So, youve been
doing battle with imaginary Sith Lords since you were old enough to
swing a broom handle and make lightsaber noises. You still dismiss your
friends with a wave your hand and some inane variation of the "these are
not the droids you are looking for" line, even though they stopped
laughing at it twenty years ago. And you get choked up when you recall
how Yoda was like a father to you. In other words, you have wanted to be
a Jedi for as long as you can remember. Well, fear not fellow console
owners. Although Obi Wan on the Xbox didnt quite cut it, there is
another. Its name is Jedi Outcast.
Star Wars Jedi
Knight II: Jedi Outcast is a port of the popular PC game released
earlier this year. In it players continue the adventures of Kyle Katarn,
a Jedi whose quest for revenge nearly led him to the dark side of the
is a blend of third and first person action. Your point of view changes
according to the type of weapon you are using. While wielding a
lightsaber, your primary weapon, the game is presented in third person.
This is perfect for dueling and reflecting blaster fire, as well as
exploring and performing more precise athletic moves like crossing
narrow walkways and jumping over chasms. Draw your blaster, however, and
the game immediately switches to first person, performing much like
other popular console FPS games such as HALO and Red Faction.
person combat offers players a much more intense and satisfying
experience than the limited action presented in either Obi Wan or the
previous Jedi Knight PC game. Katarn can run horizontally along a wall,
leap from it in mid stride, flipping over an enemy, all while using his
lightsaber. There are a slew of new attacks and defensive moves. You can
even spin your saber around and stab behind you (think Qui Gon taking
out the battle droid standing behind him without even looking at it
during the "negotiations" in Episode I).
There are a
variety of different weapons in the game. Among the blasters are
Katarns Bryar Pistol, the traditional Storm Trooper E-11 Blaster,
Chewbaccas Bowcaster, and others, including heavy cannons and zooming
sniper-style guns. There are also explosives like remote and trip mines,
even the thermal detonator made famous by Leia while in disguise at
Jabas palace in Return of the Jedi.
Then there are
the Force powers. The Force Pull allows you to rip weapons from the
hands of your enemies, move objects, and manipulate switches from a
distance. The Force Grip enables you to incapacitate your foes by
choking them. Force Lightning emits a short burst or continuous stream
of electricity, ala the Emporer, or, more recently Yoda in Episode II.
Force Pull repels enemies or objects, knocking them onto the floor or
off of ledges. You can use Force Jump to increase your leaping ability,
Force Speed to give you an edge in combat, and Force Heal to recover
from wounds. Perhaps the most interesting powers are the Jedi Mind
Tricks, which allow you to outwit opponents or make them see or hear
things that arent there. Force powers are limited in use by a Stamina
Meter, and each power grows in strength as the game progresses. At its
most powerful, the Jedi Mind Trick can turn an enemy into an ally who
will fight by your side.
is popular among PC owners for containing an intricate and involving
story, told through dramatic cut scenes. The game takes place on many
worlds. Some are original, while others are lifted directly from the
Star Wars mythos, such as Cloud City, the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4, Nar
Shaddaa, and the smugglers moon. There are also familiar characters
like Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian, C-3PO, R2-D2, the various
incarnations of Storm Troopers, and alien races such as the Gran, the
Weequay, and whatever the hell Greedo is (or, more appropriately, was).
contains a 2-player split screen multiplayer with up to 14 bots.
Multiplayer games include Capture the Flag, Free for All, Team FFA,
Duel, and Jedi Master. All of the weapons, Force Powers, and various
characters are available. Too bad it is limited to 2-player.
is a PC port, LucasArts promises that the graphics and performance will
be optimized for each system. There are also extra features, like the
ability to save anywhere at anytime, a bonus mission called "Mission at
Alzoc III" which is unlocked after the single-player game has been
completed, and a new "Weapons Only" option in the multiplayer game for
"decidedly uncivilized combat."
With Star Wars
Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast being released on the Xbox and Gamecube,
console owners will finally get the Star Wars adventure that they
deserve. This is the ultimate Jedi Experience. Look for it on shelves in
(Screens shown are from Xbox version.)