Yesterday, Electronic Arts kicked-off its E3 2019 celebrations with its 'EA Play' event and the gameplay reveal of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. While it's already been confirmed the title won't be coming to Nintendo's hybrid system, there's still an interesting link this game has with one of the Japanese company's famous series that's worth acknowledging.
The developer Respawn Entertainment, known for other titles such as Apex Legends and Titanfall, has partly modeled the game on Nintendo's bounty hunter space pirate series, Metroid. There's also a dash of Bandai Namco's Dark Souls thrown in for good measure.
As you freely explore the galaxy as the protagonist Cal Kestis, you'll encounter blocked pathways. Of course, if you've played one of Samus' games before, it's simply a matter of finding the right upgrade for the job and then returning to a particular section later on in your adventure.
Fallen Order is much the same - with Respawn explaining how it wants players to "embrace" exploration. There's no on-screen waypoint system guiding players to their next objective, either. The most help you'll get is from your friendly droid friend BD-1, who can bring up a holographic map of the surrounding area, highlighting points of interest. Much like Metroid, you'll also have to uncover the map as you progress.
The director Stig Asmussen further explained how Respawn studied Metroid Prime early on in development (thanks, Game Informer):
“We looked at the structure of Metroid Prime closely. Early on, I looked at the cadence of getting upgrades in Metroid and we mapped that out. Ours in Jedi: Fallen Order is nothing like that, but it was a good exercise to go through. I think [Jedi: Fallen Order’s approach] will feel fresh; it’s not exactly like Metroidvania. We also looked at games like Bloodborne and Dark Souls that have the same types of methodology. We studied those games and they inspired us to find an experience that works well for our game.”
The Dark Souls link isn't quite as prominent as the Metroid one, but it's still there. It's built into the combat segments. Rather than release a button-masher where you destroy everything in sight with relative ease as a Jedi, Respawn wanted players to have to read each enemy, study their patterns and then use this knowledge to their advantage. It results in slower but ultimately more intense fights, with Cal having to rely on a "simple" tool kit. As combat designer Jason de Heras explains:
"It's a very what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of combat system"
Fortunately, the game isn't quite as unforgiving as the Dark Souls series. Admittedly, the only thing we are a bit down about is the fact this game won't be released on the Switch. For anyone who is seeking a Star Wars fix on the Switch, you'll just have to wait until Zen Studios releases Star Wars Pinball later this year in September.
Would you like to have seen this game on Nintendo's latest device? Are you pleased to hear designers are still drawing inspiration from the Metroid series after all these years? Share your thoughts below.