E3 is kicking off on Monday, but before the main event takes place, we still have several pre-E3 publisher conferences to sit through. Electronic Arts' (EA) conference, EA Play, took place today, and the company revealed 15 minutes of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay right at the start.
Fallen Order, for the unaware, is a singleplayer, action-adventure Star Wars game from the developers of Titanfall and Apex Legends, Respawn Entertainment. The game takes place after the fall of the Jedi Order, putting players in the shoes of Cal Kestis, one of the Order's last surviving Padawans.
According to EA, Kestis is "on the run," and the odds are against him. Over time, though, players will help him develop his Force powers and combat abilities, with the end goal of rebuilding the Jedi Order from the ground up.
In the 15-minute gameplay demo, we see Kestis infiltrate an Empire outpost on the Wookie planet of Kashyyyk, where soldiers have imprisoned several of the natives. Kestis' job throughout the demo is to free the Wookies and enlist their aid in the fight against the Empire.
In true action-adventure fashion, we see Kestis wall-run, double jump, climb, and swing through a relatively linear level.
From time to time, he comes across a group of Empire soldiers, which he can dispatch with many unique Force and lightsaber abilities: he can throw his weapon like a boomerang to instantly kill lightly-armored troops, or use the Force to push or pull them.
Naturally, there will be plenty of opportunities for players to get involved in classic 1-on-1 duels as well. Several times throughout the demo, the player encountered a powerful staff-wielding soldier who engaged solely in melee -- those encounters are where the combat system seems to shine.
Kestis can block, parry, roll, and strike to take down his enemies. All of those maneuvers looked surprisingly believable and weighty for an action-adventure title (particularly when compared to the combat of the older Force Unleashed games), but we'll let you judge for yourself using the clip above.
With a decent variety of abilities at your disposal (and, presumably, the option to augment them using skill points), Fallen Order seems well-suited to creative thinking. For example, we see the demo player use the Force to freeze a projectile in place and follow up by pulling an enemy into its path for an instant kill. Presumably, there will be plenty of other Force power interactions to toy with on launch.
If you've watched the demo and decided it looks like something you'd be interested in playing, you can pre-order Fallen Order now for Xbox One, PS4, or PC (Origin exclusive). The Standard Edition is $59.99, but the Deluxe Edition will run you $69.99. The latter includes exclusive cosmetics and a "Director's Cut suite of behind-the-scenes features and content." Pre-ordering either version of the game will give you a couple unique lightsaber appearances, and a new look for Kestis' droid buddy, BD-1.
In terms of other monetization or game modes, EA has promised that Fallen Order won't feature a multiplayer component or any form of microtransactions -- good news for those who have become disillusioned with the company's post-Battlefront II business practices.
If the gameplay you've seen so far wasn't enough to sell you on Fallen Order, the developers have promised to showcase more footage tomorrow at 1PM PT, during Microsoft's pre-E3 conference.