Star Wars Jedi’s Biggest Soulslike Strength is a Choice It Doesn’t Offer


  • The Star Wars Jedi franchise incorporates Soulslike combat and design, but it is primarily an action-adventure game with Metroidvania characteristics.
  • Unlike traditional Soulslike games, the Jedi franchise does not require players to make difficult choices about their build and playstyle.
  • While the Jedi series lacks build variety compared to other Soulslike games, it introduces individual skill trees for lightsaber stances and Force abilities to add some customization options.

Soulslikes are incredibly engrossing for myriad reasons, and most times it depends entirely on the individual game to accentuate what makes it great apart from others since they can run so many parallels in their design and structure. That’s why Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi franchise is only technically a Soulslike and not fully steeped in that subgenre, though most of its gameplay is certainly oriented around Soulslike combat and design philosophies, and that’s as clear in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor as it was in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

The fact that the Jedi franchise is primarily an action-adventure experience is appropriate when considering how the game is navigated, particularly in terms of its Metroidvania characteristics. That said, through-and-through the simplest way to boil it down will be to label it as a Soulslike series and call it a day. However, despite several huge changes to gameplay that Survivor implemented, the Jedi franchise stands tall as a Soulslike imitator by not having players make one of the hardest choices Soulslikes normally ask of players at the start of their journey.


Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s Sequel Has an Easy Choice for a Force Ability Upgrade

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor employed a fun Force ability but a sequel could explore it much more thoroughly to make it narratively significant.

The Star Wars Jedi Franchise Rolls Melee and Magic into One Build

FromSoftware Soulslikes Commonly Boil Down to Melee or Magic Builds

Besides Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, FromSoftware’s Soulslike games do traditionally come down to either a melee or a magic build. There are tons of stats players can allocate their respective currencies into, but they will almost always be deciding between whether they want to dish out damage with the classic hit, kite, strafe, and roll combat system, or keep enemies at a distance so they can cast a wide catalog of magic at them.

Bloodborne and Sekiro are exempt because of how nuanced their approaches to gameplay are—trick weapons become multifaceted and an arcane build is much more comprehensive than simply casting ranged spells in Bloodborne, for instance, while a katana and prosthetic arm tools are essentially all players rely on in Sekiro. Some games have stronger melee builds than magic builds and vice versa, but like Sekiro one of the reasons why Star Wars Jedi is great is that it streamlines those builds into one rather than making players decide for themselves.

The Star Wars Jedi Series Lacks Build Variety, But is Dipping Its Toes in It

For better or for worse, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor did introduce something of a build system with individual skill trees for different lightsaber stances and Force proficiencies. It would be alarming if players needed to choose whether Cal would wield a lightsaber proficiently or wielded the Force proficiently, and marrying the two is logical for a Jedi character as well as crafting a build that makes sense for Star Wars Jedi’s action-adventure, story-driven Soulslikes.

This is certainly truer in Fallen Order than Survivor because of the skill trees offered in the latter, and the downside to Survivor’s potential build combinations is that a lot falls to the wayside once players have decided they prefer one lightsaber stance or Force attunement more than the rest.

Some Soulslike players may never dabble in a build that doesn’t immediately interest them, and while it can take quite an investment to craft an OP build in FromSoftware games, players fortunately have ample opportunities to respec their skill trees in Survivor and try other builds whenever they’d like. Still, not having to choose and invest in Star Wars Jedi’s equivalent of melee or magic debacle is a massive boon.


Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

$30 $70 Save $40

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is the sequel to the critically-acclaimed Fallen Order, which was also developed by Respawn and published by EA. Continuing Cal Kestis’ story, Survivor is an action-adventure game with Soulslike combat, multiple planets to explore, and an engaging story.

April 28, 2023

Electronic Arts

Action-Adventure , Soulslike

Unreal Engine 4

T For Teen due to Mild Language, Violence