There are many, many things I like about Jedi Survivor, the story, the excellent lightsaber and force combat. And yet what I find myself appreciating more than most is just how good it feels to return to an era where I bought a game, and it’s not trying to sell me anything else.

At this point, many of us, myself included, have been conditioned to say that while we have drawn the line at games selling power (except in uh, gacha games, and collectible card games and—), that cosmetic microtransactions are okay, since they don’t impact gameplay.

It’s revenue generator for a whole host of games, including my “main,” Destiny 2, which in addition to selling yearly seasons and expansions, has a cash shop for armor and weapon ornaments, ships, sparrows, ghost shells, ghost projections, shaders, finishers and emotes. All cosmetic.

Yes, it’s true that many games that do this still have earned cosmetics, but it’s absolutely split between the game and the store, and the store often has some of the cooler ones. It’s easy to see how in 2023 there could have been a “store tab” where you buy “credits” with IRL cash to kit out Cal and BD-1 or your lightsaber in extra swag but…that isn’t the case.

Outside of a pre-order bonus set, Jedi Survivor buries all of its cosmetics within the game itself. It is practically the only thing that you are scavenging for out in the wild. You will find dozens of chests that contain pieces of outfits or colors or parts for your gun or lightsaber. You will find haircuts and beards in those chests.

Even the collectibles you find, the ones you trade in at vendors, the vast majority of their wares are again, additional cosmetics. Every vendor might have like, one gameplay upgrade, a perk slot or extra stim or something, but in general, Jedi Survivor has A) put a huge focus on cosmetics and B) made a huge part of the game hunting down those cosmetics as a reward for exploration.

On top of that, the customization system itself is great to support this. Cal’s hair and beards, layered clothing with different color/material options. Changing the worn/pristine finish on your gun and lightsaber. Swapping out blaster scopes. Changing the angle of the vents on your crossguard saber. It was very obviously a huge focus from the team:

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a system like this. The closest thing I’m reminded of is Spider-Man, where you unlock almost all of his different outfits through side missions and gameplay feats, rather than buying any at a cash shop. But here, there’s even more, and it’s even more baked into the game as an exploration reward in its sprawling maps. Just truly excellent stuff here.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.


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