After an impressive showing during EA Play at E3 2019, new details about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order have emerged. A Respawn Entertainment developer cites the Metroid series as a prominent influence on how exploration is handled in the upcoming third-person action-adventure game.
Lead level designer Jeff Magers sat down with GameInformer to discuss Jedi: Fallen Order’s exploration. Magers said it’s “an exploration game from the level design perspective, at its core” and that “traversal feels snappy [and] responsive.” But while things like “mixing in [the] wide range of traversal tools [to] make the moment-to-moment feel really good” and “no UI objectives in the world” sound nice, things got interesting when Magers mentioned how Metroid (among other titles like The Legend of Zelda franchise and the Dark Souls games) influenced the hotly-anticipated Star Wars game.
“Metroid absolutely served as an inspiration for us,” Magers told GamerInformer. “What the Metroid-style level design does for us is somewhat [of] a way to give the player guided exploration. A ton of freedom within the world, but at the same time we can deliver really handcrafted moments and really focus on the moment-to-moment.” Magers then described design sensibilities common in Metroidvanias: hidden secrets, backtracking, abilities/weapons that unlock new areas. For Jedi: Fallen Order, “Force powers are lock-and-key mechanisms,” meaning that behind the Force push gate you couldn’t get through earlier, “Maybe there’s a whole other area [or] maybe there’s a little secret.”
Since hidden pathways and secrets to discover abound, Jedi: Fallen Order is not really linear. “We have linear sections of the game,” Magers said. “And each, I’d say 30-minute to one hour section that we call a level… will be somewhat linear, although there [are] different branching options, different choices to make, different secrets to find [and] areas to explore. But when it really opens up is kind of at a macro level. You will be retraversing through these levels that earlier was kind of more of a linear experience… with your new tools and your upgraded hero. It really aligns with kind of the goal of the game, which is to become a Jedi.” It sounds like the Jedi has become the master of Jedivania.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will launch on November 15 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
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