Hands-On Preview – Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Star Wars Jedi Survivor Cover Image

Disclaimer – Images provided by Respawn and EA through B-Roll footage. No images or gameplay shown was our own.

Many fans were impressed with EA and Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order when it first released in 2019. It not only showed that Respawn could deliver more than first-person shooters, it also proved that the Star Wars franchise could still be new and exciting. We at Way Too Many Games were delighted to be invited to the preview event for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which gave us a solid four hours to be reunited with Cal Kestis and his Jedi ways.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Cal Kestis

Cal’s back with some scruffy new looks, courtesy of the far more extensive cosmetic customization section.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor takes place about five years after the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and Cal is clearly struggling with his new role after the events of the previous game. During the preview, we were able to witness an exhilarating cinematic cutscene of Cal and his ship, the Mantis, having to make an emergency landing on the planet of Koboh. The entirety of our playthrough took place on Koboh, but surprisingly, the one setting never grew tiresome. In fact, we weren’t able to discover everything Koboh had to offer, and were left hungry for more.


A few of the sidequests provided some of the most memorable moments of our playthrough.

Right from the the start, it’s clear that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has fixed the few gameplay issues from Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The platforming sessions are incredibly smooth, with the controls being extremely swift and responsive. Cal Kestis now scales walls at a pace that might make Spider-Man jealous. We also never ran into any issues with jumping from ledges, or swinging from ropes or bars, for that matter. What surprised us most was how well the camera was able to handle all the action; never getting stuck in the surrounding environment or getting too close to register what was going on.

The combat is also a lot more fluid in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Cal has retained his Jedi abilities from the first game, but it seems that his training is far from over. The preview allowed us to Push, Pull, Slow, Tame (for mounting certain wild beasts), and use Force Confusion (which makes enemies fight each other). That being said, these abilities were available during our demo, which we were told takes place early in the game, meaning that there are surely more Force powers to unlock later on.

Star Wars Jedi Survivor Confusion

Confusion not only works against humanoid enemies, but on beasts as well.

Cal once again is able to utilize various stances, which greatly affect the way he deals with enemies. His Single Stance has him using his lightsaber in the classic fashion, which is evenly balanced between offensive and defensive moves. The Double-Bladed stance has him using two lightsabers stuck together in one long staff, and is great for encounters with large groups of enemies.

When using the Dual Wield Stance, Cal splits his lightsaber into two separate pieces, which is ideal for more aggressive players. The Crossguard Stance allows players to deal massive damage, but with the downside being its slower wind-up time. There’s also the Blaster Stance, which makes it easier for Cal to defeat enemies from long distance, although admittedly, we barely had time with this Stance before our play session was over, so we can’t speak to how well this performs as of yet.

Dual Wield Stance

The Dual Wield Stance gives Cal aggressive attacks at a furious speed.

If our time on Koboh was any indication, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor seems to be a lot more open with its exploration than in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. While you are given your main objective upon landing on the planet, there’s no obnoxious waypoint marker impeding your view at all times. Just like the previous game, you can access your points of interest using your holographic map, courtesy of BD-1. While you were able to explore several of the planets in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in a non-linear fashion, the scale of those “open world” sections pales in comparison to what we experienced on Koboh. 

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Rancor

Surprise! This cave is actually a rancor’s lair!

Upon arriving on Koboh, we were graced with grand vistas of the world. We were initially set on a somewhat linear path, albeit with plenty of caves to investigate. Many of the caverns provided necessary means to progress onward, while others simply offered more lore and special items. After a certain point, the map opened up, and Koboh was our massive sandbox to play in. It was shocking just how much there was to discover throughout the land. We won’t get into spoilers, but we will say that there were several surprises that awaited us within its numerous cave systems.

There’s also a neat new feature in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which allows Cal to plant garden using the seeds he picks up on his travels throughout the galaxy. The garden is on Koboh, in the small town of rambler’s Reach. Considering the fact that you’ll be able to cultivate a full garden of specimens through your travels in one location, it seems that Rambler’s reach will act as a hub of sorts for Cal and his companions. Only time will tell!


Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Vistas

The sweeping cinematic shots of Koboh were a marvel to behold.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is only being released on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X, it’s not being held back by the restraints of the last generation’s hardware. This means that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is absolutely gorgeous. The level of detail within the environments and creature designs are incredible. Then there’s the character and facial animations, which are absolutely remarkable. Cal and Greez have never looked so delightfully scruffy.

The sound design is outstanding, with the music retaining the classic Star Wars sound, while still creating its own unique themes. The few vocal performances we heard were all fantastic, with some real emotion, both heartfelt and menacing, being expertly conveyed.

From what we’ve seen so far, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is shaping up to be an incredible game, and we can’t wait to play it on April 28th!