Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review [PS5] | Use The Force

New Star Wars media is a dime a dozen these days, where it feels like we’re getting a new TV show, game or book every other week. As a fan of the series myself, I must admit it’s getting a little troublesome to keep up with everything currently releasing, and has been ever since Disney took the reins. With that said, Respawn Entertainment’s Jedi: Fallen Order, with its single-player focus and lack of aggressive monetisation was a huge breath of fresh air after a rather dry run of Star Wars video games. But how does its sequel, Jedi: Survivor, turn out?

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor picks up Cal Kestis’ story five years after we left him at the end of Fallen Order. He’s a more experienced Jedi now, but the Galactic Empire still shows no signs of stopping their pursuit of him. Throughout Survivor, Cal’s journey takes him to many different planets and star systems, some that will be familiar to fans of the series while others are brand new.

One thing that became clear to me as my playthrough went on is that Jedi: Survivor really justifies its own setting through worldbuilding. Fallen Order was all about dismantling the Star Wars Prequel Era – it literally opened with the salvaging of Separatist warships and old droids.

Credit: EA / Respawn

Grander scale

But Jedi: Survivor gives a more divided focus to the different factions we’ve seen throughout the saga, as well as new ones. We’re not just witnessing how brutal the Empire’s control is, we’re seeing how this new world state has affected the remaining survivors of the Clone Wars; the Jedi, the Separatists, and plenty of other groups of people.

This is something Fallen Order also did well, of course. However, it’s on a much grander scale here. The explorable worlds are massive and brimming with special details that really help sell them as authentic locations. The first planet, Koboh, acts almost as a microcosm of this, featuring many diverse characters with their own stories to tell. 

Koboh also serves as your central hub between missions where you can talk to characters at the saloon, trade with merchants and modify your gear. Strangers that you meet while exploring the planet or going off-world can be convinced to head to the saloon, with many bringing new features to the location. Given Respawn’s massive Dark Souls inspiration in this series, it’s a clear parallel to Dark Souls 2’s “Majula” town. It feels like a living, breathing component of this world that evolves naturally – it makes each revisit worthwhile, and greatly assists with your understanding of how ordinary, everyday people are coping under the Empire.

Credit: EA / Respawn


This extends to the Metroidvania aspects too. The looping world design of Fallen Order is ever-present here, with shortcuts aplenty to assist you in exploring the worlds on your own terms. Similarly, Jedi: Survivor does a great job at unlocking new force powers and traversal skills for you to access previously-inaccessible areas. There’s a problem with video game sequels where you can’t take away your playable character’s abilities only to have to unlock them again, so Respawn has added some new toys to play with which complicate exploration in many fun ways.

Similarly, the lightsaber combat has also been further fleshed out. Even putting aside the buttery smooth animations and visceral melee effects, Jedi: Survivor’s difficulty remains one of its strongest attributes. Locking the challenge to one of the harder options creates situations where you really have to optimise your tactics for each enemy encounter. Timing your parries and dodges to the beat of a foe’s rhythm is all part of the fun here, almost like creating a puzzle you need to solve by learning the moveset of each enemy and how best to counter them.

For those who desire a more relaxed experience though, there are plenty of alternative options. Easier difficulty is only part of this, but further accessibility features such as a slow mode and no fall damage also makes it a fairer experience for anyone who needs it.

Enhanced combat

This is enhanced by the new combat stances Respawn has introduced in Survivor. In addition to single and dual-bladed lightsaber moves, new types of fighting styles become available to you as the game progresses, from the quick-and-painless dual wielding to the heavier crossguard stance, Kylo Ren-style. Cal even gets a blaster he can use during a fight, though contrary to my dreams, it doesn’t function like Bloodborne’s pistols. Each of these new stances aims to complement your playstyle, and while there’s no real “correct” way to utilise them, you will find yourself experimenting with different combinations as the story unfolds.

And it’s great to see Respawn address so many of the issues people had with Fallen Order. There’s far less sliding this time around, and a new fast travel system has been added due to the far larger worlds you explore. There are also some really cool cosmetic unlocks for Cal’s outfits this time around, instead of just giving him a different coloured poncho. 

Additionally, the much larger worlds justifies the game’s leaving PS4 and Xbox One behind. The new-gen platforms are now three years old, it’s time to move on. Just beware that with these gigantic spaces to play in comes some sacrifice. The PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions offer a performance mode and a quality mode, with the former bringing 1440p and 60fps while the latter has 4k30fps. However, in dense locations the framerate can drop quite significantly in performance mode, going as low as 30fps and maintaining that until you leave the area.

Credit: EA / Respawn

A respectful spin-off

In essence, Respawn has understood the need for a Star Wars game that isn’t beholden to the other films and TV series that exist. Cal’s story is so isolated from what we’re familiar with in the original trilogy and other spin-off media that it gives the writers room to innovate and build up their own little slice of lore that fits with the Star Wars continuity. It goes far beyond the scope of where Fallen Order’s story ended, adopting a more unpredictable but satisfying trajectory.

It’s because of this that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is now one of my favourite stories set in that universe. It’s bold, it’s brave, and above all else – it’s exciting. It fits in so well with what we know about the franchise’s overarching lore, while also offering enough new content that it could stand on its own. 


For our Star Wars Jedi: Survivor review, a PS5 code was supplied to GameByte by EA.

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