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Santaluces High School

The Tribe

Santaluces High School

The Tribe

Persistence Reveals the Path… (Review of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor)

Cal+Kestis+overlooking+the+planet+of+Koboh.+This+photo+was+taken+in-game+using+the+photo+editor+provided+by+EA+Inc.+and+Respawn+Entertainment.
Respawn Entertainment
Cal Kestis overlooking the planet of Koboh. This photo was taken in-game using the photo editor provided by EA Inc. and Respawn Entertainment.

Star Wars, admittedly, has been in a rough patch these past few years. The Rise of Skywalker was divisive at best, Battlefront II had a terrible launch, Solo: A Star Wars Story was a flop, and many of the live-action shows have their haters. Still, good content has pushed through, like the new Clone Wars content, The Mandalorian, Andor, and my favorite, Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi video games.

Jedi: Fallen Order was released a few years ago, following the Jedi Cal Kestis around 10 years after Order 66 and the Great Jedi Purge. Former Jedi Knight Cere Junda, the Inquisitor Trilla Suduri, and Cal himself are all flawed characters in the best of ways, adding to the great story of self-discovery and the deep dive into what it truly means to be “good.” After 9 months with its sequel, Jedi: Survivor, I can safely say that Respawn Entertainment made a phenomenal addition to Cal Kestis’ journey, both in story and gameplay.

We are brought back to the galaxy 5 years later with the Mantis crew split across the galaxy, and Cal doing everything he can to fight against the Empire. We meet Bode Akuna, a rebel trying to provide for his daughter before Cal crash lands on the remote planet Koboh. He reunites with his former pilot Greez, now the owner of his own saloon, before discovering some ancient secrets on the planet. While not diving too deep into spoilers, the High Republic era plays a massive part in how Cal continues fighting, and whether he even wants to fight.

First of all, they took every aspect of gameplay from Jedi: Fallen Order and improved it tenfold. First, lightsaber combat has been diversified like no other Star Wars game before. They improved the returning single and double-bladed stances while adding a quick, precise dual-wield stance, a powerful crossguard stance to wreck any brutes, and a blaster stance to continue damaging your foes at a distance. Respawn added a ton of new Force abilities too, although this was at the cost of Force Slow being remade into a charged attack. You can lift enemies, yank them down, use mind tricks, and even turn them against their allies!

Cosmetics were off the charts too, you give Cal different hairstyles, facial hair, stubble or no stubble, and his clothes. Even then, it’s nothing compared to how much you can change BD-1, your lightsaber, and your blaster. You can customize each part, its color, its material, and how old it is, all to your exact specifications. Sadly, you can no longer customize your ship, but that doesn’t change the fact Jedi: Survivor has vastly improved from its predecessor’s ponchos and preset skins.

One of the game’s best parts, but also its most disappointing, is how big they made the planets Koboh and Jedha. There are so many secrets to find in these vast expanses, so many shortcuts to take, and stories to unravel. If I had to guess, Koboh was probably double the size of anything in Fallen Order at least. Unfortunately, with how big Koboh and Jedha are, other planets took a hit.

Coruscant, one of the most important planets in Star Wars as a whole, is barely room enough for the game’s tutorial. The same goes for other locations farther in the story, only used for one or two linear sequences. While the last game had linear planets, they were for levels not meant to return to, like the tutorial on Bracca, your kidnapping on Ordo Eris, and the finale in the Fortress Inquisitorius. Not to say Respawn didn’t try, but unless you’re taking photos or need to collect one or two things, there is no point in returning.

This was one of many great sequels this year, and as much as I loved Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, I think Jedi: Survivor did a better job continuing the last game. Almost every aspect was better this time, from the gameplay and exploration to niche things like cosmetics. Like its protagonist, Jedi: Fallen Order had trouble finding its place in gaming. It tried a lot of different concepts at once, and while I think they did a good job, it was far from perfect. This time around, both Cal and the game itself have learned from their mistakes and did a great job asserting their place in a galaxy, far, far away.

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Cole Montag, Staff Writer
Hello there, friendly neighborhood pixel artist Cole Montag reporting to you! This year is a lot of firsts for me, especially for the school and the Tribe but I'm glad to be here nonetheless. Most of the time, you'll see me making art, gaming, and helping run the Chiefs ESports team (probably dealing with homework too, but I don't care for that). I'll usually write on pop culture and media so stay tuned for movie or game reviews. I've got nothing left to say, so if you want to see more from me, check out my articles or my pixel art on Instagram!

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