Review – Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Respawn Entertainment shocked everyone in 2019, not just by releasing a new Star Wars game (something totally different for the company that made its reputation from first-person shooters), but by releasing an actual good Star Wars game. I would even go as far as to say that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was one of the best Star Wars products to be released in a very long time. Fans were hopeful for a sequel to the successful entry, and now four years later, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is finally here. Is the Force as strong with this one as it was with Fallen Order?

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Cal Kestis, Merrin, Cere, and Greez

The whole gang is back together again… for a little while.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor takes place about five years after the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Cal Kestis has grown from a scared Padawn into a fully competent Jedi Knight. Things are looking grim for the fate of the Jedi, as the Empire continues to extend its reach across the galaxy. The colorful band of heroes we came to know and love in Fallen Order have all gone their separate ways, either fleeing or fighting the Empire in their own way. Cal is determined to find and save as many of the Jedi as he can, even if he has to do it alone.

For fans of Fallen Order, don’t fret. Cere, Greez, and Merrin are all present in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, along with plenty of new faces. One of the cool new features in Survivor is the addition of central hub for Cal and his companions. He’ll still have special banter with those who are currently aboard the Mantis, but now he’ll be able to see and speak with those he meets on his travels in Greez’s bar in Rambler’s Reach, Pyloon Saloon, on the planet of Koboh.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Skoova Stev

Skoova Stev (not to be confused with Scuba Steve) will help you acquire rare fish for Pyloon Saloon’s fish tank.

Pyloon Saloon isn’t just a place for Cal to see those whom he meets on his journey, though. It’s also a place where Cal can open up new sidequests. Throughout his travels, Cal with occasionally meet new people, many of whom are looking for a new home or base of operations, and Cal can recruit them to stay at the bar. Several of them offer specific tasks or missions, such as Skoova Stev, who can collect rare fish from all over Koboh and place them in a gigantic fish tank located on the second floor of Pyloon Saloon. Then there’s Pili, who you can find on the planet Jedha, who will help you cultivate a beautiful rooftop garden from any special seeds you find scattered throughout Koboh.

While some of these sidequests are for purely cosmetic purposes (or at least provide achievements), there are a few that can provide more background lore, or even new gameplay elements, like new perks for Cal that provide stat boosts. There’s even a tabletop game you can unlock, called Holotactics, which pits holographic beasts against each other in a strategy game. That said, most of the sidequests and unlockables are purely cosmetic, which is one of my biggest disappointments with the game. After a while, scouring the planets for new lightsaber pieces becomes tedious when they do nothing other than alter the look of your weapon.


Rancors seem to have a nasty habit of being impaled from above.

Even though collectables are mostly cosmetic, there is still plenty of options when it comes to leveling up and unlocking abilities. Whereas Fallen Order had only three kill trees to choose from, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has a whopping seven. This is even more impressive when you realize that all of the skills Cal learned in Fallen Order are still here, and those seven skill trees offer Cal a wide variety of new moves on top of what he already has in his arsenal. Cal can now learn to Push, Pull, Slow, Tame (for mounting certain wild beasts), and use Force Confusion (which makes enemies fight each other). Confusion ended up being a favorite of mine, but there are abilities that can cater to just about everyone’s different playstyles.

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.


AT-STs are no match for a flying leap from Cal Kestis!

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 has Cal hold a lightsaber in one hand and a blaster in the other, making it easier for Cal to defeat enemies from long distance. The combat has been polished up quite a bit from Fallen Order, and it feels much more fluid and responsive this time around.

Platforming also feels much better in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. It’s still not perfect, with Cal at times leaping in a different direction than where you’re aiming him, or failing to grab a handhold he should have no problem reaching, but it’s still been improved by leaps and bounds over Fallen Order. Cal now scales walls at a pace that might make Spider-Man jealous. The camera is also surprisingly good, almost never getting stuck in the surrounding environment or getting too close to register what’s going on.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Grappling while Platforming

Force Rift Tears provide some of the most challenging platforming sections in the game.

It’s worth noting that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has received a lot of backlash for being released in state that still had tons of bugs. At least that’s what was widely reported from both PC and Xbox users. I’m not certain if I avoided these issues because I played the game on a PS5, but I never experienced the more severe problems that many other players did. For me, the worst offenders were framerate dips, pop-ins, and textures taking a few moments to load on rare occasion. Near the end of my playthrough, a patch was released to fix some of the framerate issues, but this resulted in character’s faces looking slightly blurry. Thankfully, this bizarre side effect went away a few days later. Most of my playthrough was a smooth and well-performing experience.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Assault Ship

The Assault Ship is hands-down the best boss battle of the game.

I mention all this because despite having some framerate hiccups and occasional pop-ins, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is an absolutely gorgeous game. Just like everything else in Survivor, the graphics have been greatly enhanced from Fallen Order. The character models are highly detailed and well varied, with some of the most creative creature designs we’ve seen yet in a Star Wars game. There are fewer planets to explore this time around, but the few we have are pretty massive. This especially true in the case of Koboh and Jedha, which are both incredibly expansive. Exploring the lush valleys of Koboh and the sandy recesses of Jedha are as thrilling as they are visually striking.

The only area that has not been vastly improved in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is the sound design. However, this is only due to the fact that both games are near perfection in this regard. All of the vocal performances are fantastic, providing the right amount of emotion or levity as needed. The sound effects are solid all around as well, with all the whooshing lightsaber sounds and blaster pew-pews we’ve all come to know and love. As expected, the soundtrack is classically, epically Star Wars. It doesn’t get much better than this.


You can’t help but be awe-struck by the sweeping vistas and cinematic shots.

It’s a shame that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor suffered from so many bugs upon its release, because it’s an absolutely fantastic game. I am beyond grateful that my time with it was largely unaffected by those issues, so I was able to enjoy the game the way it was intended. Nearly every aspect of Survivor has been improved upon from Fallen Order, making this one of the most enjoyable entries into the Star Wars franchise to date. I implore all Star Wars fans to give Star Wars Jedi: Survivor another shot, especially now that most of the issues have been fixed through patches. Cal’s journey plays with his struggle between the light and dark sides of the Force, and I can’t wait to see how he continues to evolve in the future. 

Graphics: 8.5

An absolutely gorgeous game, with some minor inconsistencies, such as framerate dips, textural pop-ins, and slightly blurry faces after a patch was rolled out.

Gameplay: 9.0

The skills learned from the previous game are still present, along with a wide variety of new moves, allowing for more variety in gameplay and playstyles. Platforming has been tightened up as well, but can still be a little unpredictable at times.

Sound: 10

The voice acting is fantastic, the sound effects are wonderful, and the soundtrack is epically Star Wars.

Fun Factor: 7.0

A fun and engaging experience from start to finish. It’s only held back by some of its issues, like framerate drops, pop-ins, and occasionally unreliable platforming.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is available now on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was provided by the publisher.