In Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, players will find themselves in the role of an all-new Force-using hero, on an all-new Star Wars world, on the run from an evil Empire sending new villains to wipe out him and his brethren, when the game launches Nov. 15, 2019 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.
Respawn Entertainment outlined its vision for the hotly anticipated game in a panel at today’s Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. The protagonist is a Padawan named Cal Kestis (portrayed by Cameron Monaghan, the Joker/Jeremiah Valeska on Gotham) who is on a journey to complete his Jedi training and master the elegant art of lightsaber combat.
Cal begins his story in a scrap yard on the planet Bracca, where he cuts apart decommissioned Star Destroyers. A worksite accident causes him to use his Force powers to save a friend, exposing him as a Jedi-in-training and therefore subject to Emperor Palpatine’s Order 66 — the extermination campaign against the Jedi. That sets Imperial inquisitors after him, including the Second Sister who leads them (pictured in the trailer keyframe at top).
The Inquistors and Purge Troopers she leads have actually been shown before — in issue #19 of the Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic book published last August.
“This is an action-melee game,” Stig Asmussen, the game’s creative director, said during the panel. “You play as a Jedi on the run, in training with a lightsaber and Force powers. We made sure that the combat is something that is easy to pick up but also, if you put a lot of time in, you can master it. We call the combat in the game ‘thoughtful combat.’ You have to size up your enemies and exploit their weaknesses.”
On Friday, Respawn founder Vince Zampella declared that Jedi: Fallen Order is a single-player only, narrative video game (with “no microtransactions,” either), something of a throwback against the current AAA trend of open-ended games with elaborate multiplayer components.
“This is a Jedi fantasy story,” Zampella said at today’s panel. “I think we’re known for being multiplayer shooter guys, that’s not what this is about.”
“When Respawn approached us with the idea for this game, we were immediately supportive,” Steve Blank, Lucasfilm’s director for Star Wars’ franchise strategy, said in a statement released after the panel. “A single player, story-driven title in the Star Warsuniverse was exactly what we were looking for, and we know the fans have been eager for one, as well. Focusing on Cal stepping back into the shoes of a Jedi post Order 66 opens up a lot of gameplay opportunities and rich story threads to develop for this new character and his backstory.”
A notation at the end of the trailer above said it was rendered with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, and not Electronic Arts’ proprietary (and much-maligned) Frostbite, which has worked well for shooters made by EA DICE but less so in games made by BioWare (such as Mass Effect Andromeda and, more recently, Anthem).
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will launch for PC via Electronic Arts’ Origin service. Pre-orders for all platforms are being taken now, with extra cosmetic content being offered as an incentive.