Trophies, Achievements… a Jedi craves not these things

Trophies, Achievements… a Jedi craves not these things

By Dan on Feb 23rd, 2020
thoughtpiece
video games

When it comes to Star Wars video games, the bar is set very high regarding what players expect. After all, it’s not often that we’re given a chance to frolic about in the coveted galaxy far, far away. That said, it’s tremendous that Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order is as good as it is. The game is a breath of fresh air that flaunts a strong narrative, tight controls, and well-crafted set pieces.

As early as halfway through my adventure, I knew that I’d want to extend my stay. One surefire method of elongating the experience with a game is to complete each of the optional Trophies or Achievements. Although Trophy hunting is not typically my pastime, it felt prudent to at least glance at Jedi Fallen Order’s list.

To my surprise, I’d already completed a fair amount of Trophies in the game! As it turns out, normal progression gets you through most of the list. It wouldn’t take much more work to complete Jedi Fallen Order’s optional challenges. Then, I could proudly shelve it as a fully completed quest.

Little did I realize that fulfilling this desire would nearly destroy my opinion of the game.

Only what you take with you.

As previously noted, Jedi Fallen Order does a great job of entertaining the player with scripted set pieces. Whether it’s flinging rockets back at an Imperial AT-ST on Zeffo, or being chased by a vicious Gorgara on Dathomir; each experience perfectly scopes the best and worst parts of a planet. These are the moments that display how Star Wars video games can be truly special.

Some serious backtracking was required to complete more than one of the remaining Trophies on my list. Hidden items and various data scans lie scattered throughout each world. This brings to light just how absent Fast Travel is in Jedi Fallen Order; especially given how much ground there is to cover. Although shortcuts do exist in order to ferry players between certain areas; a proper Fast Travel system between checkpoints would’ve been much more appropriate. Instead, players must contend with tangled pathways and long-winded walks to find the one corner they initially missed.

With each trap and pitfall being sprung, revisiting planets is quite tedious, if not frustrating. These lackluster returns sullied some of my more treasured memories in the galaxy. What was once a spine-tingling climb up Kashyyyk’s Origin Tree became a groan-inducing chore.

What should’ve been a victory lap through Jedi Fallen Order’s locales was more akin to loitering abandoned movie sets. Hints of magic remained in the air, but none of it was on display.

A danger there is, of losing who we are.

Having played on a first generation PlayStation 4, I experienced some performance-based issues during my time with the game. Unfortunately, this is bound to happen given how late in the console’s cycle Jedi Fallen Order was created. I can recall two occasions where it glitched badly enough to necessitate a reset. By no means was this a dealbreaker. After all, the game’s got lightsabers – it gets a pass here and there.

Of course, even the strongest love for Star Wars has its limits. As I continued exploring previously conquered areas, I noticed that certain game assets sometimes loaded in later than expected. It felt as though I was breaking a predetermined behavior by not proceeding through areas in the expected order. Upon turning a corner, I’d be presented with floating enemies or blurry textures. The word, “janky” comes to mind. While this issue could be rectified by waiting a few seconds, it was disruptive to any immersion I was enjoying.

By the time I was awarded the game’s final Trophy, I felt a confusing combination of relief, accomplishment, and chagrin. In the end, I’m still happy to have completed each of Jedi Fallen Order’s challenges. But, at what cost? Ultimately, I still speak highly of the game. That said, my voice descends an octave as I sing its praises. During my extended stay, I was granted clairvoyance enough to see previously negligible flaws.

Are there any games that you can see yourself diving back into for that elusive Trophy hunt? Or, are would you rather leave things as they are? Let me know on Twitter!

This isn’t the first time I’ve ranted about Star Wars. Take a trip through time to when the Sequel Trilogy was about to release with this article.

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