Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s Five Fighting Stances Explained – IGN First


I don’t think anyone disputes the idea that a Jedi makes a pretty good video game protagonist. They have a lightsaber, force powers, are fast, and can jump very high. All of them great innate attributes for an action game set in the Star Wars universe. But one of the problems with having a Jedi protagonist is that they are only known to use lightsabers. This is a bit of a problem, as most good action game heroes have multiple weapons to help keep combat fresh throughout the game. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order found a solution to this problem by giving Cal two different lightsaber stances, each with their own combat approach and move set, and with the sequel, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Respawn wants to up the ante with a total of five different stances that Cal can use throughout his journey..

To learn more about each of these positions, I spoke with Jason de Heras, Senior Director of Design, and Stig Asmussen, Director, who explained to me the design philosophy behind each stance and their unique approaches to combat.

Which is evolving

One of the great focuses of attention during the development of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has been the concept of “Jedi 2.0”, and how to take Cal from where he was in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a young and relatively inexperienced Padawan trying to find his place and identity, to where he is now in Jedi Survivor: a much more confident Jedi Knight and capable, who is also five years wiser. Asmussen said that the team wanted this change to reflect on Cal not only in the story, but also in combat. As a result, Cal is a much more capable fighter from the start of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, with three saber stances available from the start of the game..

Cal is a much more capable fighter from the very beginning of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

“We felt it was important to give the player a bigger loadout early on. So we had two fully realized stances in the first game, and we had a stance where you had a double saber, which it was something we wanted to fully work on in the first gamebut we basically ran out of time and it ended up becoming a special move,” Asmussen said.

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He went on to say that the moment where you got the double sabers in Fallen Order was really cool, but what they never gave it the focus they wanted it to have. So, on the first day, they decided that they were going to finish the dual saber stance.

Dual, single and double blade posture

De Heras said that the team used the double blade stance as a starting pointbecause they already knew the roles that the single and double blade stances would play in combat, and so they wanted to start by trying to make the double blades unique.

“And that’s where we started thinking: let’s make the double a little more technical. It’s still accessible, anyone can pick it up and play, but it has a lot more combat nuances,” he explains.

That combat nuance comes in a number of forms. You take more damage, but attack faster and have a greater variety of unique combos, some of which require you to pause before continuing the combo. Also, the Dual Blade stance is the only one where you can dodge or cancel the initiation animations of an attack. Other stances force you to perform your attacks much like you would in a game like Dark Souls, where once the attack button is pressed, you have to wait for the attack animation to end before you can move out of the way. However, in the Dual Blade stance, you can rely more on your reflexes and get out of the way when danger approaches.

“With this stance, we allow you to walk the line between recklessness and aggressiveness, but you pay for it if you make mistakes,” de Heras said.

The single blade stance is the off-road stance from Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. It has medium range and power, as well as a versatile approach to abilities that use it. It is relatively fast, so you do not have to spend the same time on each attack as in the slower stances; you can throw your lightsaber for a mid-range attack, and his special ability is a strong thrust attack that can be charged up to deal heavy stamina damage to individual enemies.

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The double blade stance is the most used for crowd control.

Like in Fallen Order, double blade stance is best for crowd control. If there’s a large group of weak B1 droids crowded in an area, it’s never a bad idea to pull out the dual swords and start dancing together. It focuses mostly on melee damage, spread around Cal. Its drawback is that its attacks take a long time to start up, making it a weapon to be very careful with when used against faster enemies.

The Cross Guard and the Blaster Stance

There will also be Two new poses that you can use in Star Wars Jedi: Survivorand although Respawn has not wanted to reveal many details about these two positions, we know that one of them it’s called the Crusader Guard, and it uses a hilted lightsaber like the one used by Kylo Ren; and the other is called Blaster, which is a fighting style that incorporates a lightsaber and blaster.

De Heras described the posture of the Crusader Guard as a high-risk stance that deals the most damage, but is also the slowest and has the shortest range.

“We wanted the player to feel very powerful, but that there is also a lot of risk, probably even more than Duals I would say. You have to understand the spacing, because with this stance we don’t artificially push you into an enemy. It’s a bit like the fighting game stance“.

As for the Blaster stance, the team wanted something with more range, but also thought that a Jedi using a blaster would be a great opportunity also from a story point of view.

“We thought it would be something that would reflect the journey that Cal is going through, to do something unconventional, something that is normally frowned upon for a Jedi and put him in this circumstance where he does whatever is necessary in the situation. I think through the discussions we had we were able to get it to work in combat,” says Asmussen. “We wanted something that had some push and pull, like the way the blaster is designed, which encourages you to use your saber to replenish ammo and your weapon. It’s almost a rubber band that encourages the player to use up close so that he can also make decisions from afar.”

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“We always feed back that thoughtful combat, and we still want you to strike with the saber.”

Just to be clear, this is still a melee combat game. You’re not going to be shooting a Stormtrooper from afar with the Blaster stance. As he says of Heras: “It’s not a shooter, obviously. It’s like a melee weapon, even if you’re shooting long range, there’s a limit to it. We always feed back that thoughtful combat, and we still want you to hit with the saber.”

Stance Skill Trees

One of the most exciting aspects of these five postures is that each comes with its own skill treeso each stance will have its own set of upgradable abilities to help you develop it further.

“We throw out ideas and we throw things out if they don’t fit the personality of the position,” de Heras said. “Of all trades for the single, aggressive and technical for the dual, crowd control and commitment for the double. We come up with ideas for skills, and some skills that were initially for single blade stance, eventually the we included in the two because they fit where we wanted them to fit in the role of each pose.”

Stances aren’t the only thing with their own skill tree, either. There is a tree for Force powers and another for survival skills that offer increases to your health, Strength meter, and much more. All this makes up a combat system that offers great flexibility when it comes to creating your own version of Cal Kestis. You can only equip two stances at a time, but you can change them at each meditation point and adjust your loadout to whatever the situation requires.

For more IGN First content on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, check out our explanation of the Gen’Dai, the new nemesis of Cal Kestismeet Cal’s 8 enemy types and check out these 9 minutes of exclusive gameplay on the new planet, Koboh.