such a short period of time. But what if, hypothetically, a whole bunch of IGN editors and hosts just happened to play Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order so intensively that a bunch of us finished within the first week? What if they all told you what they thought at once with brief reviews and personal scores, and we rounded them all up in one place instead of spreading those opinions out over our numerous shows and over weeks or months?

Let’s call this a grand experiment: here, starting with the official review, are eight different perspectives on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from IGN staffers who’ve played it from start to finish. Tell us what you think!

Dan Stapleton, Executive Editor of Game Reviews, on PC

It’s been ages since we got a great single-player Star Wars action game, but Jedi: Fallen Order makes up for a lot of lost time. A strong cast sells a dark story while keeping things fun and loyal to Star Wars lore, and fast, challenging combat mixes with energetic platforming, decent puzzles, and diverse locations to explore for an all-around amazing game. Read the full Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order review.

Mitchell Saltzman, Editorial Producer, on Xbox One X:

If there’s one thing that Jedi: Fallen Order reminded me of over and over as I played through its campaign, it’s that Jedi are badass. Respawn not only totally nailed the power fantasy of swinging a lightsaber and using the Force, but impressively managed to balance that with a feeling of vulnerability that makes Jedi: Fallen Order feel constantly challenging without ever feeling unfair. Even when I was pitted against what feels like 20 enemies all at once, I always felt like I had the tools to survive, thanks to the ability to reflect blaster shots with well-timed blocks, immensely powerful Force powers, and the fact that the lightsaber will always kill weak enemies in just one strike.

I always felt like I had the tools to survive.

But while Cal’s powers are fantastic when dealing with small enemies that can be blasted off ledges, pulled and thrown towards others, or slowed down to keep them out of the fight for a little while, they feel utterly ineffective against the larger, more monstrous baddies that resemble typical Soulslike bosses. That hurts these fights because Jedi: Fallen Order’s lightsaber combat just isn’t that great when there’s no blade to clash with. While it’s easy to compare Jedi: Fallen Order to Dark Souls, the reality is that the parry-heavy lightsaber combat system is actually more similar to Sekiro, but with a crucial difference: you can’t cancel out of an attack early and immediately switch to defense. That means you have to fully commit to either attacking or blocking, which leads to a conservative rhythm where I would just wait for an attack, parry/dodge it, swing my lightsaber two times, roll away, and repeat.

Fortunately, the good far outweighs the bad in this case, and the worst fights were usually relegated to a few optional battles against enemies that guard collectibles or upgrades. All in all, I had a wonderful time with Jedi: Fallen Order. More than anything else, I’m just glad that a Star Wars game other than Battlefront finally made it to the finish line.

Every IGN Star Wars Game Review

Samuel Claiborn, Managing Editor, on Xbox One X:

Jedi: Fallen Order feels like a retro game, and that’s a good thing. Its primary influence, worn on its oversized Jedi robe sleeve, is clearly Metroid Prime; both games share intricately connected alien landscapes, scannable creatures and lore, and a head-spinning 3D map. Metroid Prime may seem like a modern game relative to the original, but it is now 17 years old (I hate to remind fellow old-school gamers of this, but 17 years before Metroid Prime, Paperboy was the new hotness). Other olde-tymey influences are Tomb Raider (there are puzzle-filled tombs) and Batman: Arkham Asylum (the combat), and of course the Star Wars prequel-adjacent setting rounds out the turn-of-the-century-vibe. It is nostalgic and comforting; like many other retro games, I love it.

The star is BD-1, who lightens up even the darkest (and dullest) scenes.

Star Wars-specific additions to the Metroid Prime mix include hyperspace planet-hopping, lightsaber duels, and Storm Trooper mass beatdowns. With these natural additions, Jedi: Fallen Order doesn’t feel like a knockoff. But what feels truly new is the acting and story. Nothing like that existed in the Metroid Prime era. Assembling a crew is a personal favorite story type of mine (e.g. Mass Effect; although I wish there were full Mass Effect-like dialogue choices and character interactions in Jedi: Fallen Order). I even warmed up to Cal, who initially seemed like a generic sulky Anakin stand-in. But the star is BD-1, who with a wide-eyed, WALL-E vibe, lightens up even the darkest (and dullest) scenes.

What brings me down a bit is that although the world built by Respawn is full of interesting characters, great battles, and some pretty settings, it’s also kind of devoid of exciting things to hunt for. Nearly everything hidden is purely cosmetic, save for light XP bonuses and a scant few health and Force upgrades. You can stray from the path but, aside from one really cool sequence-breaking opportunity to get a lightsaber upgrade, there’s really no reason to explore unless you’re dead set on 100%-ing it.

Every Video Game Jedi Ever

Destin Legarie, Senior Features Producer, on PC:

If you enjoy a gameplay loop of difficult, enemy-laden combat puzzles that reset when you rest, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order satisfies that love with five planets full of unique enemy types to test my mettle. The addition of a story showcasing characters who are forced to stop running from their past and face it head-on sends us to these planets where they’ll encounter their inner demons and need to overcome them. The result is one of the most compelling Star Wars stories in gaming history.

Jedi: Fallen Order almost nails its combat system.

This is all paired with stunning sound design that sells the weight of the metal beams dropping on the ground or the stylish set of flourishes when lightsabers clash in scenarios masterfully choreographed by the combat designers. I played on Jedi Grand Master difficulty and needed to use and master the full range of lightsaber and Force abilities to overcome these boss battles, and while it’s not necessary to dive into the deep end like I did, it did enhance my victorious expletives as I vanquished each foe. On that note, Jedi: Fallen Order almost nails its combat system, but sometimes the enemies’ odd lock-on attacks or specific moves will punish you if the camera decides to obscure them at the worst possible moment.

While the skyboxes, landscapes, and world design occasionally stopped me dead in my tracks to admire them, some of the unfortunately modeled compatriots to your cause or oddly placed jumping puzzles can also do so for all the wrong reasons. For example, the wookiees look more like a carpet with eyeballs attached and a few brown tubes of paper glued to them – they’re one of the worst interpretations I’ve ever seen of our furry fan favorites. And then there’s the platforming, which will uncommonly send you flying into a realm of geometric shards as you fall endlessly to your death. Luckily, these negative moments are so infrequent that they are far outshined by what is otherwise a near-masterpiece of Jedi vs. the world game design. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a must-play in 2019 and will likely be a contender for my Game of the Year.

Tina Amini, Editor-in-Chief, Games, on PlayStation 4:

When it comes to a Star Wars game, expectations will always be high. It’s gotta live up to the energy of the best movies in the series and simultaneously be the flag that flies against the worst practices of some of its former games. But what I didn’t expect was a harmonious concoction of the best pieces of the Tomb Raider, Uncharted, and Souls series tied together with a charming Star Wars bow.

The story, characters, and charm of its one-off jokes nail the ambiance of a Star Wars world.

Once you get a handle on the controls, lightsaber combat feels fluid and intuitive in a way only a trained Jedi could possibly master. The timing window for parry and evade moves is controlled by your difficulty setting, so it’s easy to find a challenge if that’s your aim, but it’s just as easy to drop the difficulty for a more forgiving experience. Platforming areas also demand your attention, but unlocking abilities like Force push and pull help give you ownership over your falls. Jedi: Fallen Order manages to delicately balance that sense of challenge with a feeling of progression that never lets its difficulty spill over into feeling oppressive. Meanwhile, the story, characters, and charm of its one-off jokes nail the ambiance of a Star Wars world. Together, those elements navigate the seriousness of the overarching universe’s plot (fittingly backed by the gravity of its orchestral themes) alongside its goofier side, complete with an adorable droid-human dynamic in BD-1 and Cal.

As much as I loved listening to grunt-type Storm Troopers drop lines mid-combat (like, “Well, that’s a blow to morale,” as their friends die by my hand) and the thrill of stringing wall runs and double jumps together, I finished the roughly 20-hour story wishing I could have spent more time with it. I loved the cadence of how levels open up and present new pathways as you gain new abilities, motivating me towards exploration, but I could’ve stood to journey through a larger variety of planets. And meeting new characters with distinct personalities fleshed out the otherwise fairly straightforward story, but they were underused. The ominous Second Sister villain, the flippant Greez and his hidden heart, and the powerful and graceful Nightsister Merrin are all relegated mostly to cutscenes between planets (or boss fights) and back-and-forth dialogue you can choose to engage with or not just before you embark on your next mission. Peppered between there are a handful of other characters that scratch just above the surface of their introductions. Everything that was there was good — I just wanted more of it.

Brian Altano, Host & Producer, on PlayStation 4 Pro

In no category does Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order reinvent the wheel in any capacity. It is, by all means, a triple-A video game checklist that mines and combines already established systems, conventions, and tropes from previously successful third-person action-adventure games and wraps them in a familiar multi-billion-dollar franchise. And you know what? It works fantastically. After years of canceled promises of single-player Star Wars games, I’m totally okay with getting something that feels and plays like Star Wars video game comfort food. The story is excellent, the lightsaber combat kicks ass, and the worlds are genuinely exciting to move through, explore, and plunder for treasures.

Fallen Order is a masterful take on the Star Wars universe.

I went from thinking we might never get another great story-driven Star Wars game again to hoping Fallen Order becomes a series that we can return to every two years for a long time to come. A few technical hiccups aside, Fallen Order is a masterful take on the Star Wars universe with great combat that scales to your desire for difficulty, some gigantic and intense moments of action, and one of my favorite droid sidekicks ever. Even Cal Kestis – a seemingly generic video game protagonist on paper – quickly grew on me as a wonderfully optimistic, endearing, and campy Jedi that fit the swashbuckling adventure well. His ragtag crew of shipmates brought the story together even more, revealing the sometimes slapstick and occasionally very dark and tragic undertones of being a post-Order 66 Jedi.

From the closing of Lucasarts to the game cancellations at EA, I’m sad that we lost so many potentially great Star Wars games over the years. But as Lor San Tekka said at the beginning of 2015’s The Force Awakens, this will begin to make things right. As a huge Star Wars fan, I’m ecstatic that this game exists and that there’s so much to do and explore even after the credits roll.

Jon Ryan, Senior Editor, on PlayStation 4 Pro:

I loved a lot about Fallen Order: its world, story, and characters all absolutely nail the vibe of the classic trilogy, which to my mind has been missing from most of the Star Wars games we’ve seen over the past decade. It even managed to drag some honest-to-gods nostalgia for the prequels out of me in its opening moments – the prequels!

I found its dodging/parrying system in combat somewhat unreliable.

I thoroughly enjoyed exploring every inch of the worlds the Respawn had designed and found the Metroid-esque “upgrade-and-explore” gameplay intensely satisfying, especially with the litany of discoverable cosmetics that my new beloved robot son would find for me. That said, I found that while the Souls-lite aspects provided an interesting, if unexpected, layer of strategy to Cal’s journey, my enjoyment of the experience as a whole was hampered by some clunky or unreliable controls. I’ll never understand why the decision was made to require you to push a “Climb” button rather than just automatically grabbing a climbable wall when you jump onto it, or how the collision/movement issues that were so rampant while sliding down an ice chute or muddy hill made it through QA.

Similarly, while I did enjoy the challenging take on lightsaber combat, I found its dodging/parrying system in combat somewhat unreliable. I know many of you will simply say I need to “git güd,” but I fought my way through Bloodborne and Dark Souls, and in those games I always knew that when I died it was due to a mistake that I made. I can’t always say the same for Fallen Order, particularly in later boss battles, which gave me reason to doubt its input accuracy. Even so, this is easily the best Star Wars story of the last few years (and yes, that’s counting all the Disney movies), and I’m eager to see where Respawn takes the crew of the Mantis from here.

Lucy O’Brien, Executive Editor of Features, On Xbox One X

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order does a great job of mixing together a tough, Souls-like gameplay loop with a rollicking Star Wars adventure that feels right at home in the canon. There’s very little bloat in its 20-odd-hour running time, and I was left breathless after its stunning finale, thrilled to see where the series will go next.

Its controls feel right at home for anyone who’s played a Souls-like game, even if the idea of death and rebirth make less thematic sense in the Star Wars universe than they do in From Software’s series. Enemy encounters present genuine challenges, and defeating a particularly tough one, even on default Jedi Knight difficulty, feels like a real achievement. The best games make you consider each battle and plan your assault accordingly, and Jedi: Fallen Order does just that. More, it nails the feeling of wielding a lightsaber, which is a truly magical thing.

These are deeply considered worlds, sprawling and unique, and wonderfully vertical.

There’s a similar elegance to its map design. These are deeply considered worlds, sprawling and unique, and wonderfully vertical. Like Souls, Jedi: Fallen Order invites you to seek out every nook and cranny, rewarding you for doing so with a plethora of secrets or a hidden, tough-as-nails enemy. This is a water cooler game: you’ll want to compare your experiences to others, as no two playthrough will be exactly the same.

Vitally, it’s peppered with wonderful characters. Cal is an endearingly kind protagonist, while his mentor Cere has a surprisingly complex backstory that provides some of Jedi: Fallen Order’s most heart-wrenching moments. I felt that this was written by people who really understand what makes the best Star Wars heroes (and villains) sing, while their biggest achievement might be creating Star Wars’ most adorable sidekick droid to date, BD-1.

The only thing that lets Jedi: Fallen Order down is an overall lack of polish in its plentiful platforming sections. I couldn’t count the number of times I fell off a slide because I turned slightly too far left or right during a sequence that was meant to feel cinematic and seamless, or plummeted to my death after failing to catch a hard-to-see rope, interrupting the momentum. There were enough of these janky moments that I felt my time with Jedi: Fallen Order fell short of amazing, even if everything else works. Even so, I’m so happy we’ve finally got a great Star Wars game after such a lengthy wait. Bring on the next one.

Just to reiterate, this is an experiment we were only able to pull off because the stars aligned, but it was something we wanted to try and to see how the community felt about it. Let us know in the comments!

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Fantastic Four Reboot Director Josh Trank Reviews His Own Movie

Despite releasing in 2015, the Fantastic Four reboot has gotten one final review — and it’s from its director Josh Trank. In a humorous review on Letterbox, Trank takes some shots at… well… himself, saying “I was expecting it to be much worse than it was.”In the self-depreciating review, Trank gives his Fantastic Four reboot…

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Fantastic Four Reboot Director Josh Trank Reviews His Own Movie
Despite releasing in 2015, the Fantastic Four reboot has gotten one final review — and it’s from its director Josh Trank. In a humorous review on Letterbox, Trank takes some shots at… well… himself, saying “I was expecting it to be much worse than it was.”In the self-depreciating review, Trank gives his Fantastic Four reboot a whopping two stars, which is actually lower than IGN’s review. In his scatterbrain review, Trank is rather critical of his film, stating he was in a “heavily f**king traumatized state of mind” just two weeks before the movie was set to release.

Fox Movie and TV Show Properties Headed to Disney

While not directly saying it, Trank alludes to the idea that the reboot’s less than positive reviews weren’t totally his fault — stating that he will “save that for another time.”

After the movie’s initial release, actor Toby Kebbell alleged that Trank “cut a great film that you’ll never see. That is a shame. A much darker version, and you’ll never see it.” Following in suit with Kebbell’s claims from a few years ago, Trank makes a humorous, yet seemingly serious attempt at starting a “#ReleaseTheTrankCut” hashtag.

If you’re out of the loop, Trank is referring to the director’s cut of 2018’s Justice League film that was never released following Snyder’s decision to step away from the film after the tragic death of his daughter. After word spread of the former director’s cut of the film, the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut hashtag began spreading like wildfire, and was even supported by actors from the film like Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck.Trank finishes his review, which at this point seems more like a review of the production of the Fantastic Four reboot, saying, “I was 29 years old, making my 2nd film, in a situation more complicated than anything a 2nd time filmmaker should’ve walked into…I just hope Peyton Reed makes the next Fantastic Four and crushes it. And that I get a cameo.”

After Disney acquired Fox earlier this year, there was some talk from Marvel’s Kevin Feige about another Fantastic Four film, so maybe Trank will get his cameo after all.

Andrew Smith is a freelance contributor at IGN. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewtsmith.

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Pop quiz: how many Call of Duty

games have there been? With the all-over-the-place naming convention it’s hard to figure out – four WW2 games, three four Modern Warfares, four Black Ops, a World at War, and a few futuristic one-offs in a pear tree. The good news is that IGN has been reviewing them since way back in 2003 when the first duty called, so below you can scroll through a gallery of the contemporaneous score and Verdict on every game in the series.But before you do, a challenge:

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2) What’s the highest-scoring Call of Duty game?

3) What’s the lowest-scoring Call of Duty game?

Alright, now check and tell us how you did in the comments. Honor system!

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Dan Stapleton is IGN’s Reviews Editor. You can follow him on Twitter to hear gaming rants and lots of random Simpsons references.

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Every IGN Hideo Kojima Review
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Lucy O’Brien is Executive Editor of Features at IGN. Follow her on Twitter.

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