Here's why you should play Xbox Game Pass Ultimate's Star Wars Jedi: Survivor for May 4

It's May 4, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is available with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate via EA Play and with Free Play days — here's more reasons why you should play!

Here's why you should play Xbox Game Pass Ultimate's Star Wars Jedi: Survivor for May 4
Heidi Nicholas

Opinion by Heidi Nicholas

Published

We had the chance to have a go at Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order when the TrueAchievements team went to X019. It was a lot of fun (although it really seemed to like chucking Cal down sudden drops for endless sliding sequences) and the full game was just as enjoyable when it launched in 2019. You could tell even then that though it was a little rough around the edges and a bit more ambitious than it could manage, the second game might be able to polish up all those rougher bits to create the kind of experience that the first game just missed the mark for. That turned out to be the case with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which built upon the first game, streamlined some of its wonkier bits, and gave Cal an excellent new adventure to embark on. So here’s why, in honor of May 4, you should be playing Star Wars Jedi: Survivor while it’s in Game Pass (and Free Play Days)!

There's a fair amount of work to put into the Star Wars Jedi: Survivor achievements, and if you played through the first game or tried for the completion, you might remember the relentless backtracking through finicky areas you’d already covered many times before. It was often frustrating to say the least, and one great change in Survivor is that shortcuts and fast travel points feel much more generous. This is especially good since another improvement with the sequel is that its worlds feel much more open for exploration. It’s still more linear than open-world, but everything feels on a grander scale as opposed to some of the narrower sections in the first game. There are still story sections where you’re on a strict path, but overall there’s much more freedom of exploration to explore. You do occasionally come across areas that you can’t access yet, but choosing to explore off the beaten path often rewards you with better perks or other helpful things which give Cal even better chances of surviving in future.

To make things more manageable, you even have mounts to ferry you around. I’m a big fan of things like this and while there isn’t much behind the mechanic — it’s sort of like Cal’s just borrowing random beasties for a bit rather than having another companion — there are some pretty spectacular colors, and while Cal might insist he’s in hiding, it’s great fun to send him around on a giant neon pink ostrich-type alien.

One area which Survivor improves on is by giving you even more customisation options with Cal, BD-1, and Cal’s lightsaber. Rather than just set outfits, you can mix and match separate pieces of Cal’s clothing as well as colours. You can change up his hairstyle and facial hair too. It is a little odd to die over and over again trying to reach a far-off point on a strange planet only to open a chest and find a mullet, but it gives more flexibility to making your own Cal. BD-1 and the lightsaber’s options are still more extensive, as you can not only mix up styles, parts, and colors, but also how well-worn or brand-new everything looks.

One of the best bits about Survivor, though, is the addition of a hub area to return to with Pyloon’s Saloon. Quite apart from giving Cal something of an anchor instead of leaving him to wander around alone, this hub area gradually fills up with more newcomers who give you rumors to chase up, new shops, background lore, and a bit of life to what can be a pretty isolated galaxy. It’s a great way to see some of the impact of Cal’s actions, as people he rescues start popping up there and the locals start warming up to him. In the grand tradition of RPGs, they’ll reward you for saving their lives by pelting you with requests and favors, and it’s here that you’ll see examples of some of the more expanded dialogue to be found in the sequel. What’s more, you can see this base improving as you progress through the game, with the things you do having an actual impact — whether it’s filling up the big aquarium, or bringing back seeds to populate the rooftop garden. It also introduces a very cool minigame — I don’t want to spoil it if you’re new to the game, but it makes BD-1’s determination to scan enemies much more useful.

If you were frustrated with the way you had to build up key abilities in the first game, then it might suit you that Survivor lets Cal keep his abilities and build upon them. He also has new lightsaber stances, and the whole thing works well with the idea that Cal is now a force to be reckoned with. He’s gruffer and grimmer than before, but he’s also more powerful, and a little more unforgiving. It’s always fun to pull enemies towards you only to fling them over cliffs, sending them sailing to their doom even as they’re insisting they’ll beat you easily, but Cal has some new ways of fighting which opens things up still further.

Traversal is made much smoother too, which is a good thing, as Survivor has just as much — if not more — wall-running, ziplining, and climbing as before, as well as some interesting gliding bits thanks to Cal’s new ability of befriending alien beasties. It takes a lot of frustration out of a game which asks you to do so much precision movement when you can actually do the things it’s asking you to.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor feels like it really does build on what the first game promised. We know Respawn is "working on a third" game, and while we wait for any news on that, you can check out everything we know about Star Wars Outlaws for more on another upcoming Star Wars game!
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Heidi tends to lean towards indie games, RPGs, and open-world games on Xbox, and when not playing Disney Dreamlight Valley, happily installs every new wholesome game that appears on Xbox Game Pass, before diving back into favorites like The Witcher 3. She's looking forward to Age of Mythology Retold, Everwild, Fable, and Avowed on the Xbox horizon. Heidi graduated with an MA in English Literature before joining the TrueAchievements team.
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