Those who saw Respawn’s new Star Wars videogame, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, in a behind-closed-doors demo at E3 came away with far different impressions of the title than that of most viewers who tuned into the EA Play conference during E3 2019.
On June 8, EA and Respawn showed off the first public gameplay demo for the hotly anticipated Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and it left many viewers with mixed feelings. Yes, it is gorgeous. Yes, lightsabers are just inherently cool as hell, but the demo itself just seemed so bland and linear. Yet as it turns out, there is far more to Respawn’s new Star Wars videogame than what viewers were initially shown.
In the aforementioned closed-doors demo of Respawn’s title, a lot more of Fallen Order’s systems and influences were shown, and this left those who saw it pretty excited for the title. Now, as if in response to the all-too-Uncharted-like stage demo, EA and Respawn have released the behind-closed-doors demo of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in full, and it sure does look impressive.
The demo opens with the stark imagery of two vine-laden AT-ATs stomping their way across a body of water on the Wookie homeworld of Kashyyyk. The title’s protagonist, Cal Kestis, emerges from said body of water, scales an AT-AT, fights his way through the siegecraft’s immensely detailed interior and then takes control of the AT-AT. He rains red-hot doom onto a bevy of Storm Troopers and eventually brushes shoulders with the Rebel leader Saw Gerrera, of Star Wars: Rogue One fame. From there, the demo plays out akin to the public demo, but it is more fleshed out. It is through the extended moments of the demo that the influence both Dark Souls and Metroid Prime have on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order become readily apparent. From a force bar (stamina) to save-states that are just straight-up Dark Souls bonfires, Fallen Order seems to be one of the first AAA titles to take away elements from the Dark Souls series beyond just sheer difficulty and abstraction.
Furthermore, the hololithic 3-D map devoid of waypoints and the notion that the player can—with their in-game ship—travel to various worlds where certain elements will be partitioned off until the player has the gadget/power/upgrade(s) to get past them is very Metroid Prime in the absolute best way possible.
With this demo, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order shows itself to be less of a beautiful puddle and more of a deep, complex sea of various ideas and gameplay motifs that looks immediately compelling. This, as it turns out, was game director Stig Asmussen’s intent when he, Respawn and EA decided to release this longer demo to the public. He said as much in a public letter posted Tuesday, writing: “ I promise there is considerable challenge and depth to be found within our combat system. The same can be said about our approach to level design, which is crafted in a non-linear way with heavy influences from games like Metroid, Castlevania, and the Souls series … This is a lot to describe in 15 minutes of gameplay. Getting hands on the full 25 minute experience is best to completely understand it.”
Check out the newly released gameplay demo for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order below. The title will be released on Nov. 15 for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.