If I had to sum up Jedi Knight II in
one word it would be polish. The level of detail and Star Wars realism in this game
is staggering. You will be totally immersed in what looks, sounds, and feels like a galaxy
far, far away. Lucasarts and Raven Software obviously put a lot of painstaking effort into
helping gamers actually feel like they are legitimate Jedi Knights. With the myriad of
Star Wars games already out you might wonder how this one could be so different. Oh young
Padawan, you have so much to learn
Step into Jedi Knight IIs office.
The story picks up
after the events of Dark Forces II. Our hero Kyle Katarn defeated the dark Jedi, Jerec and
kept the power of the Valley of the Jedi from falling into evil hands. Distressed by his
brush with the Dark Side, Kyle decided to leave his Jedi ways and return to doing
reconnaissance missions for the New Republic. On a routine mission to a planet Kejim,
though, Katarn and his partner come face to face with the menace of the Dark Side.
Whats a rusty Jedi to do?
missions are pretty straightforward. Players can expect a healthy dose of puzzles and
platform jumping -- one area where Jedi Knight IIs polish runs a little thin. Amidst
the nice visuals youll be doing a bit of running back and forth to unlock doors. If
gamers can bear with this title for a couple of hours then they will really be satisfied.
The real game begins once you start to tap into your growing mastery of the force.
you will come into contact with Luke Skywalker, who helps you get your skills up to snuff.
This is another area where Jedi Knight II shines: cameos. You will see several familiar
faces from Master Skywalker to Lando Calrissian, whose voice acting is done by Billy Dee
Williams himself. You wont just sit around and chew the fat with these guys either.
Your allies will take a bite out of the Imperials right beside you, and this game makes
sure you have the equipment to do it too.
lets players render justice with 13 different weapons including a few different
explosives. Youll recognize several like the blaster rifle and Wookie bowcaster. All
the weapons have secondary uses as well. Once you lay hands on your lightsaber, though,
youll be hard pressed to holster it. Lightsaber combat is one area where Jedi
Outcast really delivers the goods.
was said that Jedi Outcast lets you feel like a legitimate Jedi. The depth involved with
learning and mastering the use of a lightsaber is phenomenal. You can swing your saber
horizontally, vertically, and diagonally for starters. Your attacks will vary depending on
where your enemy is in relation to you. This alone allows for some strategizing during
your fights, especially against others wielding lightsabers.
On top of
that there are three different fighting stances you can use to vanquish your foes. You
start out with a medium stance, which is basically your all-purpose mix of speed and
power. Beyond that you can learn a power stance, which is very slow, but can knock the
lightsaber right out of a combatants hands. Also you can learn the quick stance, which as
the name implies depends on weaker, but much quicker strokes. Each stance contains its own
special moves as well. Never before has swinging a lightsaber been more rewarding. What
would a Jedi be, though, without the force as his ally?
even an expert of saber combat requires the living force to be a real Jedi, and Jedi
Outcast doesnt disappoint in this area as well. Many of the force powers like
lightning are back from Dark Forces II. Once you train with Luke you will learn more force
powers during your progress through the game.
power and skill, including lightsaber combat and defense, exists in three stages. The
skill begins at level one and as you progress you will build your skills to their pinnacle
(level three). A level one lighting blast will shoot straight to strike one foe, but a
level three blast will arc onto multiple enemies that are within range. By the time you
are done youll be yanking guns out of stormtroopers hands or even throwing
them over cliffs with the smallest gesture. Jedi Outcast is definitely a growing process,
but rewards gamers with a distinct feeling of accomplishment. Believe me, youll get
that warm fuzzy feeling the second you choke the life out of an enemy from across a room.
also offers a solid multiplayer option over the net. You can join servers that are already
up and running or start your own. Starting your own server gives you control over things
like the map, player limits, and whether force powers are involved. You can participate in
anything from an old fashion death match to lightsaber-only duels. Jedi Outcast puts an
interesting spin on the "capture the case" match. Instead, players will have to
capture a Ysalamiri. This little lizard will squash all of the force powers of whoever is
carrying it as well as make them immune to the force, making for some interesting matches.
accounts Jedi Outcast is a great game, but it does have some flaws that may tax
gamers patience. As mentioned before, the first couple levels of Jedi Outcast leave
something to be desired. Youll grow tired of running to this room to open that room
over and over and over. Jedi Outcast has a generous helping of puzzles, which may hamper
the action here and there. Later on this problem is much less apparent because of your
contact with the force.
Jedi Outcast are a little slippery, though. All in all the control is quite functional.
You can customize your keyboard and mouse settings to help offset the somewhat awkward
default settings. Youll want to torch your keyboard the most during the games
jumping sequences, though. There are several very tough jumps you will encounter during
Jedi Outcast. These jumps seem worthy challenges at first, but after all the dying due to
the jump button not kicking in the second you need it, or making the jump only to
"slip" off, youll be crying for mommy.
II: Jedi Outcast is by all accounts a beautiful and immersing experience. The level of
painstaking detail present in all of the aspects of this game is impressive. You can
really tell that Lucasarts and Raven Software cared a lot about making you feel at home
within this game. While Jedi Outcast is not a revolutionary title, it is definitely a
solid blueprint of what to do right. It is a great mixture of concepts we know and love,
executed in one solid title. This is definitely a must-buy for Star Wars fans and even
those who arent fans should check it out.