The Mandalorian is basically a video game

Disney Plus

There’s really nothing like the Disney Plus original Star Wars live-action series The Mandalorian on television right now, but there’s plenty like it on your gaming console or PC.

The first three episodes of The Mandalorian have featured the mostly silent, helmeted titular bounty hunter making his way from world to world, taking jobs from anyone willing to pay up. But as the series has progressed, it’s started to feel far more like a video game than any other TV show before it. The tropes are specific, and familiar from a wide variety of games. Here’s a rundown of the most video game-y moments in The Mandalorian so far.

[Ed. note: The following contains major spoilers from the first three episodes of The Mandalorian.]

Armor crafting

As seen in: Diablo 3, World of Warcraft
Disney Plus

Imagine you’re playing The Mandalorian as a game. You’ll start by taking on a mission for some nasty folks, who offer to pay you upfront in a rare material you’ll need to upgrade your armor. After you get your new pauldron from the armorer, you only need five more upgrades to get the armor set bonus!

Blurrg-riding perk unlocked

As seen in: Ocarina of Time’s Lon Lon Ranch sequence
Disney Plus

You’re informed that the only way to reach the location of your next target is on “horse”-back. Unfortunately, you don’t know how to ride a “horse,” which means you’ll need a brief training sequence.

Defend the door against waves of enemies

As seen in: Call of Duty, GoldenEye 007
Disney Plus

Oh no, the mark is behind a steel door that needs to be hacked open! The only problem? Waves of enemies to hold off! If only you could ...

Hop on a goddamn laser turret

As seen in: Gears of War, Call of Duty
Disney Plus

Eat your heart out, Gears of War! It’s time to blast everything in sight with a giant gun you aren’t going to be allowed to keep past the current level.

Performing self-healing

As seen in: Far Cry 3, Fallout 4
Disney Plus

After getting nicked a few times in the heat of battle, you have to heal up. Sure, you have a full-on hole in your arm, but some amateur surgery should do the trick nicely.

Sniper mission

As seen in: Call of Duty
Disney Plus

Oh no, Jawas are stealing all your stuff! Better lie prone and pick off as many as you can before they run to safety.

Climbing a wall

As seen in: Uncharted, Super Mario Bros., the Jawa level in Super Star Wars for SNES
Disney Plus

Like Mario and Nathan Drake before you, you’ll have to climb the Jawa sandcrawler while enemies toss garbage down at you to knock you loose.

Having to start from scratch

As seen in: Super Metroid
Disney Plus

You start the game with all sorts of awesome upgrades and a dope ship, only to have it all taken away within the first hour. And the only way you can earn it all back is by going on ...

A fetch quest

As seen in: World of Warcraft, Death Stranding
Disney Plus

Yes, the Jawas really want The Egg, and they’re willing to give you all your stuff back if you go find it for them. (Turns out they just really want eggs for lunch. Nothing like a meaningless MacGuffin to make this feel like a true side quest!)

Boss fight

As seen in: Punch-Out!! (Bald Bull)
Disney Plus

The fetch quest turns out to be a little meatier than expected, with a full-on boss fight at the end of it. Better dodge out of the way of the rhino-looking thing as it charges you!

Escort mission

As seen in: Resident Evil 4
Disney Plus

Don’t forget to keep an eye on your totally helpless companion, who usually follows you around but sometimes gets distracted and/or stuck on the geometry.

Companion upgrade

As seen in: BioShock Infinite
Image: Lucasfilm/Disney

It turns out that your adorable companion isn’t just window dressing, and is actually quite handy, thanks to his special ability. Unfortunately, the cooldown time to use it again is super long.

Fancy chest-opening sequence

As seen in: any game with a loot box
Disney Plus

Quest done? You’re damn right you better see a massive chest full of loot slowly open before you.

Head nods from fellow NPCs in a bunker

As seen in: Halo: Reach
Disney Plus

While on the way to spend your hard-earned loot, you pass by NPCs who give you slight nods of acknowledgment. Facial motion capture is tough, so everyone’s in helmets.

Another armor upgrade

As seen in: Metroid Prime
Disney Plus

Thanks to your massive score, you’re going to get a fancy new cuirass and a shiny new skin for your armor.

New ability upgrade

As seen in: any Metroidvania
Disney Plus

“Whistling Birds are a powerful defense against multiple enemies,” the armor crafter tells you. “Use them sparingly, for they are rare.”

Spying through walls

As seen in: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Disney Plus

Stealth mission time. Better lie prone again and use your sniper rifle as a telescopic microphone with thermal imaging to listen in on enemy conversations.

On-rails shooting sequence

As seen in: House of the Dead, Pokémon Snap
Disney Plus

Oh no, you’re surrounded, and the only escape route is this slow-moving speeder! Use the boxes for cover and try to pick folks off as you fly past! There’s an achievement if you kill 10 before the speeder stops.

Teasing a future upgrade

As seen in: Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Disney Plus

You keep seeing other people in jetpacks, but when do you get yours? “I gotta get one of those,” you tell yourself. Maybe it’ll be DLC, or show up in the sequel?


I know we’re past that with The Mandalorian but a spoiler alert would have been nice here.

What are you doing on the internet? Go watch baby yoda!

"[Ed. Note: The following contains major spoilers from the first three episodes of The Mandalorian.]"

I would swear this was added after my comment but maybe I’m just an idiot

It’s funny you say that, because that possibility absolutely occurred to me.

aren’t you nice

Accurate. My fiancee and I have joked how it plays out like an RPG. I actually find that really appealing. We want our protagonist to git gud.

It’s also worth mentioning, with regard to his armor upgrades, that he began in mismatched colors on his armor—commonplace among looter shooters these days. YOU FEEL COMPELLED TO MATCH!

Interesting take. I had not noticed any of this when I was watching it, but now that you mention it…

I did notice that it seems to be moving at a break-neck pace. I know that you need to do that these days up front to catch people’s attention, but now that they’ve set the stage, I hope they slow it down a bit.

I did notice that it seems to be moving at a break-neck pace. I know that you need to do that these days up front to catch people’s attention, but now that they’ve set the stage, I hope they slow it down a bit.

This is the exact opposite of what me and all of my friends have been saying.

I’m old.

You know, Nathan Drake never climbed a Sandcrawler. However, Luke did.

TOTALLY thought of this while that was happening!

At first I was going to say, what kind of hack article is this, but then I read it. Actually well put together and enjoyed the article.

The entire first 3 episodes were basically the introductory levels. You figure out how to use your equipment, fight some easy but slightly hard bosses, have a lot of dialog and setup the main story. Now that that is out of the way and you are flying to your next destination its time for the real game/story to start.

I was actually thinking the opposite. I can’t help but feel like the first three episodes make up one self-contained bit of the larger story. As such, I wish they had been one episode, so that we can get on with the damn rest of the plot.

I think they’re perfect. Not too long, not too short. Gets in, does what it needs to do, then gets out.

I think they’re trying to tell as concise a story as possible in the best way possible, without running into the pratfall of filler episodes like so many series run into.

The second episode reminded me of Lone Wolf and Cub. Hoping for more episodes of the Mandalorian and the Child going on adventures throughout the Galaxy.

100% this!

Watching the show makes me think Respawn needs to try their hand at a Ghost Recon Wildlands-style open world Mandalorian game.


This is pretty on-point! And as much as I love this show, it’s so frustrating that each episode is only half an hour long. I want more(!) – which granted is the point – but so long as there is a steady release of new episodes, and no "winter or mid-season breaks" as is common with network television, then I guess it’s not so bad.

Red Dead Redemption + Mandalorian = My Wallet – Money

Red Dead Redemption + Mandalorian + Money = My Wallet?

Red Dead Redemption = My Wallet – Money – Mandalorian?

Not sure the math checks out here…

I mentioned to my wife as we were watching that the show is holding really closely to a number of video game tropes. It’s virtually a Twitch stream of someone playing a game with really, really good graphics.

And I’ll make sure to clarify that this is not a criticism coming from me. It’s moving quickly enough that I’m enjoying watching Metroid: The Series

Ability Upgrade and an IMMEDIATE opportunity to use it.

I was thinking to myself while I watched it, "Press B to use Whistling Birds"

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