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Turn up the heat with 'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' and 'Need For Speed: Heat'

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Electronic Arts makes an epic comeback with two new releases in much-beloved franchises

Yes, this week, it’s all about the two universes that have had our controllers jockeying for a binge-session....

The return of the Force

Star Wars has always been about flashy Jedis, weird aliens and cute robots. And the newest droid on the block is BD-1. The energetic and agile BD-1 doubles as a chic, talkative backpack that dispenses healing items. It is one of the best parts of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

The game is set after Revenge of the Sith, in the aftermath of Order 66, which saw the Empire purge all Jedis. Cal Kestis is a refugee hiding in a scrapyard of a planet when the purge comes knocking at his door. A chance rescue throws him on a mission that could resurrect the fallen order of Jedis.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Developer: Respawn Entertainment
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Price: ₹3499 for the PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One

The mission takes you across the galaxy with the crew of the Mantis. The colourful cast brings the typical Star Wars feel, with the exception of Cal, who sounds bored in all scenarios with zero charisma. Cal’s character tries very much to be a young Nathan Drake but comes up short. It is the worst part of the game.

Fallen Order is about discovery and combat. The slide-and-jump sequences whilst exploring reminds you of the Lara Croft series. The levels are designed like a metroidvania game with certain areas locked until you get new powers. The lightsaber combat is very Sekiro-inspired, with aggressive duels with Stormtroopers and massive aliens. While it is not as tough as a Souls game, it still is challenging. Fallen Order is a mix of game types that work surprisingly well together.

Turn up the heat with 'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' and 'Need For Speed: Heat'

Fallen Order looks like a big-budget Star Wars movie, from the massive set pieces to superb sound. Technically, it is marred by a lot of glitches and ibugs. It is easy to veer off the path and finding the nearest shortcut is tedious in the byzantine levels.

We have waited long for an excellent Star Wars game and now finally we get one with the lightsaber straight out of the movies and some incredible sequences.

Back on the streets

The last few years have not been good for the Need for Speed series. So it is understandable why Heat, the latest Need for Speed game, had a quiet launch. Yet, Heat is far from the duds of the past and, in fact, harks back to the 2000s, when the first The Fast and the Furious movie made street racing cool.

Turn up the heat with 'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' and 'Need For Speed: Heat'

You play a new racer who has come to Palm City, a hotbed of street racing. To tackle the menace, a rogue police force turns up the heat on errant speedsters. You have to fight your way up the ranks to be the best. And, you need to tolerate the terrible story and hammy voice-acting.

Need for Speed: Heat
  • Developer: Ghost Games
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Price: ₹3499 for the PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One

The way to the top is earning rep and the best rewards come with risk. While you can take part in sanctioned events during the day, the real beasts come out to play at night. Palm City looks gorgeous, clad in neon. And, you earn money and rep winning exhilarating races, wherein you are always a hairpin turn away from getting busted. But the risks are worth the rewards as you get some cool upgrades and clothes.

The game gets tough with physics-defying cars and cops who seem to bust you in seconds. Heat does not play fair at times. Thankfully, the cars are good. Once you get a hang of the drifting and handling, you can use the environment to outsmart the AI.

While Heat looks and plays excellent, the street racing genre that peaked in Need For Speed: Most Wanted feels dated. Even the Fast and the Furious movies pivoted around heists. While it admirably tries to resuscitate the culture, it succeeds in taking you on a ride down memory lane.

Turn up the heat with 'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' and 'Need For Speed: Heat'

Electronic Arts has got two hits, which it badly needed, with Need for Speed: Heat and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It seems as though the gaming giant is back on track.

The writer is a tech and gaming enthusiast who hopes to one day finish his sci-fi novel

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 10:17:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/gamespot-review-star-wars-jedi-fallen-order-need-for-speed-heat/article30076675.ece

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