If you attempt to skip past certain story elements in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, the latest Force-powered action-adventure from Respawn Entertainment, you’re greeted with a funny little pop-up message warning you that the game may break. That sounds like it could suck, but in actuality, it’s pretty cool that the developers are acknowledging players’ ability to sequence-break and making sure doing so won’t mess up their save files.
Survivor is the sequel to 2019’s excellent Souls-inspired romp, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Picking up right after the events of the previous game, Survivor sees protagonist Cal Cletus—I mean, Cal Kestis continuing his fight against the galactic oppression of The Empire. As the Kotaku review notes, Survivor is a bombastic sequel that doesn’t forget what made the first entry special while expanding upon the game’s scale and scope. It’s cool, with plenty of customization to make Cal slay the house down boots. It’s also gigantic, running roughly 20 hours long to complete the main story and many, many more if you wanna see and do everything the game has to offer.
You could also try skipping some story elements. Sequence-breaking is a time-honored practice first documented in sprawling games like Metroid, whereby players find clever ways to skip whole chunks of a game using devious methods that the designers may not have anticipated. But it turns out Survivor’s creators are already one step ahead of folks tempted to find unintended shortcuts in the new, Metroidvania-tinged Star Wars adventure.
Survivor backs up your save in case of shenanigans
There’s a popular tweet going around of Twitch streamer Joseph “andersonjph” Anderson attempting to skip a story element on Koboh, Survivor’s second planet that becomes your main hub of operations. It’s early-game stuff, a moment in which you’re supposed to investigate some old High Republic chamber tucked away in the large, desert-like planet. After coming to a mountainous cliffside littered with lush fauna, Anderson double-jumped and air-dashed over a yawning ravine, closing the final gap by locking onto an unfortunate Storm Trooper. There was some hype, as Anderson wasn’t sure he could make the jump, but immediately after successfully sequence-breaking over to the next area, an “unexpected error” notice popped up on-screen, warning Anderson about the possible consequences of his unusual tactic.
“You seem to have bypassed certain story elements,” the message read. “Continuing to play from this point may encounter issues. If you choose to proceed anyway, loading any future Saves from the Title Screen will give you the option to reload prior to this point. Reload from last Save point?”
Below this text are two button prompts. One asks if you’d like to load from “the last good save” in which you’ll lose progress but avoid game-breaking issues, while the other says you can “continue in the broken state” even if that’s not recommended because “things” will likely be broken. Guess which one Anderson chose. “Of course, proceed anyway. Fuck you,” Anderson said during his May 2 livestream. Sure enough, Anderson wound up soft-locked—unable to progress further—because he seemingly skipped an ability required to continue the narrative. Then Survivor completely froze up, prompting him to force-quit the game to get it working again. So, thank goodness for Respawn’s kind inclusion of not just a warning, but a full save backup.
Kotaku reached out to Anderson, EA, and Respawn for comment.
Undeterred, however, Anderson found several other places to perform similar sequence breaks while live on Twitch. Sequence breaks are nothing new for Metroidvania-style games, but for the developers to actually anticipate them and build in precautionary fallbacks to ensure the player doesn’t end up screwed? That’s pretty cool.