It’s no secret that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order borrows heavily from the literally genre-defining Souls games. FromSoftware’s influence can be felt in the Star Wars title's timing-based combat and bonfire-esque checkpoint system, as well as its generally punishing difficulty. Though a sequel has yet to be announced, EA seems to have its sights set on the future. Should the folks at Respawn get a crack at a follow-up to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the Star Wars Soulslike could stand to benefit by leaning a little further into its influences.
One aspect of the Souls games that would likely work well in Jedi: Fallen Order is multiplayer. Souls is a series well known for its unique approach to both competitive and cooperative multiplayer; unlike traditional multiplayer titles where players simply invite their friends into a lobby, who folks team up with or fight against is random. This style of multiplayer could be a fascinating way to explore both the unpredictable danger posed to force-sensitives during the Galactic Empire’s reign, as well as the greater lore of Star Wars.
How Invasions Could Work in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Dark Souls players know the dread of invasions all too well. On top of having to worry about virtually every enemy potentially killing them, players — provided they’re connected to the internet — must also consider the possibility that a player-controlled Red Phantom can invade their world at any given time. It goes without saying that human opponents are exponentially more unpredictable, and often more challenging, than the average CPU-controlled enemy.
The possibility of being invaded can make the invadee feel like they’re being hunted, which is what makes this mechanic perfect for a sequel to Jedi: Fallen Order. Cal's story concludes with him and his crew escaping the Empire, but it’d be naïve to assume their safety is guaranteed. The Empire has never been one to let things go, and there’s a pretty good chance Palpatine and Darth Vader would like to bring “justice” to the crew of the Stinger Mantis. Given Cal’s recently rekindled Jedi status, it’d only make sense for the Empire to send a few Sith Inquisitors after him.
In theory, invasions in a Jedi: Fallen Order sequel could essentially replace the Red Phantoms with player-controlled Sith Inquisitors, allowing players to put their lightsaber skills to the test against one-another. Through preying on players’ uncertainties, such a mechanic seems like it would be capable of simulating the fear Cal and his crew likely feel as a result of their wanted status, further driving home how difficult their day-to-day struggle is. Additionally, Jedi: Fallen Order’s quicker movement and more intricate level design relative to Dark Souls means that running away and losing a pursuer would likely be a more viable option than it is in other Souls games, which could make for some engaging cat-and-mouse gameplay.
The Case for Cooperative Multiplayer in Jedi: Fallen Order
For those unfamiliar with the Souls series’ co-op play, while playing online, one can find signs left behind by other players, which can then be interacted with to summon said players to come help in one’s journey. It’s particularly useful when one is struggling with a boss or an especially arduous in-game area, and sometimes seeing the builds or tactics one uses can inspire the summoner to adopt similar equipment or play-styles going forward.
In Dark Souls, these guiding players are called “White Phantoms,” and one doesn’t have to think too hard to identify a similar concept in Star Wars that involves ghosts. Throughout Luke Skywalker’s journey, he frequently received advice from the Force Ghosts of both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, both of whom previously received guidance from Qui-Gon Jinn’s Force Ghost. With this in mind, allowing Cal to receive some backup in future games by calling on the help of Force Ghosts makes sense.
Since Cal is one of the last remnants of the Jedi, it wouldn’t be shocking if deceased Jedi were to reach out to him through the force to aid in his survival. After all, there is no better way to ensure Cal’s well-being than by fighting alongside him. While Force Ghosts are not frequently seen fighting living beings, it has been done before. DLC for The Force Unleashed notably featured an encounter between the living Starkiller and the deceased Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Force Ghost, in which the two exchanged physical blows with each other despite one lacking a corporeal form. Even if giving Cal some ghostly co-op partners does conflict with canon a little bit, it’d still be a lot of fun at the end of the day, and that’s debatably more important than a strict adherence to the franchise’s rules.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 is rumored to be in development.