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    dkirschner's Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (PC)

    [July 11, 2024 08:00:03 AM]
    Well, Respawn knocked this one out of the park. I'm so glad I tried the previous game on my brother's recommendation. Because of that, I was looking forward to this one. I was worried right off the bat because the install is massive, about 140gb. Before playing, I spent a couple hours freeing up 100+gb on my hard drive to make room. Upon launching, the FPS was low, so I spent, an hour or so scattered through the beginning area messing with graphics settings until it smoothed out. Once I got over those initial hiccups, the game ran perfectly the entire time, minus one crash last night.

    Survivor is like Fallen Order, but expanded in every way. The story is excellent, especially the second half of the game where things really pick up. The first half of the game is more exploration. Although, I if I were playing again, I would explore less early on and more later because you steadily unlock new means of traversal that open up new paths. There is a lot of backtracking upon acquiring new abilities like a metroidvania. Might as well minimize exploring until you know you won't hit a roadblock at every turn. On the other hand, exploration did yield a lot of health, force, and skill point bonuses, as well as some perks, perk slots, and stim cannisters for BD-1, Cal's companion droid. There were still a million cosmetic collectibles in chests, but at least the ratio of useful things to cosmetic items was better this time around, and I found a mullet early on, which I happily wore the entire game.

    All those boons from exploring paid off in the end because I found the ending of the game quite difficult. I died a few times on some of the later wave encounters, and the last two bosses were hard. The last one especially, I retried about 10 times (which was frustrating because I had allllmost beaten it on my third try!). And I won with half a health bar and no stims left. I may have been lulled into complacency by finding so many stim packs, which means I could take a lot of damage in battle, so I could spare stims and didn't learn to read enemies all that well until I was forced to. But, there are so many different enemies (dozens) and combat options (five stances plus force powers) that fights play out differently and you usually don't have to adhere to a strict cycle of parrying and attacking.

    I spent most of the game with the dual wield and blaster stances equipped. Dual wield is the second-strongest, and it is the fastest, but has the lowest defense. During the final boss, I was wondering if I'd shot myself in the foot by not leveling up any styles with defense. Maybe that's why I was getting hit so hard. Blaster stance puts a light saber in one hand and a blaster in the other. It's great for shooting enemies to knock down their shields and keep some distance. Since I was almost dead on the last boss, and probably would have died within the next 10 seconds, I made a tactical move to jump back and unload my blaster right at the end, and it's actually what killed the boss! Go blaster! That does seem sort of un-Jedi-ish though, killing the big bad guy with a blaster instead of a light saber.

    Each stance has some unique moves that use force, and there are of course the standard push/pull force powers. The best one though, hands down, was Confusion. If you upgrade it all the way, you will be unstoppable in multiple-enemy combat encounters with humanoid enemies. You can confuse up to two humanoids at a time, causing them to protect you. Then you can sit back and watch the enemies beat each other up, or you can use the distraction to clean up other enemies on the battlefield. Upgraded all the way, you can even confuse the toughest humanoid enemies. No one was immune! And, you can get some hacking abilities to take control of low-level droids; less useful, but still fun.

    So, I really enjoyed the combat and the exploration. There usually was something interesting and unique to see down every path, whether it was stumbling into a legendary monster's lair (like the one time I accidentally fell into the Spawn of Oggdo's lair and spent an hour trying unsuccessfully to kill it, trying over and over, figuring out all the ways I could lure droids to aid me), finding a climbing puzzle or Jedi puzzle to solve, and so on, although the rewards were fairly predictable. The one thing about the combat, and probably the only negative thing I can say about the whole game, is that, especially later on, it was easy to get "stun-locked" by overwhelming amounts of attacks, which was worse when fighting in closer quarters. Enemies can come at you fast and furious. It became really frustrating when like 5 of them are rushing at you swinging unstoppable attacks, firing blasters, and launching grenades. I think the blasters were some of the most annoying because you need to deflect them, which stops you from running away from melee enemies, and if you get hit you stop, so either way, when you're under blaster fire, and there are fast, hulking melee enemies there too, you're bound to be pummeled. And if you're in a corner or by a wall, it's even worse. Those wave deaths I mentioned earlier were often in such situations. Some of the harder (optional) bosses (of which there are many) were kind of like this too, moving and attacking so quickly that it was hard not to feel like you were being stun-locked.

    I mentioned that the story is excellent. Character development, context, all that, really well done. What I thought was especially cool were all the side stories with the characters you meet along the way. And not just the main characters, but all these side characters have really fleshed out backstories. Since the last game, Greez opened a cantina, and over the course of this game, as you meet new characters and progress in the story, people flock to the cantina. This is like your home base. It's neat to watch the cantina become livelier and livelier as time passes. You'll meet an ex-smuggler, a fortune-teller, an annoying frog creature that always gets into trouble because he's so stupid, which is the joke, an historian, and more. You'll unlock side activities and minigames like gardening, collecting fish for the aquarium, a little auto-battler tactics game, a series of bounties to collect, and more. Each character must have like 30 unique conversations. Like every time you go in there, you learn more about each one of them. It's a lot, but it felt like I was sprucing up the place, and it's funny to think about the cantina patrons never going anywhere else because they are always there. Do they all live there? Sleep at the bar or in their booths? Hopefully it is that weird.

    I think that's about it. I'd definitely describe the game as epic. The scale of some of the environments is jaw-dropping, like when you're climbing around the Lucrehulk or ziplining around the Shattered Moon. The escape segment against the excavator blew my mind. Easy recommendation, can't wait for the next one.
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    dkirschner's Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 5 July, 2024

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 11 July, 2024

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Incredible environments. Slick. Lots of abilities. Totally immersed so far! --------- Epic game. Combat gets punishing later on. Stunning environments and set pieces. Great story.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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