New gameplay from the upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Survivor seems to reveal that, unlike in the first game, the sequel will finally let Jedi Cal Kestis slice up stormtroopers and other human enemies. And that’s a good thing, as this much-wanted change makes lightsabers feel powerful and deadly again.
The lightsaber is one of the coolest pieces of Star Wars tech and genuinely one of the best fictional weapons ever created. Instantly iconic, the weapon and its sounds are so ingrained in our minds that when grown adult actors in Star Wars movies or shows are handed a prop lightsaber they make all the hums and whoosh noises like they were eight years old again. And I don’t blame anyone for loving the lightsaber. It’s a powerful laser sword that can cut off limbs, slice through metal doors, and it comes in rad colors. What more could you want? But for a long time, most Star Wars games—including 2019’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order—haven’t let you really slice and dice with these iconic laser blades, treating them more like glowing bats.
However, in new gameplay released by IGN yesterday, we see that this doesn’t appear to be the case in Survivor. In a neat video going over how the game’s combat stances work, the devs showcase Cal fighting different enemies while explaining how his various moves will work and how stances factor into combat.
That’s all fine and dandy. But more interesting to me is what happens during the fight against some Imperial scout troopers at around 4:14:
Look at that! Cal just cut a dude’s leg off. And if you look around the floor at that point in the video you can see at least two more cut-off limbs, likely from earlier in the fight. This is exciting!
Kotaku reached out to EA and Respawn about this dismemberment and was told “The footage is what it is” and that the publisher wouldn’t provide any additional comment.
For many years now, Star Wars games have made lightsabers feel pretty weak as it can often take dozens of hits to kill a random enemy and you never get to cut off limbs or do real damage to your target unless they are a droid or random animal. In an interview in 2019, Respawn senior designer Justin Perez seemed to imply Lucasfilm and Disney weren’t okay with lightsabers cutting off arms or legs. This was further backed up by people who worked on season 7 of The Clone Wars, which is also mentioned in that IGN interview from 2019.
So, I had assumed that was just how things would work. Cal could kill all the innocent animals and aliens he wanted, but he couldn’t chop any limbs off of stormtroopers. But it appears that Disney and Lucasfilm have either relaxed this rule or given Respawn a pass.
Either way, I’m excited to play Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and cut off some legs when it launches on April 28, 2023 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.