Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is majorly let down by its side quests
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There’s a lot to love about Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. It’s true that it improves upon Fallen Order in a number of ways. I enjoyed the new combat stances. The world felt far more substantial and best of all, it boasted a truly epic Star Wars story. I won’t be touching on any spoilers but let’s just say, I certainly didn’t see that plot twist coming. Despite all of this though, I was hugely let down by one aspect of the game. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor may have vastly improved the number of side quests, known as ‘rumours’ in-game, but those side quests were sadly dull and underwhelming.
Typically when I tackle a game of this kind, I’ll do a fair chunk of the side quests between main missions - perhaps completing 60 to 70%. I’ll then mop up the remainder once I’ve finished the main story. That wasn’t the case in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and this is where the problem first arose. The game’s story is strangely paced. You don’t particularly unlock rumours until you’re past the first act of the story, at which point, the main missions then seriously pick up the pace - and it’s full steam ahead until the credits roll. As such, there didn’t feel like an appropriate gap for me to actually tackle side quests.
Take a look at Star Wars Jedi: Survivor in action below.
Eventually, I did start stumbling across the rumours (you’re encouraged to keep returning to Pyloon’s Saloon to pick them up), but I’d finish a main mission only to be told something along the lines of, ‘Quick, we need to chase X person to X spot.’ I was carried away by the rapid pace of the storytelling, so off I flew to Koboh, Jedha, or Tanalorr. While the game certainly technically allowed me to go off for a wander, completing side quests felt like a disservice to the storytelling. I wanted to approach those main missions with the urgency they demanded. Taking breaks in between would’ve killed the momentum entirely.
This is the total opposite to a game like God of War Ragnarök which, in my opinion, boasts some of the best side quests out there. One of the key reasons behind the success of those quests is that time was carved out in the story to allow you to complete them. Mimir would say something along the lines of, ‘We could take time to explore while we wait for X to do Y.’ Taking a break from the narrative was almost crucial as you awaited the next main mission prompt.
That didn’t happen in Jedi: Survivor so I ended up rolling credits with just a couple of side quests completed. In terms of the main missions, Jedi: Survivor just gets better and better as you proceed. By the time I was finished with the story, I was itching to dive into the side quests that I’d been ignoring. I was desperate to spend more time with these characters, exploring this world. I’d soon be disappointed.
Side quests should teach you something new about the world. Sure, they’ll use the same mechanics you utilise in the main missions, but there has to be an advantage to completing them. You should feel a deeper understanding of a particular planet, or a particular character. I didn’t get that at all. I’d slash and blaster my way through pointless hordes of droids or Bedlam Raiders, for no real purpose. ‘Rumour complete’ the game would say as I sat there thinking, ‘That was it?’
One, located on Koboh, told me of an incredible lookout spot, adding that explorers would be rewarded for seeking it out. I ended up in a location that looked much like the rest of Koboh, receiving a new lightsaber set for my efforts. The most impressive rumour I came across regarded the exploration of the Phon’Qi Caverns. I’m calling it impressive simply because it offered me the chance to investigate a location that looked totally different to anything I’d explored thus far. Otherwise it was full of the same kind of repetitive battles and platforming puzzles.
I’m going to bring it up again: God of War Ragnarök. I remember stumbling across Lyngbakr Island - an incredible new section of the map hidden right under my nose. Not only was it a delight to discover and explore, but Mimir was also on hand to explain the lore associated. I also had a purpose to everything I did. As Kratos, I wouldn’t clear out Raider camps for the sake of it. Post story, you’re actually tasked with clearing up the Nine Realms.
Jedi: Survivor is undoubtedly a great game, but outside of its strong core story, I fear that it’s a little too rough around the edges to be a real game of the year contender. Side quests shouldn’t exist simply so you can grind through mini battles to collect unimportant collectibles. They offer you the opportunity to spend longer in that particular game world, and it’s a shame that Jedi: Survivor’s actually ended up leading me to decide to wrap up my time there. The very best side quests teach you something new and I’m sad to say, Jedi: Survivor’s failed to.