On May 4, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order fans woke up to a surprise of epic proportions. The game received a free update that included a host of unlockable cosmetics, including the option to wield a red lightsaber, a journey+ mode and arena-style combat challenges. The journey+ mode allows players to keep their skill-tree upgrades on a second playthrough. The challenges allow players to put the game’s smooth combat system into practice once again, but all of this falls somewhat short of providing a meaningful reason to get back into the game.
Upon release, Fallen Order was rightfully lauded for its character-driven storytelling, somewhat rare for a Star Wars game, as well as its fun and dynamic Dark Souls-esque combat. It makes sense that the game’s developers, Respawn Entertainment, would choose to continue building on the game that reminded Star Wars fans just how disappointing previous games have been. While the arena challenges are a welcome reminder of how good the game is, it’s also a reminder of how much more Respawn could add.
In terms of length, Fallen Order is no Witcher 3. It’s a relatively short-lived experience all-in-all, even if you spend long hours exploring every nook and cranny of the game’s 3D maps. Theoretically, you could speed through the storyline in a few hours. If the game wasn’t as engrossing as it was, fans could have been justifiably upset with the $60 price tag.
Despite this, at the end of the game, replayability seems rather low. You’ve just completed a satisfying story, but likely had to spend several hours meticulously examining the holographic maps for clues to the next health-upgrade or next story moment. The game makes you return to the handful of worlds you travel to, re-spawning the same enemies over and over. If you need restore your health by meditating, the game will also re-spawn the enemies. There’s a lot of repetitiveness to this cycle and little reward for doing so other than relishing in the slick wall-running, climbing, jumping and spinning Jedi. For some players, that’ll be enough to keep them in the game’s world, but for many others, it won’t be.
The cosmetic rewards throughout the game and in the recent update have no impact on your actual combat, with the exception of the two-bladed lightsaber. While this is fine in principle, it also means there’s no real reason to scour the land for these items. Simply put, no poncho is worth the time.
Jedi: Fallen Order deserves to receive true DLC. Players need a meaningful reason to return to the world, ideally through the same method that hooked them in the first place: story. There are more than enough hints and hooks scattered throughout Cal Kestis and Cere’s intertwining backstories for additional character development. You pick up several companions on your journey, building relationships that feel short-lived in-game. DLC could further develop these. Plus, the repetitiveness of exploring the game’s half-dozen planets might be lessened a bit if there were a couple more to enjoy.
One thing’s for certain: Respawn doesn’t owe its players anything. Short and sweet stories are vastly underrated in today’s entertainment sphere, and if Respawn doesn’t want to risk the original story’s integrity, then they shouldn’t. But if there’s the opportunity to pull characters back in with a carefully-constructed DLC, it would be embraced with open arms.
Jedi: Fallen Order got a new update that includes cosmetic changes, journey+, and arena challenges, but it deserves a real, story-driven DLC.