Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Jedi Academy
Description official descriptions
Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Jedi Academy is the sequel to Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast. The player is cast as Jaden Korr, a padawan at the Jedi Academy taught by Luke Skywalker and Kyle Katarn. Both the character and his lightsaber are to be created at the beginning of the game. Throughout the game, the player will acquire several force powers and weapons, such as lightning and the Tenlos Disruptor Rifle. As he progresses through the different missions, he may be seduced by the dark side of the Force...
- スター・ウォーズ ジェダイナイト：ジェダイアカデミー - Japanese spelling
- 杰迪武士：杰迪学院 - Simplified Chinese spelling
- 3D Engine: id Tech 3 (Quake III: Arena)
- Console Generation Exclusives: Xbox
- Force Powers-themed games
- Games with official modding tools
- Games with officially released source code
- Middleware: Bink Video
- Protagonist: Visually customizable character
- Setting: Space station / Spaceship
- Standalone expansions
- Star Wars licensees
- Star Wars: Dark Forces / Jedi Knight series
- Xbox World Collection series
Credits (Windows version)
207 People (185 developers, 22 thanks) · View all
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 77% (based on 54 ratings)
Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 87 ratings with 10 reviews)
There are a few good things about this game. The lightsaber fights are the best part, but do not really take skill because you can just swing your blade randomly and kill the enemy jedi. The weapons are almost the same as outcasts, save you get 2 or 3 new ones. As a first-person shooter, it doesn't exel, but is alright.
The horrible plot line, bad lip synching, bad movies, and useless force powers will make this game feel like a bad interlude, than a good follow up to outcast. The levels on this game feel more like mini levels as you could easily beat them in 5 minutes. Also, you'll have to level a completely useless force power just to get by one stupid level. It is just annoying.
The Bottom Line
This game is simply pathetic when compared to Knights of the Old Republic, and you'll beat it the first day, but it isn't bad for ten bucks.
Windows · by Jester236 (34) · 2004
I'll just start this one off with my base opinion on the issue of whether this game is a sequel to Jedi Outcast or not. Yes it is. No matter how similar the technology is, or how many of the sound effects are reused, or how many textures there are that have carried over, Jedi Academy still fits the sequel brand perfectly. The lightsaber fighting system has been reworked to fit a ton of new moves, two new lightsaber styles, reworkings of force powers central to the gameplay, a semi-nonlinear storyline taking place in pretty much nothing but showcase levels, new multiplayer modes, new enemy characters and in a nod to the original Jedi Knight; character development (albeit extremely simpleminded character development). To top it off, J.A's plot is a direct continuation of J.O's storyline. In the end however, what does it matter? Jedi Academy is exactly what i expected from a sequel. It's more, it's bigger, it is (in true Hollywood fashion) more action packed, and I loved every second of it
Jedi Academy is hampered by two issues that pretty much every review i've read has brought up. It recycles a lot of content from the previous Jedi Knight game, and the character development gimmick the game is sold by is tentative to say the least, although my girlfriend kicked off on simply being allowed a choice of gender. I've seen reviews base almost every other opinion of the game on criticism derivative of these two comparatively major points. However, to me, neither of these two problems really made a difference when the core gameplay is as good as it is. It is common knowledge that Jedi Outcast had a nasty habit of turning people off during the first few levels; The Star Wars setting simply wasn't enough to carry a generic first person shooter. Although i thought the beginning was quite good for its genre, there's no denying that, upon acquisition of the light saber, the gameplay simply shifted into a league of its own. The light saber combat of Jedi Outcast was immensely satisfying, if a tad random, and near the end of the game you ended up being basically immensely powerful, taking on armies at a time. Academy picks up the thread where Outcast left it, and this time you begin the game with your lightsaber in hand. In fact, while Outcast brought you up to consider the Lightsaber a supplement to your regular artillery, Academy never ever downplays the significance it has on the gameplay. The guns, which were pretty generic to begin with, take a far more suitable part. In Outcast, after you got the lightsaber, you didn't really need any of your other weapons. Academy lets you choose, and there are parts where the lightsaber simply feels unwieldy, particularly against certain heavily armored foes in the second half of the game. Raven made a worthy attempt of getting rid of the Lightsaberiitis of Outcast and put the lightsaber and guns side by side. Well done.
The storyline is shallow and simple, but since the game is like one of those Simpson's episodes where they have flashbacks to other episodes constantly throughout, thus not ever having real continuity, that isn't really a problem. Basically, enemies from Jedi Outcast are at it again, and while Luke Skywalker and Kyle Katarn are doing all kinds of flipping out to find out what's going on, you the player are doing a bunch of missions as part of your Jedi education, occasionally playing a part in Luke and Kyle's schemes, and finally becoming the hero that saves the day. Considering how tired the Star Wars universe is story-wise, I was grateful that the move be made to stop being so god damn pretentious and simply provide the larger-than-life entertainment. I didn't watch Episode 1 and 2 for the wonderful art of George Lucas' storytelling. I wanted to see adventure! We haven't had a good and proper adventure movie since the last Indiana Jones film, and the void is becoming more and more apparent. Jedi Academy treats the source material with dignity and recreates what might be some of the coolest set piece battles in a Star Wars game ever, and that's almost all I want from a Star Wars game.
The lightsaber combat of Jedi Academy, though superficially similar to that of Outcast, carries a lot more weight this time around. You still strafe around enemies and hammer the trigger until everything quiets down, but in saber vs saber combat, timing and force powers play a much stronger part than it used to. Specifically, powers previously useless almost always have a significant impact on a fight between light/dark side Jedi. There is a rock/paper/scissors aspect to it that, while existent in Outcast, simply plays a bigger part. In Outcast, force push would cancel a force grip, force absorb would invalidate force lightning etc. In Academy, there's the issue of force push in light saber lock battles, which are occurrances where two opposing Jedi lock sabers during battle. The ensuing struggle is played out by hammering the trigger as fast as possible until one overtakes the other, who is momentarily open for attack. In Academy, a sufficiently powerful force push can end the battle easily. In addition, battles used to end with the loser going prone. In Academy, going prone can be avoided by quick reflexes; hitting back or forward before hitting the ground will cause you to flip out of danger or attempt retaliation with a kick. If you do go prone, you can now roll sideways out of danger, Tekken-style, should your opponent try one of the new finishing moves; A rather violent stab to the chest of a prone opponent. This is just an example of how the combat system has been elaborated upon. There is far more room for improvisation, and some fights can play out downright impressive, with combatants hopping from wall to wall, shielding themselves from concentrated attack by releasing flurries of saber blows, shooting across the room with the new force leap move before bouncing off to other walls, all while still dueling. Upon completing Jedi Outcast, I wrote Raven a quick email saying how impressed i was with their impersonation of the Hong Kong flying sword movie. I got a reply stating that chinese cinema was a real influence for them. If it wasn't apparent then, it sure is now. Jedi Academy is one of the finest video game executions of the flying sword film i have ever seen. Enter the Matrix eat your heart out.
Saber combat, comedy and acrobatics aside, the basic gameplay hasn't changed much. The game is playable from both a third person and first person perspective, and uses the good ol' wsad/mouse control setup, which works admirably. You still get missions that require you to navigate a complex area filled with enemies, and they basically all end with you hitting a button, defeating an opponent or vacating an area. Where Academy gets it all right though is the pacing. Jedi Academy is played across three tiers of missions, linked by a set of storyline missions. You are given the choice of 6 missions at a time for you to complete in any order you choose. For every mission you complete you get a new force point to spend buying force powers. This basically means that if you encounter a mission you have problems with, you can always play others, then return later with new force powers. I'm very impressed with how Raven executed this. It's basically the Megaman approach to character development, but the game would have been thoroughly dull hadn't it been for the incredible imagination that has gone into each individual mission. They are rarely long, rambling affairs like certain missions of Outcast, they have no connection whatsoever other than the types of enemy you fight, but they all look fantastic and play beautifully. In essence, Jedi Academy is like one of those UFC greatest hits tapes. A bunch of really great and spectacular fights in equally great and spectacular settings. My favorites include a brilliant tribute to that stupidly great horror comedy Tremors; The player crash lands on a desert planet crawling with sound and vibration sensitive sand worms, and must guide his character across a plain strewn with wreckage, hopping from rock to rock to avoid the worms. At one point i thought the reference to Tremors was so clear i wanted to try the Tremors' heroes' approach to the worm problem; throwing grenades at the sand and trick the worms into eating them, and what do you know, it worked. A really really good level. Another superb level is a 1 on 1 fight with none other than Boba Fett in the ruins of a dead city. Whoever did his AI, you have my respect. He really acts like the hunter he is supposed to be. Graphical centerpieces include the level where you are chased across a factory by an utterly enormous mutated rancor (you know, those drooling things Jabba feeds his slaves to for no reason). Trying to fight dozens of Jedi while being chased by a two story tall monster on steroids, trying to figure out a way of killing it is some of the coolest stuff i've done in a game. Most of all though, what impresses me is the pacing. Every level puts you right in the thick of it. There are no dubious gameplay elements that don't fit in or halt the flow. It's just straight ahead, full steam, and it's all great fun.
Soundwise you pretty much know what to expect, though it is brilliantly executed as always. There's the dynamic John Williams score (which gives me the willies now. God damnit get some new music guys), the British officers and the American troopers, bleeps and boings and humming sabres, and lots and lots of explosions. If you've played a star wars game, you know what to expect, because in the end they all sound exactly the same. The voice work needs a little brushing up however. I ended up playing a female character simply because the female voice actor did a job that was easier on the ears. The male voice actor for the player character delivers his lines with the dynamic flair of a vacuum cleaner, which is odd considering the high quality of pretty much all the other voices.
Graphically, Jedi Academy is basically gorgeous. It's a Quake 3 Arena engine game, and you can tell, but Raven are just so damn good at putting it to use. Those level designers deserve a raise.
One of the levels take place on a runaway tram, with rain in your face and buildings flashing by in the fog in a blur while you hop from car to car. The sense of speed is tangible. Another level taking place on Coruscant gets something right that Outcast somehow didn't; it got my fear of heights going. Jedi Knight was well known for its huge environments, and Academy is no slacker in the huge environments department. There are few new graphical tricks however. There are some neat new warp effects when using force push or pull, but aside from that there is little to wow you. However, character models look superb, and in what may be a Raven first ever, they actually got mouth animations right. The Ghoul rendering system has produced something that actually doesn't look like ghouls! Remarkable! In addition, the female twi'lek player model is actually attractive, something i never thought i'd see in a Raven game. An attractive female that is. Character animations are mostly excellent, although the retarded walk cycle Raven has been using since Outcast and Soldier of fortune 2 is still in place. God damnit, get rid of that! Normal people aren't perpetually constipated!
There are some gripes I have, but their single player impact is quite minor. First and foremost; Force grip is way too powerful. It didn't take me long to fully upgrade my force grip, having loved it in Jedi Outcast. The big problem is that most of the fights in Jedi Academy take place on high mountains or bridges above lava or something of the sort. Any Jedi will resist your force grip with a quick force push, which is all good, but in the split second you have until they do, a quick flick of the wrist will toss any enemy helplessly to their death. This includes boss battles. One central boss battle was over literally within the first second simply by tossing the fool into a hole. It's really quite sad how simple some really challenging fights can be, especially when the stage is set dramatically. Example. You open the door. There's a giant radar dish in front of you on a platform hovering miles above a sea of molten lava. An enemy Jedi turns to face you, saying "Do you fear me?". He draws his double edged light saber and draws a half circle in front of him, gesturing me forwards. I toss him into the lava without even activating my sabre. Whee! There are parts where the drama vs the anticlimax of using force grip simply cracked me up. The atmosphere goes from tangibly thick to slapstick comedy in an instant. In fact, in the aforementioned boss battle, i simply reloaded my save game to fight the boss properly. It just felt too cheap.
The second gripe is one i had in Jedi Outcast as well, and an even bigger source of comedy. Level 3 force pull and level 3 force jump is probably the funniest way ever to kill off armies of enemies at the time. On its own, force pull is nasty enough in that it disarms enemies, but jumping high up in the air and force pulling enemies up toward you will send them all comically flying miles into the air, dying when they land. It's truly funny the distances you can send some people. Some set piece battles in Outcast were made ridiculously easy by this technique as it works equally well on Jedi.
These two techniques can make the game both ridiculously easy and involuntarily comedic. I'm not sure how force grip has been tweaked for multiplayer yet, but i hope dearly that the throwing bit has been toned down. It was annoying enough to be tossed off bridges in Outcast deathmatches, but i can see some major griefing done by players overusing grip if it plays out in any way similar to the single player game.
The Bottom Line
Overall, i'm very surprised. It's easy to be cynical in these days of cheap crap being pushed on the market for every discernible franchise, and particularly during the mad dash Lucasarts has done with Star Wars games. There was a time when the word Lucasarts was synonymous with quality, but that is so long ago i can't even remember. I honestly thought Jedi Academy was going to be an utter cash-in, and i was more than prepared for disappointment. However Raven have proved me wrong in every possible way. Jedi Academy is enjoyable throughout, and is a superb example of how to execute a Star wars game. Now how about a proper kung fu flying sword game you bastards =) You obviously know how to do it
Windows · by Andreas SJ (21) · 2003
The lightsaber is cool. A couple new force powers and improved ways of using old ones. Using the 3 different kind of sabers and the 5 or so colors is cool. You go to a bunch of different planets. The music and voices is ok. You can choose your force powers. You can choose the missions to some extent.
First, choosing "Light or "Dark" force powers has ABSOLUTELY no bearing on the game. Get all "dark" powers and you can stay on the light side. Max-out on "light" and you can turn to the dark side. The force powers are very unbalanced. Grip lets you choke guys like Darth Vader and throw them around. This allows you to barely use your lightsaber and just throw stormtroopers and dark jedi down cliffs or into lava. The game can be extremely easy. Stormtroopers are sit there firing lamely at you while you block their shots. Dark Jedi will, if you fight them, then just get a short distance away, turn off their lightsaber (!?) and sit there, allowing you to shoot at them and\or recharge your force and health. The toughest part of a game is finding where to go and not falling off a cliff. The levels are linear and boring. No civilians or anyone else. For no apparent reason, thugs or other non-empire guys will attack you. Also, I don't think street (or roof?) thugs on Coruscant should have powerful weapons like the disruptor rifle and thermal detonators while the supposed powerful storm troopers just have blasters and the occasional repeater and "metal gun". The story is ridiculous. Something about resurrecting a ancient sith lord using force energy stored in a scepter "sucked-up" from places with lots of force. Since the people trying to bring the sith lord back to life are evil, why not use the power on themselves. After all, even Darth Vader made an offer to Luke to help him overthrow the Emperor in Empire Strikes Back. In the beginning of the game, you get to "customize" your character, choosing species, looks, etc. However, this weirdly has no effect what so-ever. No change in abilities or anything else. Same voices even!!! All the missions are described as meet with this and talk with this, etc. But that never happens. You are always ambushed, or the guy you were supposed to talk to gets killed and almost every level is fundamentally the same. The game also offers almost nothing about your character's past or anything. You just slash your way through a seemingly endless supply of the same 7 or so different types of enemies. The "basic" force powers, speed, push, pull, and sense, unlike what you here in the training mission, are rarely used for anything. You don't really need to push any switches etc. this brings up the worst problem, the lack of depth. You won't go through a city, getting stuff to trade with other people or interact with anyone in a non-linear basis. The galaxy is nearly lifeless. it seems that the entire galaxy has either your allies, or mercenaries, dark jedi, stormtroopers etc. out to kill you. Boba Fett is in one of the missions. Normally, this would be a good thing, but they totally make him more of a nuisance then anything else. Mostly, he will just fire bursts of laser fire as you deflect them back, hitting him with his own fire. Occasionally, he will use his flamethrower or missile launcher, but not enough to show him to be a deadly assassin. Finally, absolutely no puzzles!!! If your not hacking and slashing through enemies, wandering from room to room, you're putting your cross hair over everything to see if it can be affected by the force.
The Bottom Line
If you are a die hard Star Wars fan, wait a couple of years for the price to get down to ten bucks. if not, avoid it, as it is a complete waste of money. (I spent 50 bucks on it and learned the hard way)
Windows · by James Kirk (150) · 2003
Manual error (pg 30): the DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol (the default blaster) does have an ammo type: the Blaster Pack and the alternate attack (charging the blaster for a powerful shot) does work in the single player game.
Related Sites +
A Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Multiplayer Modification. On these forums you can chat with developers of different mods who are helping to compile this mod.
Graduate Summa Cum Lightsaber
An Apple Games article about the Macintosh version of <em>Jedi Academy</em>, with commentary being provided by Producer Brett Tosti (December, 2003).
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by James Kirk.
Game added September 21st, 2003. Last modified October 11th, 2023.