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SYFY WIRE gaming

Gaming: Jedi: Fallen Order details awaken; Gears of War movie update; more

By Josh Weiss
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

In this morning's roundup of gaming news, we bring you exciting updates about the latest Star Wars console game, Universal's Gears of War movie, and a dino-sized add-on for Jurassic World Evolution.

Speaking with, Aaron Contreras, narrative leader for Respawn Entertainment, dropped some tantalizing details and teasers about EA and Lucasfilm's Jedi: Fallen Order, which will be available on several consoles this fall.

For example, he talked in depth about the game's mechanics, particularly in terms of lightsaber use, stating that smashing buttons won't always the smartest idea.

"Our game director characterizes it as 'thoughtful combat,' and that’s how we approach it," Contreras said. "If you just go in and blindly start swinging, you’ll be successful in some situations against some opponents, but we try to create a combat design where the player thinks about stuff, analyzes the situation, and is aware of what their tool-set is at that given point in time. You need to really look at the situation… the environment, the terrain. Do you have the high ground, for example? What enemies are you facing? What are their capabilities? And then sort of do the right movement at the right time for the best results."

Set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Fallen Order centers on Cal Kestis (voiced by Gotham's Cameron Monaghan), a Jedi trying to restore balance to the Force after Emperor Palpatine invoked Order 66 and took over the galaxy.

On his quest, Cal will brush shoulders with a few familiar faces, including Saw Gerrera, the Rebel leader first seen in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars before showing up on the big screen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Like the film, the game version of Saw is played by Forest Whitaker. Cal will also be aided by a small, never-before-seen droid by the name of BD-1.

"He’s an explorer’s companion droid, so the depiction of BD-1 is a relatively uncommon droid," Contreras added. "Designed as the perfect companion to somebody who is an explorer or an archaeologist or adventurer who is out in the wild. So if you are a researcher or a scientist, who is off on some crazy backwoods planet, you have a BD unit with you and it’s sort of there to give you first aid, help you in your research."

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order goes on sale Friday, Nov. 15. Fans can pick up copies for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Universal's film adaptation of Gears of War is still in the works and we finally have a new update on the project from Rod Fergusson, head of The Coalition, the developer that oversees the popular video game franchise. He also helped develop the franchise from the very beginning, acting as a head producer on the series' flagship entry in the mid-2000s. 

Talking about the plot in the broadest strokes possible with IGN, Fergusson revealed that the film would not take place in the same reality as the games.

"In order for the movie to be successful, it has to be a great movie first and a Gears movie second," he said. "Basically the way that we sort of reconciled that was, we said, 'Oh, the movie should be an alternate reality. It should not be dependent on the game story, nor should it influence the game story.'"

Even with that in mind, Fergusson did promise that the movie (written by F. Scott Frazier) would remain truthful to certain aspects of the game. For instance, the story will unfold on Sera, a planet colonized by humanity, but terrorized by aliens and mutants known as the Locust Horde and Lambent, respectively.

"I've heard of other franchises who come with this really large story Bible and this really sort of, here are all the rules now go and deal with 700 pages of how you live in our world," he continued. "When we did it, we were two pages. I was like, 'Here's two pages of thou shall nots and recommendations.' We want people to have the freedom to have new ideas and to take things differently."

There's no release date (tentative or otherwise) for the film adaptation just yet, but the fifth Gears of War title is set to be released on Tuesday, Sep. 10. The game will be available for the PC and Xbox One.

Earlier today, the Xbox YouTube channel dropped the official launch trailer for Claire's Sanctuary, a brand-new campaign for Jurassic World Evolution, which is now available for purchase.

Set before the events of last summer's Fallen Kingdom, the brand-new add-on tasks players with the challenge of relocating dinosaurs from Isla Nublar (about to be devastated by an active volcano) to a safe haven off the coast of the doomed island.

Claire's Sanctuary, narrated by none other than Bryce Dallas Howard, introduces new structures, features, and dinosaurs to Evolution's gameplay. The three new dinos are: Albertosaurus, Euoplocephalus, and Ouranosaurus.

You can buy the new campaign today for $14.99. A new (and free) update, 1.8, is also available for the game, which can be played on the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. More details can be found here.