There is more than a little chuckle to our bit presumptuous, but refreshingly cheeky sidekick bullying our dressy Jedi for not being agile enough to reach the top of a cliff … again. It is also a comical reminder, that in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, unlike its predecessor, there are often more ways to Rome. Or at the very least, different paths to explore, new locations to discover and other too high cliffs for us to be mocked about, in case the most obvious path is, for whatever reason, not accessable at the moment.
That being said, there still are plenty of locations to visit that work very much on rails. A couple of small but important changes to the base formula however work elegently to shape a satisfying harmony between this experience’s individual parts, that was lacking in the 2019 predecessor. Making exploration and metroid-vania’esque backtracking less important during the pre-layed-out rollercoaster like segments, the largely linear locations our hero visits to carry the story forward now feel less like bucketlists of recurring buisy-work camouflaged by a tiringly predictable mix of plattforming and arena set-pieces. The experience is often pleasently loosend up by introducing a new Jedi ability or casting an interesting character as sidekick, fighting alongside the player and making the otherwise rather uniform action sequences more interesting and varied. Even fast travel has finally found its way into this universe.
Much like the Padawan at the center of the tale, the game- and world design has matured to become more than the over motivated youngling of the past.
Much like the Padawan at the center of the tale then, the game- and world design has matured to become more than the over motivated youngling of the past. Outsourcing the majority of the exploration game to a new, semi-open-world hub planet and at the same time concentrating more on telling it’s story and introducing new abilities and gameplay ideas while off-planet, Jedi: Survivor proves to brilliantly understand when to put the pedal to the metal and when to allow its players to take the foot of the gas and stray away from the critcal path. Taking a welcomed departure of overeagerly trying to make the metroid vania approach work in the previous game.
Moreover, seeing our little outpost grow to a town with all of our trusted companions and pick-ups haning out over time, not only induces a pleasently grounded feeling of coming home everytime the plot sends us back to the grasslands of Koboh, but cleverly establishes an emotional connection to this place and its people. One, that both our Jedi and we as a player share. Providing an additional, personal motivation to go through all of the efforts to save this universe from the fangs of the empire.