Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast
Dark Forces return to Greatness!
Jason Musgrave (75)
Apr 09, 2003
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Following the decent "Jedi Knight" and its expansion, "Jedi Outcast" returns the "Dark Forces" line (if it is indeed part of it- it is referred to as a sequel to "Jedi Knight" instead of "Dark Forces") to greatness! The graphics in this game blew me away (when they are turned up to maximum). The shadows are exceptional, and the fluidity and life-like motion of the character models is amazing. The storyline is top-notch and kept me enthralled throughout the entire thing. The level design was truly exceptional with a "Star Wars" feel that surpasses even "Dark Forces". The world feels alive and used, and new in other places. The cinematics, rendered in-game, are excellent with this engine, and the voice talent is all top-notch. Modelling the principles- Kyle Katarn and Mara Jade, after the actors who played them in the FMV cinematics of "Jedi Knight" was a welcome touch. Finally- the lightsaber battles in this game are beyond anything accomplished in any game. The original "Jedi Knight" or even "Die by the Sword" have nothing on the excitement and cinematic thrill that comes with each and every lightsaber battle in this game.
There are still no speeder levels, walking AT-ATs, or other "massive" vehicles or monsters. Granted, "speeder" missions are generally restricted to other Star Wars games, but a level or two of it would have been nice. I really thought that Kyle should have the ability to hold onto ledges as well- like "Tomb Raider" and other games. I say this because of the extensive use of that tactic we have seen in Star Wars movies- like Luke Skywalker's ledge-grab and rebound over the Sarlacc Pit in "Return of the Jedi", or Obi-Wan Kenobi's lifesaving grab and Force-jump & flip up to defeat Darth Maul in "The Phantom Menace". Although FULL of "nice little touches", this is one little touch I would have particularly loved.
The Bottom Line
A must-have for Star Wars fans, or anyone interested in the best combination of cinematics and first-person "you are there"-type gaming. The world is alive, and the threats are breathtaking.
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