Pros: Great Graphics,a story worthy of being a film, solid Gameplay.
Cons: Some puzzle jumping can get tedious.
The Bottom Line: The best game of the year for any platform.
With the pending release of Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones, Star Wars fans the world over have been whipped into a veritable frenzy with the promise of further adventures and merchandise based on that famous Galaxy far, far away.
With great anticipation, I like many other gamers awaited the release of the new game Jedi Knight II Jedi Outcast from the creative minds at Raven Software and Lucasarts.
The game is a 3D shooter that is set a few years after Return of the Jedi when the New Republic is being menaced by the evil remnant of the empire that seeks to reclaim their former status as rulers of the galaxy. Players are cast as Kyle Kattarn, mercenary and erstwhile Jedi Knight who has forsaken the Force after his adventures at the Valley of the Jedi. (chronicled in Jedi Knight Dark Forces 2) Assisting Kyle in quests is his partner and lover Jan as she assists with computer hacking, combat as well as with moving the plot of the game.
Kyle and Jan are sent on a mission to probe the actions of the Imperial forces and soon uncover a much larger crisis. It seems a renegade Dark Jedi has started to create his own army of Dark Jedis and is set on destroying the Jedi and the New Republic once and for all. Naturally, it is up to Kyle to save the day and players are about to embark on a quest that will span all corners of the galaxy.
The artwork of the game is outstanding as the look of everything from ships to bars is authentic to the Star wars setting. Seeing the passenger ships come and go as well as listening in on conversations of characters in the game was amazing. On more than one occasion, I became totally immersed in the story and settings and was in awe of the detail and complexity of the game.
The dazzling away of weapons available to Kyle is good but nothing compares to the lightsaber and force powers that allow players to perform a wide variety of functions ranging from enhanced leaps, speed, pushing, pulling, healing, and some offensive moves such as force lightening and choke. When using the lightsaber, the view switches from first to third person and allows players a wide range of arch in which to attack and defend. My favorite tactic is to use the force speed during attacks to move circles around foes as I dispatch them.
The game offers some fantastic challenges as players have to use their minds rather than rely soley on combat to complete the game. The sound effects are simply the best I have heard in a game ever and the inclusion of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian adds to the depth of the game settings and greatly enhances the enjoyment. Players will also take delight in seeing some familiar faces in the game as Luke Skywalker and Mon Mothma join Lando to work with Kyle at various stages of the game.
I do not want to spoil the game so I will refrain from metioning some of the settings and weapons that players have in store for them but suffice it to say, they will not be dissaponted. Jedi Knight II is by far the best game in recent memory and easily the best Star Wars game ever created. The Multiplay factor of the game is outstanding as there are several styles of online play that would warm the heart of even the darkest Sith Lord. If I had any flaws with the game I would say that some of the jump puzzles grew to be a pain at times and slowed the pacing of the game, but this is a minor compliant for what is destined to be a gaming classic.
Gareth Von Kallenbach
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About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach (garethvk)
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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In the tradition of the multi-award-winning Jedi Knight, rebel agent Kyle Katarn returns in exhilarating first-person action. Several years have passed since Kyle avenged his fathers death and saved the Valley of the Jedi from Jerec and his band of Dark Jedi. Allowing his Force powers to languish for fear of falling to the dark side, Kyle entrusted his lightsaber to Luke Skywalker, vowing never to use it again. But when a new and menacing threat to the galaxy emerges, Kyle knows he must reclaim his past in order to save his future. Jedi Outcast is being developed in partnership with Activisions critically acclaimed developer Raven Software. Players assume the role of Kyle as they employ a unique mix of weapons, Force powers and your lightsaber in both single- and multiplayer modes.