McGuire on May 07, 2002
Developed by: Raven
Buy Jedi Knight II at the
was a time when Lucasarts couldn't go wrong, when pretty
much everything they released was given plenty of
excellent reviews/awards. Those were the good old days;
there was the excellent Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight and some
great Star Wars combat space simulators. Things have went
badly downhill since then and more than likely for this
reason Lucasarts awarded Raven Software with the task of
creating Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, though somewhat oddly
titled, Raven hit it big this time with a Star Wars game,
with plenty of previous experience on First Person Shooter
games including Soldier of Fortune, ST Voyager Elite Force,
Hexen and Heretic series.
won’t go deep into details however the storyline is
actually pretty good in Jedi Outcast, though it still does
suffer from a few faults; these faults however are more
based on what can be interpreted from the films than
anything else. Your main motive for returning to being a
Jedi is that of revenge, not exactly a Jedi trait (and which
is why it’s called Return Of The Jedi, not Revenge
Of The Jedi) so it’s hard to swallow when Luke gives you
the okay to carry on. Similarly the kind of love theme/kiss
between Jan Ors & Kyle may seem well out of line after a
viewing of Attack of the Clones.
storyline itself gets progressed along with cut scenes
consisting of both pre-rendered movies & scenes rendered
using the in-game engine.
than the “interpretational” issues, the plot of the game
is fairly enjoyable and comes to an agreeable enough
conclusion compared to, say, Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault
(No, I can’t believe how they ended that game either).
enemies you’ll be faced against in the game are all
standard Star Wars bad guys – Storm Troopers, Imperial
Officers, Rodians… You get the idea. This is until several
levels into the game where you meet a real threat –
Reborn, then later on Shadow Troopers who get Lightsabers
and some Force powers, these guys are what really
makes Jedi Outcast into a much more enjoyable game and
pretty much can only be defeated by using your Lightsaber
(they can also deflect most weapon fire).
definitely sets it apart from Dark Forces 2, where the
Lightsaber could be dispensed with for the most part except
fighting the Dark Jedi.
enemies’ AI is decent enough however nothing particularly
outstanding and disappointingly enough once you’ve got
your Lightsaber after a couple more levels the only real
challenge you will get is against the Reborn/Shadow
Troopers. Again this sets it apart from Dark Forces 2, in
that the Lightsaber wasn’t too great a weapon, or at least
you’re likely to use conventional weaponry a good deal
during levels, it also wasn’t too great at deflecting
weapon fire, unlike it is now in Jedi Outcast.
the most part, levels used in the game take a good deal of
inspiration from the films and as you progress through the
game you’ll find yourself in some familiar looking
locations, not being a huge Star Wars fan by any means
(particularly after the appalling Episode I) I can’t
really name them, but I just know I’ve seen them before.
in the game will take you from an “abandoned” outpost,
to Yavin 4, Nar Shadaa, Bespin and other places of interest.
Much like Dark Forces 2 before, Jedi Outcast makes good use
of wide open spaces through the game and you will find it
hard to believe at times that this is the same old Quake 3
the other hand, most of the progression through levels
relies on rather old-style puzzles, which is disappointing
indeed. Jedi Outcast is one of the first Games in a long
time where I’ve needed to consult a walkthrough guide for
tips on how to progress at certain points. Perhaps I just
need to play more Tomb Raider or something. The final level
in particular is very ‘Tomb Raideresque’, with elements
that seem completely out of place for “where” you are
meant to be.
than the dated style of puzzles the levels are pretty good
generally, though not as enjoyable perhaps as those seen in
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.
the first several levels Jedi Outcast plays out like
basically any other FPS game you can care to think of. Your
basic run, shoot, press buttons type of Gameplay. Once you
get the Lightsaber however it adds a new element to the game
– that being hand-to-hand combats against other Lightsaber
wielding foe. This is particularly excellent as these fights
are rather dangerous to yourself and regardless of how well
you can cut through Storm Troopers or other guys,
Reborn/Shadow Troopers can easily take you down with their
own Lightsaber if you’re not careful. Like in the films,
lightsabers can get locked and you’ll pound away at the
fire button as you try to win the lock and leave the
opponent momentarily defense-less.
themselves have a good deal of Tomb Raider elements to them,
more so as your force powers increase & you’ll see
yourself doing a good deal of ledge jumping with Force jump.
are also a few novelty levels/scenes in the Game, e.g. loss
of gravity in one scene or protecting a droid from being
destroyed. At one point you can even hop into an AT-ST
walker and see how the Imperials like to be used against
them as you stomp through the level.
than the excellent addition of the Lightsaber (& Force
powers too) though the gameplay isn’t anything much more
than what you’ll have already experienced in several other
FPS games or Tomb Raider.