We don’t have much to go on with Jedi: Fallen Order – just a timeframe and a name – but given that those two things are both delicious, let’s fantasise about what could be!
Semi open-world sandbox:
Given the timeframe, set between episodes III and IV, order 66 will be in effect. This means you’ll be hunted, and this is excellent. Remember that early version of Splinter Cell: Conviction – the one that we never ended up getting? A hooded Sam Fischer walks among the civilian population, using his skills to infiltrate open environments. Well, imagine that, but with a Jedi. Entire open environments – villages, towns, cities – would be under the Empire’s watch, and you’d need to stay under the radar, stowing aboard freight ships and sleuthing past patrols. When on a mission, imagine 2016’s Hitman. Clothes-swapping? No thanks, I’ll just mind-trick the guards; environmental accidents? I’ll trigger them with the force, thanks.
It would be fantastic if the map was hub-based like The Witcher 3 or Deus Ex: sprawling environments but dense and intricate, with lots of knick-knacks to discover. Not a full open world, but a richly detailed one, and one that would yield more secrets when explored using your force powers – jumping to great heights, sensing where things are and what NPCs might know etc. Oh and there should be an achievement for falling from a great height and using the force to land gracefully. The trophy must be called “Another Happy Landing.”
Morally ambiguous upgrade tree:
A curious thing to wish for, an upgradeable skill tree, but this one would be a cracker. Taking notes from Prey, the skill tree would play host to some devilishly nasty abilities that would compromise the hero. The most devastating ones, like shooting lightning and choking people with the force, would be really cheap to tempt you over to the dark side as you play. The light side abilities would be more expensive, but would help with infiltration and information gathering – think cloaking, Farsight, and Precognition.
This skill tree would feed nicely into the game’s story. Given that the Jedi order has been toppled, its strict rules and tenets would lack reinforcement, and your character’s journey would involve either preserving the Jedi way, or letting the lines blur with how you behave. It would be a little bit like that scene from The Bourne Supremacy, where the CIA high-ups ask who is giving Bourne the orders now that he’s not reporting to his superiors – to which Nicky replies, “Scary version? He is.”
Realistic Jedi combat
The combat should chiefly be difficult. A blow from a lightsaber is, on the whole, lethal, and so it should be in Jedi: Fallen Order. The way to win fights would be to use excellently-timed parries and dodges, along with careful and precise offence. Crucially, if you are hit, your character will automatically deflect it, in order to make the fight look good on screen, but a little resistance bar would deplete. The aim of every fight, is to waste your foe’s resistance bar, and open them up to a real blow. You can opt for a lethal finishing blow, or a non-lethal one. I’ve just realised I’m essentially describing Bushido Blade. OK, think Bushido Blade, but with lightsabers.
Incidentally, there would be many droids in the game, and deflecting blaster fire would be challenging and supremely rewarding when mastered – think of nailing a perfect drop shot in Top Spin 4. The droids would, of course, die if you closed the gap and slashed them with your light sabre.
Big time gear would be amazing. Let’s talk armaments: DH-17 blaster pistols, E-11 blaster rifles, DL-44 heavy blaster pistols, bowcasters, Jawa ionisation blasters (why not), wrist rockets, thermal detonators, Ryyk Blades, stun batons, a cheeky little Gaderffii. The works. And all of this would tie into your moral approach; it’s safe to say that you won’t find mention of the CR-24 flame rifle in the sacred texts, but desperate times…
On top of this, we want jetpacks; we want speeders; and we want ships. Seen as you’re in hiding, you will probably have to ditch the signature robes. Some fashion customisation would be great – think of your Jedi in a leather jacket, or some armour!
Who else remember The Saboteur? Set in occupied Paris in 1940, the game had you sabotage the Nazi occupation from the inside. It had a lovely touch where the world you explored was black and white, and it would slowly shift and bloom into colour when you liberated certain areas and weakened Nazi forces.
Let’s have a bit of that with the Empire. Remember, lots of places farther afield – especially smaller planets and cities – won’t appreciate the Empire. At this point in time, its rule is still newly established, and a whole load of folks aren’t going to be used to it. It would be brilliant if you could team up with local resistance forces, pull down propaganda, weaken arms caches, and sabotage AT-STs. It could tie into the early days of the rebel alliance, perhaps even give your hero a role in cementing its forces.
What have we missed? Let us know what you’d like to see in the comments below!