While Jedi: Fallen Order might look like a hack and slash mindless beat ’em up from the outside, let me assure you that it is definitely not. Going into this game with that sort of expectation has probably left more than a few Star Wars fans unhappy.
That is not to say that it isn’t a great game and experience, it definitely is. It just begs the question though, does difficulty matter when you start a new game.
Short answer, yes, definitely. Especially if it is your first playthrough and you are going into the game blind (having not watched anyone play through it before).
I know that much of the video game journalism industry is obsessed with comparing every hard game that comes out to Dark Souls, but this game genuinely does have shades of that difficult combat mastery thrown in. To an initiated player it can be frustrating and daunting, to an experienced player it can be exhilarating and rewarding.
Here is a quick breakdown on the specific of each of the game’s four difficulty settings:
Story Mode- Exactly what the name implies, the average player should be able to get through this without much of a struggle, but it still isn’t necessarily an “easy” mode.
Jedi Knight- This is the “normal” or standard difficulty. Enemies tend to attack you one at a time and parry windows are small but achievable. The average player will struggle through certain difficult sections but I believe almost everyone is capable of triumphing here.
Jedi Master- There is a noticeable jump in the aggressiveness of enemies and and decrease in the amount of defensive opportunities available here. Ordinary enemy encounters suddenly all become heart pounding like boss battles and a clear mastery of every part of combat is needed to complete this challenge.
Grand Master- Enemies on this difficulty will not wait around for their buddies to attack but seemingly coordinate their attacks against you. Health of enemies is increased and your own feels like a sliver of what you had, been on Jedi Master. Boss battles become memorization tests and task you to have lightning quick reflexes with perfect timing to proceed.
Needless to say, even the best players will die repeatedly on this difficulty as overcoming it is a rite of passage unto itself.
Here are also a few helpful tips to help make the game a bit easier no matter which difficulty you choose:
Take the extra time to get upgrades. Upgrade your health. Unlock every combat move. Find everything you can. If you have to go back and retread old planets to mop up some XP for leveling up that is OK. Do what you have to do.
Learn to be patient. Trading blows is not worth it in this game. Wait for your opportunities to strike and then make the most of them.
Master each enemy type. When enemies are first introduced to you, load the game over and over and keep practicing against them until killing them is second nature. This goes a long way when it comes to rooms full of varying enemy types.