I’ve performed Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s Coruscant heist opening a number of instances at this level, and each time I play it, I can’t assist however take into consideration what may’ve been with Star Wars 1313, the franchise’s most notorious canceled recreation.
The concept of an Uncharted-like recreation about Boba Fett preventing all through the Coruscant underworld is such a wonderful pitch that I’ve grieved the lack of a recreation I by no means even had an opportunity to play for over a decade. Taking part in via Survivor’s opening doesn’t elicit emotions of disappointment about 1313, although. As a substitute, I really feel completely satisfied that a minimum of some fraction of that concept was in a position to be realized.
Survivor’s Metroidanvia-like degree design and Lightsaber-and-Drive-based fight are a lot totally different than what was promised from 1313. Nonetheless, the thought of cleverly climbing and preventing throughout a seedy-looking degree of Coruscant throughout a heist was nonetheless realized. Reflecting on the misplaced challenge forward of this 12 months’s Star Wars Day, I had a revelation about Respawn Leisure’s newest recreation. Regardless of technically being a sequel to only Fallen Order, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor feels just like the end result of over a decade of Star Wars video games, each launched and canceled, that got here earlier than.
A stroll via Star Wars gaming historical past
Rising up, two of my favourite video video games have been the unique Star Wars: Battlefront II and Star Wars: The Drive Unleashed. To today, 2005’s Battlefront II is my favourite recreation of all time, not solely due to all the good recollections that I had with it but in addition as a result of it looks like an genuine Star Wars simulator the place a number of eras, planets, and characters are preserved in unbelievable element. Survivor feels prefer it has the identical eager consideration to element.
Gamers might not go to as many planets as they do in Battlefront II, however every location in Survivor is densely filled with content material and immaculately filled with detailed environments and characters that faithfully signify the Excessive Republic, prequel, and Imperial eras. Whereas the aesthetics really feel as detailed as Battlefront, the gameplay fantasy pulls extra from The Drive Unleashed.
LucasArts took God of Battle’s components and utilized it to Star Wars, and for years supplied the very best Drive consumer energy fantasy in gaming. Survivor’s fight is much more like Darkish Souls than God of Battle, nevertheless it’s considered one of only a few Star Wars video games since The Drive Unleashed that achieves and maintains that enthralling Jedi energy fantasy. The Drive Unleashed felt like LucasArts’ final nice Star Wars hoorah earlier than issues sputtered out with a disappointing sequel, Star Wars Kinect, in addition to Star Wars 1313‘s promising announcement and devastating cancelation.
Though LucasArts is gone, it left all the correct elements for whoever would choose up the Star Wars online game mantle subsequent, although it might take EA some time to get there. Survivor would finally take learnings from these earlier video games, in addition to EA’s rocky decade completely making Star Wars video games.
The EA Star Wars Period
After acquiring the unique Star Wars online game license in 2013, EA tried to revive Star Wars Battlefront. Whereas their video games did match the stainless element of the unique, each have been rife with controversy. The primary was derided for its lack of single-player content material. Later, its sequel triggered huge controversy at launch due to its pay-to-win loot containers. Whereas EA moved shortly to make them much less intrusive, it sullied the popularity of the EA Star Wars period.
As this was all happening, a brand new recreation titled Star Wars 1313 was in growth at Visceral Video games below Amy Hennig, one of many minds behind the Uncharted video games. The challenge was reportedly a linear single-player action-adventure recreation about smugglers, nevertheless it didn’t align with EA management’s imaginative and prescient for Star Wars video games on the time, so it was canceled.
Star Wars followers didn’t take this hat trick of Star Wars gaming blunders evenly. Fortunately, change got here in 2019 with Respawn Leisure’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. That title proved that an action-adventure Star Wars recreation a couple of ragtag group of survivors through the Empire’s reign was a good suggestion regardless of 1313‘s unceremonious cancellation. Its success confirmed that there was a marketplace for single-player Star Wars content material.
Fallen Order’s success solely allowed Survivor to get greater and higher in virtually each approach. It has higher fight, a extra advanced story, extra detailed and content-rich worlds to discover, and set items that make hardcore Star Wars followers like myself bear in mind what got here earlier than.
Survivor is a Star Wars recreation that feels prefer it has discovered one thing from each launched and canceled title that got here earlier than it and is all the higher due to that. We’re getting into a brand new period of Star Wars, the place EA now not has unique rights to the franchise. New video games are within the works at studios like Quantic Dream, Ubisoft, Zynga, and even Skydance New Media, the place Amy Hennig is as soon as once more engaged on a brand new recreation.
As we enter this new interval of Star Wars gaming historical past, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, even with its flaws, looks as if it may stand the check of time and be the top of what a contemporary Star Wars recreation ought to seem like. It’s the treasure on the finish of an extended highway of online game successes and failures.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is out there now for PC, PS5, and Xbox Sequence X/S.