- Dec 25, 2018
Okay here we go... I am in no way a game reviewer, or particularly tech savy so just some very average Joe thoughts from about 2 hours of playing...
Game installed fine, requires 55gb.
First things first this game looks AMAZING. I have an old xbone (before S & X) and everything looks so nice. A couple of choppy textures but my xbone is ancient as I say. Lightsabers / lasers really pop. I'm getting massive Blade Runner vibes so far which is awesome. Cut scenes look really nice as youd expect
Running & Climbing to me definitely has a Assasins Creed / Shadow of War vibe. Feels smooth, pretty fast and responsive traversing terrain which is nice! I have fallen off stuff alot when I'm trying to climb but it's probably me being crap.
Skill tree so far looks big! split into three trees (that I have access too at this point). New attacks / Force abilities, everything you would expect. Again a bit like shadow of war in that you upgrade to get new attacks + abilities rather than stats like Dark Souls say. You can preview them and choose what bad assery you want next.
You encounter save points which are kinda of like Dark Souls bonfires, you rest to restore health and force + upgrade but enemies respawn. Pretty cool wasn't expecting that! Bd-1 can also heal you a little bit whilst not at save but only a couple of times.
Okay combat feels AWESOME. As soon as you whip out the lightsaber for the first time I couldn't stop smiling. Normal storm troopers die with one attack or deflection, but heavier troops you need to parry / guard break and you can get execution style animations. Combat feels like Sekiro lite or something along those lines to me. You can hold the block button but really you need to time parries to stagger enemies. Really really fun and duels with more powerful enemies do feel like a challenge, if you don't parry or you run out of stamina you can get rinsed pretty quick. Also I remember reading there's no dismemberment but non human enemies do seem to get chopped in half which is pretty fun.
Theres been a few set pieces so far, kinda similar to uncharted, but after the first hour or so things have opened up and I'm in the first area / planet. It's kinda dark soulsy in that there's places you can't get too, but you can see treasure etc but BD-1s map is pretty useful and shows you paths you haven't been on / your objective / current impassable areas.
Lightsaber customisation looks massive, 6 bits to change I think, with many options in each one from loot found in Game. Like modern FPS's with gun customisation but really cool.
Planets sadly I can't comment on how many there as I haven't had the option to travel anywhere else yet!
So far, its pretty great! Sekiro meets A/C meets Mass Effect meets Uncharted Im loving it after these couple of hours and I feel like I haven't scratched the surface at all
Alright update on round two...
I've had a lot of questions and PMs but as I mentioned anything story related Im not gonna answer. I don't want EA knocking at my door, dragging me out my gaff and throwing me in Sarlaccs pit for posting spoilers. I'll try and shed some light on some of the common things people have asked and give my thoughts now I've played about 6 hours in total.
This game is really really beautiful, even on my old Xbone. Snow / Water / Woods all of the terrain I've seen so far looks awesome. I did find myself coming out of a cave or what not and looking at the view for a while on a number of occasions. Some areas are really dark and you need to use your lightsaber to illuminate the way and honestly those bits have knocked me for six. The shadows / the way the light eminates is really stunning. Also fighting in those dark areas is pretty spectacular, hitting a parry and sparks going flying and then getting the kill is so satisfying and so so so nice to look at.
Also the general flow of the game is really nice, initial loading time I've found quite long. But once the game boots up you pretty much flow from cutscene to gameplay seemlessly (with a couple of small exceptions) alot like God of War and I have found myself a couple of times, not realising I can move around again whilst thinking the cut scene hadn't ended yet.
Each planet is DENSE, its way more Metrodvania than I first anticipated. You have to back track and unlock shortcuts for yourself, search for hidden areas & climb / wall run / do puzzles to find things. Very definite nod to all things souls like, but it is really satisfying to unlock those shortcuts and it is really nice how areas come back on themselves and you can see where youve been before.
Enemies really are not pushovers at all. Ive jumped too hastily into a couple of areas and got munched on or ganked by a group of storm troopers pretty quickly and been sent packing back to a respawn. You do have alot of bad ass moves and powers but you are most definitely not invincible. Having said that combat is still by FAR my favourite part of the game, and it does excel when there's a few enemies on screen. Deflecting blaster shots, using Force abilities, rolling, evading, attacking is all really responsive and its so cool to string things together and go to town on some enemies. There are some unblockable attacks so you do have to be on it, and not just running around holding block.
Things seem to unlock as the story progresses so until the game is over you can't really say how many skills there are, or how many planets there are for sure. It's not like mass effect where the galaxy map opens up and you can see all the places to travel too, or Skyrim where you can see all of the different levels involved in a skill tree. However from what I can see, I think there will be more planets than I've seen anybody mention so far. And the skill tree has almost doubled in available upgrades since I played yesterday. It's pretty deep, and certainly I think it'll take some time.
As I mentioned planets are pretty big areas and there's alot to find. I finished on one planet, story wise and had only explored 32% of it. So if you're a completionist there's alot to see. (EDIT this isn't actually the case, coming back to a planet I've previously been on with new powers and you can unlock massive new areas, so you do need to return to planets for new story missions)
Lastly I would say this is a very un "EA" type game so far. Obviously there's alot of EA bad sentiment around, and refreshingly there is no "buy this DLC" or use X currency to purchase this here, type things on the menu screen. That may all change come day 1, but so far it's a refreshingly non micro transaction affair.
Okay here we are again with round three. This will be my final update on this I think, simply because I don't think there's too much more I can add with out spoiling things for you, and I don't want to bore you with the same stuff rehashed. If you've made it this far I hope you've found my ramblings on this game useful. I've played another session today taking my total play time to around 11 hours. I don't feel like I'm half way yet certainly not if I wanted to 100% it. I haven't even gone to a whole planet thats available to me yet for example. Here's some general closing thoughts and impressions for you.
Firstly this game keeps finding ways to make me smile and I'm sure it will do right up until the closing points. If at times I felt like it's a chore that ive gotta back track and rexplore this planet again, ive probably got new powers now so I can find secrets I couldn't access before. Or I can access whole new areas that I couldn't before, which will usually hold new enemies / challenges. Which is awesome, very Bloodborne / Dark Souls / Metroid. There are branching paths ala Souls Bourne and these may simply lead to loot or in some cases entirely new areas or (my favourite) bosses. And a couple of times now I've jumped down into an area and bam boss health bar has come up and you're thrown into a challenge out of seemingly nowhere. Which really keeps things exciting, and there is that element of you don't know what's coming up next that I had when I first played Souls Bourne games, which I love.
For me this game strikes a really good balance of challenge for an average Joe gamer like myself. I have been killed alot of times, by 1 normal enemy, by groups of normal enemies, by bosses, by the environment, by special enemies, by big monsters and so on. Now my point is combat matters, and if you run around willy nilly not blocking blaster shots for example a simple Storm Trooper can catch you off guard and kill you. Big bosses and enemies will wale on you, throw you around, hit you with unblockable attacks and all that jazz. Combat is thoughtful and fun and you need to use all of your abilities to succeed. And it's full of awesome details, one for example being even enemies that usually you would need to stagger a few times to guard break, if you catch them with a stray hit to the head they die instantly... Little things like that that just really make the combat for me. Also the game doesn't pull any punches, it will pit tough melee enemies against you in the same area as groups of ranged storm troopers so you really have to juggle the immediate threat of strong melee enemies in your face whilst deflecting blasters and not getting shot to pieces. Having said that this is a peg or two below Soulsbourne difficulty for me, Soulsbourne Lite, and thats a good thing - I love those games but at times they are painfully brutal (probably because I am a heckin casual). Meditation points are quite generously placed and they function like shrines in Nioh so you can upgrade there. If you're stuck you could farm a little and upgrade (although I really haven't needed to). Providing you have a good (yes only good, I have not mastered parrying everytime or anything like that) grasp of combat and blocking you will do fine against numerous enemies. I haven't hit a brick wall yet but I have been nicely challenged and I really really like that. However I'm sure if you want a challenge of Sith lord proportions the third /fourth difficulty setting will do that for you.
Alright, alot of people have asked me simply is it good!? Shall I keep my preorder? Whilst I don't want to tell you what to do with your hard earned cash here's my two cents... This is the best Star Wars game in a long LONG time. On a par with Kotor for me, and it really is a tough call as to whether it's better. Having said that, this IS NOT Kotor, the story is Cals story - if you come into it expecting dialogue trees and to be able to shape Cal into your own jedi, you've got the wrong end of the stick. BUT this to me is a completely new type of Star Wars game, and I am really really enjoying it. If you think God of War + Star Wars + Soulsbourne lite you're on the right track, and if that appeals, I think 9 out of 10 of you will dig this game in a big way.
I realised I haven't posted an gripes yet, so here's a couple of things that have been rustling my jimmies (only mildly). There is no fast travel at all. Hear me out, so when you've reached your objective and done your jedi business, you need to get back to your ship, and this can be far away, your only option is to hoof it / fight your way back. There are usually quick ways back and short cuts but these are not always obvious, so I have found myself stumped a little. And I have been having to jump at things randomly to see if I can climb them etc. The solution is usually simple but the platforming or the route can be a little illusive. Very minor and that really is the only hang up of note I've had so far. This one is probably more on me being dumb but some of the puzzling has had me stumped for a few sections too, you can get hints from BD-1 but they don't offer too much, and in some areas that are particularly dark sometimes it's hard to see what I'm looking at or figure out how to solve something. The solution is usually not crazily difficult and I do usually kick myself when I get the puzzle done.
Penultimately Lightsabers... At this point I am still playing with a single standard lightsaber that can be customised. However half the lightsaber skill tree is still not open to me. So I'm really hoping that will be dual weild or some other form of saber.
Finally SO many people have asked about the story, about Order 66 etc. I'm not going to answer, sorry for those who have asked... it's only 6 days away and you can wait that long! Here's what I will say, story has not taken a backseat at all to all the flashy stuff. This feels like a Star Wars game for Star Wars fans. I am not a mega buff, but I have found plenty of fan service, bits to smile at, and lots and lots to really enjoy. I'm sure you Star Wars lifelong fans will find plenty to love. We'll leave it at that.
The response to these has been crazy and thanks for all the up votes and silver!
Devs/Respawn/EA you have done a WICKED job with this one.
TLR I'm sure come release day most of you guys will have an absolute ball playing this game. Potentially the best Star Wars game to date.
May the force be with you r/fallenorder!