Respawn didn’t reveal Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay footage until June, but I pre-ordered the game long before I knew what it looked like. Here’s why.
It was April 15, 2019. Having just returned from Star Wars Celebration — exhausted but filled with post-convention energy — I dropped my bags, hugged my dog, and immediately proceeded to purchase my copy of Jedi: Fallen Order.
At the Fallen Order panel that weekend, all we got was a nice-looking trailer (and a really cool poster). To many people’s disappointment, we got zero gameplay footage. We still didn’t know how the game mechanics worked or if the graphics even looked like 2019 graphics should look.
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This game is coming up against much hesitation, and there’s a long list of reasons not to pre-order.
For one, EA gets the publishing credit, and ever since it snagged the Star Wars license it has released exactly two games, both of them less impressive than expected. They’ve lost the loyalty of droves of fans because of microtransactions and disappointing single-player story modes (among other things).
Even though EA isn’t making the game — Respawn is — EA is slapping its brand all over every piece of marketing material as the game’s publisher, and a lot of people are just shaking their heads “nope” at the mere sight of their logo.
For another, Respawn Entertainment doesn’t have as impressive of a track record as we’d hope. It has only released four games in its company’s history: three Titanfall projects (one mobile game) and Apex Legends.
So far, what it has released hasn’t totally bombed. But they’re taking on a Star Wars game, and with that comes A LOT of pressure. This is going to be the first single-player, story-driven Star Wars experience we’ve seen since the The Force Unleashed games. From what we’ve seen so far, it might actually pull it off. But we won’t know that for sure until November.
All signs point to “don’t buy this game unless you know it’s good.” So why did I impulse-purchase it as soon as it became available?
Answer: Because I’m hungry for a new Star Wars game. Absolutely ravenous.
Respawn knows it. EA knows it. I have never screamed “Take my money!” out loud at full volume in an arena full of people before, but at Celebration, I came pretty close.
Like many of you, I grew up playing Star Wars video games. I am a gamer because of Star Wars. I lost count of how many hours my brother and I took turns playing the original Battlefront on our family computer in the early 2000s.
It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten anything like the Jedi Knight or Knights of the Old Republic games, and I don’t care what the graphics look like or if the voice acting is good (yet). I want to hold a controller in my hand and pretend to be a Jedi again.
Will I be more critical of the details after the fact? Most likely. I like to consider myself skeptically optimistic. If the graphics look terrible, I’ll call them out on it. If it doesn’t sound like a Star Wars game should sound, I’ll notice. If the story is a major letdown — I’m praying that, at least, carries the whole thing — I’ll be upset.
But from what I can tell after watching the gameplay reveal, Respawn is genuinely trying. It wants to give us a really good game.
If it makes an okay Star Wars game, they still deserve my money. If it make the best Star Wars game that has ever been made, it deserve all the money (all the money that exists in the world) to make more of them.
When it comes down to it, I gave into the hype. I got excited and I (literally) paid the price. I lumped it in with my Celebration costs and my wallet is making a slow but full recovery.
I’m either going to love the game or I’m going to wish it could have been better. But I’m not going to regret playing it. It’s Star Wars, after all. I have all the hope in the universe we’ll get a game that exceeds our expectations.
Help us, Respawn. You’re our only hope.
What’s your take on the pre-order vs. never pre-order debate? Are you going to wait until you see more gameplay before deciding whether or not you’ll buy?
Jedi: Fallen Order is available for pre-order now, and officially releases on November 15.