It was a bit of a head-scratcher when it was revealed that the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay reveal wasn’t really indicative of the whole experience. Instead of a linear, Uncharted-esque experience, it’s actually more akin to Metroid games, with an open level design that encourages backtracking. A new interview with Respawn Lead Level Designer Jeff Magers gave a deeper look at how this new Star Wars game will play out. While it will have some narrative-heavy elements, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is described as “not really linear” at all!
Fallen Order’s open-ended nature was casually thrown about during E3 2019, but wasn’t elaborated upon much. However, we now have a bit of a better idea on how it will operate. Planets will have linear sections during initial visits, theorized to last about 30-60 minutes. While the team considers these to be “levels,” there will be much more to a planet than that. In fact, according to Magers, even these more linear segments will have multiple paths to completion.
“Jedi: Fallen Order is an exploration game from a level design perspective,” Magers says upfront. As such, players are free to revisit any planet whenever they like. There won’t be many instances where the game (or more specifically, BD1) nudges you along a certain path. In fact, there will apparently be no “UI objectives” that tell you where to go; you’ll have to rely on your map to steer you in the right direction.
Traversal on these planets is also regarded as a key component. As any Star Wars fan knows, the planets in this star system are richly diverse, meaning players will need to adapt to their surroundings in order to fully see what it has to offer. A more naturalistic planet like Kashyyk may not provide a ton of opportunities to wall-run, but there will likely be a vine or two to swing from.
Your abilities will expand as you progress through the game, opening up even more opportunities in the world. As your force powers grow, you’ll likely feel compelled to return to worlds you previously visited. “Everyone wants to explore the Star Wars universe,” Magers explains. He certainly has a point, and preventing players form soaking in these worlds probably wouldn’t sit well with fans.
We’ll get to truly immerse ourselves in this universe when Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order releases on November 15, 2019.