In the gaming landscape, sequence breaking – the act of bypassing key story elements or challenges to progress more rapidly – is a widespread phenomenon. Many players, often referred to as speedrunners, take pride in discovering loopholes and exploits that enable them to complete games in record time. However, this practice can often interfere with the immersive narrative experience intended by the game developers.
The team behind the latest Star Wars game, “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor,” developed by Respawn, has taken a novel approach to discourage sequence breaking without entirely restricting the freedom of its players.
A Gentle Reminder in the Form of an Error Message
Twitter user StellaNoxEclair shared a clip from Twitch streamer andersonjph‘s playthrough of “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.” In an exciting sequence, andersonjph managed to leap off a cliff, landing in an area that should have been inaccessible at that point in the game. Following the successful takedown of a Stormtrooper, an unexpected error message surfaced on the screen.
The message warned the player that they had “bypassed certain story elements,” and continuing in this manner could leave the game in a “broken state.” This error message appears to be Respawn’s unique method of communicating to players that they may be venturing off the intended narrative path.
A Novel Approach to Sequence Breaking
Traditionally, game developers have sought to deter sequence breaking by incorporating invisible walls or other physical barriers to keep players within the intended progression path. Respawn’s approach is notably different. Rather than blocking the sequence breaking outright, they implemented a warning system that leaves the decision ultimately up to the player, maintaining the spirit of player agency.
While sequence breaking can lead to unforeseen issues and diminish the richness of the game’s story, it does provide an additional layer of challenge for those interested in speedrunning. This subtle approach by Respawn may help maintain the balance between preserving the game’s narrative integrity and supporting the interests of a significant subset of its player base.
However, for those embarking on their first playthrough, it’s generally recommended to follow the game’s narrative path as designed to fully experience the depth and richness of the story. As for speedrunners, this new “error message” feature may open up new possibilities and strategies in their pursuit of record-breaking gameplay.