Despite Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order utilizing a “thoughtful” combat system similar to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Respawn does not want for the game to utilize From Software’s traditional one difficulty formula. Instead, Fallen Order has four difficulty levels, and you can switch between them at any point in the game to create your ideal experience.
“What we needed to get right first was the lightsaber,” Fallen Order lead level designer Jeff Magers said, according to PC Gamer. “A lightsaber is, for me at least, the most exciting thing in the Star Wars universe, and it’s kind of the dream to make a lightsaber game. So we really wanted to nail that lightsaber combat first, which to us meant making it feel like [the] powerful dangerous weapon it is. So we started with a Stormtrooper taking one hit, which is difficult in a melee game because a lot of times what feels good in a melee game is hitting a character multiple times.”
In Fallen Order, some enemies can dodge or deflect your attacks, forcing you to swing at enemies multiple times. But regardless of the difficulty, one clean slice will always kill a Stormtrooper. Changing the in-game difficulty will adjust how enemies behave–not give them more health. It’s not a game-changing concept, but it’s still exciting to play.
“So one of our core tenants of the difficulty tuning was not changing the number of hit points enemies have based on difficulty,” Magers said. “On Grandmaster, you can still kill a Stormtrooper in one hit. What we’re tuning is the enemy aggression. We’re tuning the size of the parry window, the difficulty of these abilities to pull off. There’s a really rewarding mastery loop in those higher difficulties.”
On the Story difficulty, Cal takes little damage, you have plenty of time to parry, and enemies aren’t all that aggressive–even if their personality dictates they’re a confident trooper. Go to Jedi Knight and the parry window doesn’t change, but Cal takes more damage and enemies are more aggressive. Jedi Master is where you finally see a bump up in terms of the parry window. Jedi Grandmaster sees boosts to all three categories, forcing you to perfectly time your parries for any chance of holding your own in the fights against highly aggressive enemies that do large amounts of damage.
If you want to pre-order Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, you have less than a month to do so. The game has officially gone gold, so it’s on track to release for Xbox One, PS4, and PC on November 15.