I’m reviewing Jedi Fallen Order over at ninjarefinery.com and despite my critical eye on the game itself, I’ve also got a separate view of it. It’s a viable option on the Steam Deck, and I think how it runs, and how that entire experience plays-out, out is an interesting perspective, too.
Part of my new “On Deck” series where I’m going through games on Steam Deck and sharing notes and experiences. Many Star Wars games have been released over the years, some based on popular films and some forging their own stories. Jedi Fallen Order is one that creates its own tale in the universe and it’s my first foray into this On Deck series ahead of the release of its successor Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.
Here’s the process I’ll be using for analysis:
- Game age/origin: Not all games are brand new, and let’s be honest, we’d expect older games and smaller games to run better than the latest and greatest, right? But not all games are Steam Deck compatible, and those that are, aren’t always the best experience ever. So we set the stage for what we’d expect based on age, size and perhaps the developer? Is it listed as Deck verified?
- Default settings: What settings is it defaulting to? How far could we push it to see changes in performance?
- Docked mode: How does it look and perform when docked and played on a TV?
- Handheld mode: How does it fare when handheld (my primary use for the Steam Deck)?
- Review of the overall experience: Is it delivering a great new way to experience the game? Is it too intense on power and resource to run reliably? Perhaps we had some performance issues or inconsistencies. Better still, it might have been a great overall experience!
Jedi Fallen Order
So enough about how and why. Let’s look at these categories and how well Jedi: Fallen Order works as a handheld, Steam Deck experience.
Age and origin
Released in November 2015 by Respawn Entertainment and published by EA. Jedi Fallen Order was released to critical acclaim and received really well by gamers and Star Wars fans alike. 2019 is relatively recent, so likely to be a test for the Steam Deck hardware. But not so new it’s impossible to run efficiently, in theory….
Jedi Fallen Order defaulted to medium settings on everything and 60 frames per second. I’ve not felt the need to adjust this at all. Everything looks great and it runs really nicely.
Yeah, it’s fine. Having the game up on a 4K TV showing Medium settings is obviously not the optimal way to play. But if you’re able to set up and play it like this for it, it’s smooth and perfectly serviceable. Better than my original Xbox One experience of the game I’d say.
We’ve already talked about the visuals/and performance. That’s all fine. In fact, it’s excellent on hand-held. Having the freedom to play Jedi Fallen Order anywhere is a real treat when it runs this well. The consideration you have to make here, though, is that you’re running on battery, and a game like this requires power to run so well.
I’ve had play sessions for up to a couple of hours and the Steam Deck has held out, but the temperature gets high, which means the fans are going nuts and drawing more power. You’re not going to get marathon sessions out of it, but you can pick up, play for a little bit and come back.
Arguably, you don’t get a Steam Deck for marathon sessions, anyway, right?
Apart from Elden Ring, I’ve not played any games that I thought might be taxing on the Steam Deck. Hitting indies, arcade-style games etc instead. Again pick-up and play games are the bread and butter of the Steam Deck.
Getting the opportunity to put it through its paces a bit has been great and Jedi Fallen Order really holds up. Fan noise and heat are a small price to pay for a really good, smooth version of the game.
60fps and medium settings mean Jedi Fallen Order rarely drops frames, even when under heavier load. It’s the perfect example of what the Steam Deck can do with relative ease. Whether or not it’s a good game is a different story and something I’m covering over at ninjarefinery.com but it plays great and is the ideal solo experience on the go!
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