Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has Cal Kestis going on another grand quest-is. Forgive the bad joke, but this sequel has improved over the original’s formula in practically every way possible. A better story, more expansive world design and superior combat and traversal systems make for a near-perfect Star Wars video game experience.
Return of the Enhanced Jedi
This expansive, open-world campaign brings slick new methods of combat and traversal that help keep Survivor feeling fresh and fluid, as Cal retains most of his main abilities from Fallen Order and goes up against a surprisingly solid variety of foes. Players can switch between two lightsaber stances on the fly and keep the combos flowing, while also unlocking new battle styles with their own unique skill trees.
It’s super satisfying reflecting blaster beams right back at their source, then having Cal quickly approach and draw in a bunch of enemies before absolutely slicing them to pieces. In addition, Cal can even pull a stormtrooper into his grasp and have them shoot their friends in a wild panic, or just straight-up Jedi mind control a target to force them (pun intended) into attacking each other. There’s a sizeable amount of options on hand, and the ever-expanding skill trees for Survival, Lightsaber and Force support Cal in dealing with a multitude of combat scenarios.
Of course, our ginger-haired protagonist isn’t always alone on his journey. At certain points I’m the story, Cal will team up with several rebel fighters that can be commanded to attack on a cooldown and efficiently contribute to the carnage. If anything else, they serve as great distractions; luring enemies away as Cal slowly dwindles down the numbers. They also help him by bringing their own forms of traversal into the mix, influencing players to think in different ways to approach the legions of environmental puzzles and hurdles.
A Sweeping, Frame-Dropping Galaxy
The improved parkour system is a tonne of fun to mess around and solve puzzles with; incentivising a good scour of the map for perks, cosmetics, skill points and stim packs which definitely come in handy. Cal can also find rare materials to trade in for extra goodies and partake in side quests and puzzle dungeons which reward players with the aforementioned gear. The combat is already challenging enough on the normal Jedi Knight difficulty, so players should actively seek out Survivor’s optional content for an edge in combat. For those finding the game too difficult though, Survivor does offer five switchable difficulty levels and a whole host of accessibility options that make the experience more approachable for those with disabilities and general gamers as well.
That being said, the performance on PC leaves a lot to be desired, as it actively works against the game’s fast-paced nature. When walking around the more spacious areas of Jedi: Survivor, the frame rate would often plummet down to the point where it would blatantly start skipping frames. This drop didn’t happen every single time, as it seemed to occur at random throughout wide-open spaces. Although, even when the game was operating as it should, the frame rate would casually swing between 40-60 FPS. Not the most ideal experience. Hopefully Respawn can patch these performance problems out, since Jedi: Survivor features some impressive vistas and smooth animations which don’t shine nearly as bright due to these issues.
While the somewhat predictable story does contain several action-packed scenes and touching moments that are performed quite well, it does flounder around at points and focuses on background lore a Tarkin too much for my tastes. Cal’s ragtag group of new and returning rebels play off of each other effortlessly though, as players will find a great balance of comedic and serious banter throughout. This sequel’s themes of ‘being more than just a survivor’ really resonate during certain parts of the narrative, and conversely, those interested in High Republic lore will definitely get their money’s worth here.
Even though the PC version of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is in shambles at the moment, this sequel has taken Fallen Order’s already strong formula and thoroughly force-punched it into 5th gear. The story of Cal maturing into something other than a survivor contains several strong scenes and dense, wide-open terrain that our young rebel warrior must trek through. Equipped with an ever-expanding arsenal of skills and traversal options, Cal feels even better to control than before, as he moves with an ultra smooth fluidity that makes this journey highly addictive to experience. Even better yet, no micro-transactions or forced season pass content are found in this galaxy either.
By Anthony Culinas – Reviewed on PC
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a clear step up from the original in almost every conceivable way. The fast and more flowing combat lets Cal cycle through two lightsaber stances on the fly, whilst the upgraded traversal mechanics let him grapple hook and jump between beams and flying foxes with the gracefulness of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Coupled with a classic space opera story, alongside a packed, open-world adventure full of battles, puzzles and exploration, and this easily makes for one of the best Star Wars video games yet.
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by EA. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.