‘Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’ video game review: Lightsaber action and identity struggles

While Survivor presents an intriguing tale, it struggles, like much of the Star Wars media outside the movies, to establish significant connections to the main canon

Updated - May 25, 2023 10:52 pm IST

Published - May 25, 2023 10:56 am IST

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

This review was delayed because of the janky state of the launch of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Massive screen tearing and input lag made it too hard to play. A patch later, however, I could continue my journey as Cal Kestis.

Set five years after Fallen Order, Cal Kestis returns to action after training, accompanied by his trusty robotic backpack, BD-7. Working with the rebels led by Saw Gerrera, they fight against the Empire using any means possible. Amidst it all, Cal grapples with his identity as a Jedi in hiding.

While Survivor presents an intriguing tale, it struggles, like much of the Star Wars media outside the movies, to establish significant connections to the main canon, aside from the abundance of cameos. It is disappointing because it introduces interesting elements, such as its unique take on Space Witches, which I would love to see in some of the TV shows. Nevertheless, it delivers a true Star Wars experience.

Survivor, like Fallen Order, is a third-person action game heavily inspired by Souls games — from its control schemes to its bonfire save system and, to some extent, its difficulty. If Fallen Order was akin to Dark Souls, Survivor is more reminiscent of Sekiro and Elden Ring, offering brilliant platforming, explorable worlds, and exceptional lightsaber action.

Initially, you start off with the same powers you had in Fallen Order, which feels somewhat sluggish during your first mission in Coruscant. However, the game quickly unlocks new moves, abilities, and air jumps that significantly enhance the experience. So, when you venture to planets such as Koboh and beyond, the platforming feels fluid. Survivor introduces new lightsaber stances, including the dual-wield lightsaber and Kylo Ren’s crossguard crusader-style lightsaber. One is fast and flashy, while the other is slower but delivers powerful strikes.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Developer: Respawn
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Price: ₹4,499 on PS5, Xbox One and ₹3,499 PC

The levels boast fantastic visuals, sometimes offering open-world exploration and at other times resembling Uncharted-like platforming, allowing you to fully utilise a wide range of Jedi powers. Having played games such as Control and spending hundreds of hours in Elden Ring, I did find Cal to be somewhat stiff at times. I could not help but yearn for the flexible physics systems of Control. Navigation through levels occasionally feels like a chore.

Survivor’s graphics are outstanding, featuring breathtaking set pieces that leap off the screen. The sound design is impressive and the performance is excellent. There are still technical glitches, however, especially on PC. There are instances where the characters’ voices might seem a bit too chirpy, while Cal himself can occasionally come across as dull. Nonetheless, we are here to slice droids into pieces with our dazzling lightsabers, and Survivor succeeds in turning it into an art form.

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