Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review: You Were The Chosen One


Star Wars Jedi Survivor

By: Jason Siu


10 min read

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Quick Verdict

As a Star Wars fan, there is a lot to love about Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. But as a gamer, I found plenty of frustrating parts during my playthrough. The sequel does a fantastic job building on the story, characters, and world that was introduced four years ago in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, but game-breaking bugs, annoying glitches, and a combat system that feels unpolished really dampen the mood.

I couldn’t help but ask myself after I finished the game, “How good would Star Wars Jedi: Survivor really be if it wasn’t wearing a Star Wars outfit?” The answer? Pretty average.

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review Gallery FullCleared

Floating dead mobs still exist in the game, over two months after release

Despite a delay, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s launch wasn’t a smooth one, to say the least. I decided to postpone my playthrough of the game to give Respawn Entertainment an opportunity to fix it and assumed two months was fair. Although there have been several patches to address the game’s major issues, I still experienced two major game-breaking bugs, and one majorly annoying bug where the cutscenes played at hyperspeed. One of the major game-breaking bugs is documented below in a video, along with the cutscenes bug. I have placed these videos at the end of the review to avoid spoilers, but consider this a warning before viewing. I’m leading off my review mentioning these bugs, because I feel like they aren’t things that should be ignored. They greatly impacted my enjoyment of the game and I find it a little disingenuous that other reviews sort of handwave the bugs away like some sort of Jedi mind trick.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is the sequel to 2019’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a game that really came as a surprise to everyone. At the time, Fallen Order got a lot of praise, but it came with a caveat. That is, it was really good for a Star Wars game. I don’t know how many times I heard this, and when I finally got around to playing Fallen Order, I understood why everyone kept saying this. It was far and away the best Star Wars game we’ve gotten in years, but it had a lot of flaws. I actually found Fallen Order quite frustrating to play and hoped many of those issues would be improved upon with its sequel.

I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About This

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review Gallery FullCleared

It wouldn’t be a Star Wars game without a dead Stormtrooper doing a split

One of the most surprising and talked about features from Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was its “soulslike” combat. And it did follow in the footsteps of games like Dark Souls, where there was a bigger focus on timely parrying and dodging, along with generally increased enemy difficulty. My biggest issue with the combat system in both games — and is possibly even worse in Survivor — is the archaic animation lock system. To me, it’s an artificial and frustrating method to give a game the perception that it’s difficult.

FromSoftware games have very precise controls, so when you push a button, what you expect to happen actually occurs. And it’s a very important component to making combat feel fair. To me, the key to making a difficult game is to feel that every death was deserved, and that you either learned something in that attempt, or you felt like you had every opportunity to win the fight. Both Star Wars Jedi games were full of deaths that made me mutter expletives, because instead of using a stim to heal, Cal was too busy finishing his lightsaber swing animation. This is even more egregious because the duration of the combat animations vary wildly, so I never got really comfortable with the timing of everything. I feel like this is a bit worse in Survivor, because of the new weapon stances that are introduced.

I know some gamers will just be yelling, “git gud” from the top of the balcony, but I just feel like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s combat system isn’t very precise or polished. It’s not to the degree of any FromSoftware game or even other “soulslike” games like Nioh and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. If you felt Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s combat was a little clunky, that unfortunately does not change with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

The game, however, does introduce new lightsaber stances that are a lot of fun to experiment with. What Star Wars Jedi: Survivor does get right with these stances is giving the player the ability to find what suits their playstyle. They all feel and play quite differently, and each have their own purposes in combat. You can equip two stances at a time and skill points are limited, so you’ll want to invest in the ones you enjoy using the most.

Never Tell Me the Odds

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review Gallery FullCleared

Some areas in this game are gorgeous, others are really bland

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will have you visiting several different locations throughout your journey, some that are famous within the greater Star Wars universe. One of the main criticisms from the first game was the constant backtracking you had to do, and it’s somewhat addressed in Survivor. The sequel introduces mounts you can ride to traverse through larger areas quicker. You can also fast travel from meditation spot to meditation spot, which is a much welcomed addition.

I also have to mention how creative the game got with its “the floor is lava” mechanics. Basically these are environmental puzzles to make traversing more difficult. You’ll run into floors that you’ll sink into, areas you can’t stand in for an extended period of time, or sand-burrowed enemies that will devour you if you stay on the floor for too long. It’s almost comical to see what the next version of the mechanic is that you’ll encounter when going from planet to planet.

Survivor definitely leans more heavily into the parkour sections of the game compared to its prequel, and introduces several new mechanics to make it more varied. For some players though, it’ll get exhausting through the 20 to 30 hour playthrough, especially when some sections of the game are, once again, not very precise. I included a video demonstrating this below, where some platforming sections either aren’t very intuitive, or you believe you’re jumping to the next area but the game decides you should fall instead.

I’ll acknowledge that I’m one of the worst people when it comes to recognizing areas and I often get lost in semi-open world games. I’m not very good at remembering environments and I tend to run around in circles a lot, and with the way the map is in Survivor, it made for a very frustrating experience. The game does offer some aids to guide you on your way, but they aren’t very effective for people like me. I imagine I’m not the only one, and I have heard this get brought up numerous times in regards to the game, so I do hope it’s something Respawn improves upon for the inevitable third Star Wars Jedi game.

It’s a Trap!

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review Gallery FullCleared

I struggle to believe lightsabers can’t cut those vines

One of my biggest gripes with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is actually an issue I had with Fallen Order. Both games go out of their way to train you that your lightsaber is ineffective against certain things in the environment, except when the game wants to make it possible to cut through with your lightsaber. It’s frustrating, because most gamers will try to learn things the first time they’re introduced to it. For example, you’ll run into an object like a dangling rope or cord and you’ll swing at it and nothing happens. Then, much later on in the game, the way to solve one of the puzzles is to cut the exact same-looking rope or cord. It’s a minor gripe, but at the same time, a frustrating one. And I know it’s a video game, so it does video game things, but I believe the team could have gotten a bit more creative when designing the artificial walls in the game. You would think the vines in my screenshot above could easily be cut apart by a lightsaber, but they can’t.

Another confusing choice by the developers is when your companions do not accompany you on your missions. While they travel with you on the ship to your destination, they sometimes stay on the ship without giving any explanation. They’re literally just sitting there! I have a feeling the team originally wanted the game to have companions on every mission you went on, but something had to get cut from the game and that was it. It’s just a bit jarring that sometimes you have companions and sometimes you don’t, without a very good reason not to.

Along with the bugs I mentioned earlier, the game’s overall performance leaves a bit to be desired. Frame rate is definitely still all over the place in performance mode, and the game’s fidelity ranges from absolutely gorgeous to repulsive. There are some scenes where Cal’s face looks like it’s straight from the PlayStation 2 era. I’ve never experienced a game that had such a wide range of graphical fidelity throughout the experience.

The game is also really punishing how far back you go when you die. You’ll respawn at the last meditation or save point you rested at, but in some parts of the game, it means repeating a long sequence of frustrating platforming and parkour sequences. They’re fun once or twice, but they get really annoying after that. Finally, there is one part of the game where the boss fight is so difficult I had to lower the difficulty, otherwise I would have given up on the game — and I wasn’t the only one. I understand why the fight was made difficult, but it never feels that fair and experienced gamers shouldn’t fail for hours. Quite honestly, I had a lot more fun with the game after dialing down the difficulty. I don’t necessarily agree with the design choice that four Stormtroopers should feel threatening to a Jedi. I know some people love to complain when games have easy “trash mobs” — Final Fantasy XVI is a great example — but you should overpower certain enemies in a video game and they should be there for you to absolutely dominate. At least it’s the case with most of the B1 battle droids in Survivor, which by the way, have some of the best lines ever written in a Star Wars game.

This is the Way

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review Gallery FullCleared

It’s weird how in some situations, the game just looks downright awful

If you’ve read up to this point, you might think that I only have negative things to say about Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. To me, the game definitely was a very frustrating experience, but there are some very bright spots. As I mentioned earlier, during my playthrough I kept wondering how good of a game Survivor truly would be if it didn’t wear a Star Wars skin. The best comparison I could come up with is Kena: Bridge of Spirits. While Kena: Bridge of Spirits doesn’t have the same parkour mechanics as Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, it does have a similar combat system that I would argue feels better and is more precise. But ultimately, that’s the same quality of game Survivor would be without the Star Wars elements. However, I have to admit that throughout the experience, Kena: Bridge of Spirits looks much better than Survivor.

However, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is indeed a Star Wars game telling a Star Wars story. And it’s a very good one at that, full of characters you’ll love. You’ll forgive many of the missteps in the game’s design, because you’re sold on Cal’s journey with BD-1 and his other companions. I’d argue it’s one of the better overall Star Wars stories we have in all forms of media and that’s what makes the game so endearing. It is far from perfect, and to me, it was just a passable video game experience. But it is an excellent way to be immersed in the Star Wars galaxy. For now, it’s the best we have, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Respawn Entertainment is a team with the talent to make a better experience than this, and I hope they get the time they need to make a finished, fully polished product for the third entry.

If you enjoyed Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, you’re likely to love its sequel, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which offers more of the same captivating experience. However, be aware that the game does have some performance issues on PlayStation 5 and certain game-breaking bugs persist. If you found the first game problematic in the same areas I did, playing through Survivor might prove to be a frustrating experience. If you believe my criticisms with Fallen Order are not valid, that’s totally fair. After all, video game experiences are unique for each individual, despite what the internet wants you to believe.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was released on April 28, 2023. This review is based on a purchased retail copy of the game on PlayStation 5. While FullCleared does have affiliate partnerships, they do not influence our editorial content. We may, however, earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor box art

Buy Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PC

Release date: April 28, 2023

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Weird Parkour Bugs Video

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Game-Breaking Bug

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Cutscene Bug (spoilers!)

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review Gallery (possible spoilers!)

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With over 20 years of online publishing experience, Jason Siu is currently the Content Director at VerticalScope and used to spend most of his time writing about cars. His work can be seen on websites such as AutoGuide, EV Pulse, FlatSixes, Tire Authority, and more. As the former co-founder of and West Coast Editor of Modified Magazine, he has also authored two books for CarTech Books. In his spare time, he founded FullCleared to indulge in his passion for writing about games. Although Jason is a variety gamer, he generally prefers RPGs.

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