The biggest announcement yet at 2019’s E3 has been popped by EA. After months of speculation and teases, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has finally shown itself in the wild and bloody hell, it sure does look like the single-player adventure ‘teh hardcorz’ have been busting a blood vessel trying to get EA to make.
The crown jewel in their 2019 EA Play press event, EA gave us a full 15 minutes of Respawn Entertainment’s Jedi: Fallen Order to stare at like a magic eye puzzle so we can meticulously pick apart every detail. In it you play as Cal Kestis, a Jedi survivor of Order 66, emerging from hiding to kick some Storm Trooper ass. Along the way, he meets Rogue One’s Saw Gerrera (played in that movie by Forest Whitaker) and rescues some Wookies held captive by the Empire.
The game shows Cal doing all of the things that we’ve collectively been asking a Star Wars game to let us do in an action-adventure title since Force Unleashed 2 almost a decade ago. There’s lightsabres, force push/pull and Jedi parkour. There’s even a tiny little droid that makes me think of what Short Circuit’s Jonny 5 would have looked like in pre-school. They will make a toy of that thing that will do Buzz Lightyear numbers.
But the two bits that impressed me most were our hero throwing an innocent R2 unit into a Storm Trooper, and Cal stopping a blaster shot in midair then forcing the Storm Trooper who fired it to stand in front of it, taking the blast himself. It was the shining moment in a demo that looked, if we’re being totally honest, a little underwhelming. However, I’m glad this is what we saw of the product because, for the first time in a long time, I don’t feel like I’m being lied to by an E3 demo.
Yes, the action looked a little bit basic, but you know what? That’s what games in development look like. This was a game without that final layer of sheen that makes Triple-A titles like this look so polished. It is also a game that does not look in any way like they’ve upped the ante to entice us in with false promises. It seems like this demo was taken from raw code and not an artificially created cross-section like we’re used to getting at trade shows. If this is all true and the final product can deliver on the promise of this demo, then this is how all E3 hype should be managed in future.