E3 2019: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a New Hope for Single-Player Games

To say that EA’s journey with the Star Wars license has been a bumpy one would be an understatement. Aside from two Battlefront games which have both received mixed receptions, the AAA publisher has been attempting to get any sort of single-player Star Wars adventure off the ground with no success yet. While there have been whispers of additional developments behind the scenes, the only confirmed Star Wars singleplayer project was initially being developed by Visceral Studios and former Uncharted director Amy Hennig, until the studio was shuttered and the project was handed off to EA Vancouver, where it sounds like the project was fully cancelled and replaced with a Star Wars game with a smaller vision. Considering how little of this title was actually shown off, it truly seems like an extensive period since Star Wars fans have even properly seen a new singleplayer adventure set in the highly popular science fantasy universe.

This year, Titanfall and Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment is looking to come along and end the silence with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. After a title reveal at last year’s E3 and a cinematic trailer back at Star Wars Celebration, Respawn CEO Vince Zampella and Director Stig Asmussen took to the EA Play stage to show a lengthy gameplay demo set on the Wookiee home planet of Kashyyyk. Set between Episodes 3 and 4, Jedi: Fallen Order tells the tale of Cal Kestis, a Jedi on the run from the Empire after Order 66, along with the help of his droid companion, BD-1, and both new and familiar faces, including Rogue One’s Saw Gerrera, who will be portrayed by his movie counterpart Forest Whitaker.

In an interview with producers Blair Broon and Kasumi Shishido, the pair elaborated on the development process, sharing that the team has been primarily built from the ground up to begin work on what originally as a non-Star Wars third-person action adventure game. After some initial R&D, EA offered the opportunity to work with the Star Wars license, and work truly began on what would eventually become the game we’re seeing today. As a Jedi, Kestis is able to utilize the Force in intriguing ways, particularly for exploration, with Cal returning to past planets upon learning new abilities to further explore each landscape. These abilities will play an equally important role in combat, with Broon describing the action as “accessible Dark Souls”, citing a large focus on counters and controlling the fight with your Jedi skills. In-between the combat and exploration, Cal will take meditation breaks both on planets and on his ship, which will serve as both save points and an opportunity to advance your powers via the skill tree.

With DICE lending a helping hand to create a truly authentic Star Wars experience, Asmussen and the team at Respawn are hoping to provide a memorable experience not only for Star Wars games, but for single-player action-adventure games, continuing to push for their relevancy in an increasingly online-oriented industry.