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Jak 3

PlayStation 2 Specs [ all ]
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Description official descriptions

Jak 3 is a 3D action platform game and sequel to Jak II. One year has passed since Jak and Daxter saved Haven City from Kor and the attacking Metal Heads, yet Haven City is still immersed in deadly chaos as three groups fight for control of the streets. The people of Haven City have grown to distrust Jak's dark powers, and as rumors boil of Jak's ties with Krew and Kor, the city blames Jak for its current woeful circumstances. When the palace is destroyed by a surprise Metal Head attack, even Ashelin cannot protect Jak as the High Council's power broker, Count Veger, forces Jak into banishment to the desolate Wasteland. Jak is flown to the harsh island and dumped. With Daxter and Pecker bravely by his side, the three begin their next adventure where the battle for the city has just begun.

Gameplay includes platforming, vehicle racing, rescue missions, hover boarding, playing mini games and shooting at various enemies (including boss fights). Weapons including the shotgun, sniper rifle, machine gun and a powerful blast weapon from the previous game as well as two upgrades for each weapon. The upgrades become available after making progress in the game and at the end the player can freely switch between these twelve weapons.


  • 杰克3 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

216 People (194 developers, 22 thanks) · View all



Average score: 85% (based on 44 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 37 ratings with 1 reviews)

A beautiful yet messy and fragmented experience.

The Good
Being a PS2 collector comes with its own set of prerequisites. You need your first party 8 MB memory card, your shiny black Dual Shock 2 and a library of must haves for the system. Amongst the hundreds of games worth owning on the PS2 is Naughty Dog's Jak and Daxter series which became a staple on the console. Just like Ratchet and Clank the Jak and Daxter series became synonymous with the PS2 and is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished video game series of all time despite being so short.

Jak and Daxter is one of the few PS2 games I've felt such elation from playing that I would willingly forsake sleep to see where I was headed next. The beautifully rendered, seamless world and super refined platforming mechanics made me an instant fan. The issue is when I read the review for Jak 2 and came to the realization that the platforming had become an aforethought to vehicular combat I decided to pass on it altogether. I couldn't understand why you would change the style of the game into something like a bare bones GTA clone masquerading as a platformer and this reluctance to accept the transition made me miss it. I had previously read a review for Jak 3 on IGN and the columnist who wrote it seemed like he was seizing from joy at having played such a revolutionary game. This particular review also mentioned that the two games; Jak 2 and Jak 3 shared a very similar style with Jak 3 featuring more substance and being more refined. With this in mind I decided to borrow a friends copy of Jak 3 and came away both eternally frustrated and bewildered as to where all of that time went while I was playing it.

Jak 3 takes place shortly after the events of Jak 2. Haven city is besieged by Steelheads and with no one to blame the people point their fingers at Jak and then deftly use the hands attached to those fingers to throw him out of the city. Jak is saved by the enigmatic leader of the waste lander city of Spargus; Damas. The game then takes off with a interestingly paced introduction to the varying mechanics that comprise Jak 3.

At first Jak is only able to explore Spargus and the vast wasteland surrounding it. The desert is punctuated by magnificently rendered mountain ranges, palm trees and small lakes. The sheer detail packed into the world that streams with virtually no load times is something of a processing feat. Jak is able to drive various vehicles of differing specifications and weapon mounts with each one being able to hop to some degree. The vehicles control fundamentally well and the fact that each one differs in its handling, acceleration and jumping ability gives you some interesting variety in how you approach the wasteland. When you are eventually able to return to Haven you are able to use Zoomers and Speeders to navigate the streets in preference to Leaper Lizards.

Jak retains his Dark Jak abilities while some are added, the most noticeable change though is the ability to transform into Light Jack and heal, stop time and fly amongst other things. As you can imagine being able to stop time allows for some ingenious puzzles before long and the ability to heal whenever you have light eco gives you some much needed relief when you are inevitably pounded by enemy fire.

I haven't played Jak 2 so my knowledge of the game is relegated to what I have read in reviews. The freedom the player is granted however is the most noticeable addition to the Jak 3 experience. Jak controls fluidly, jumps tighter and fires his weapons with deadly precision. The auto aim system is impeccable and the numerous upgrades available for your weapons will have you scrambling around for every last precursor orb you can get your hands on. Precursor orbs are spent on secrets like cheats, concept art or things that actually affect gameplay like weapon modifications and vehicle upgrades. It's an addictive system and mediating what you spend your precursor orbs on becomes a paramount concern.

When I picked up Jak 3, my paramount concern was whether the flow of the game and the change in style would be too jarring for me to enjoy. If I looked at Jak 3 on its merits as a somewhat stand alone title using an evolution of a style established with Naughty Dog's first PS2 game then I can see how impressive it is. It's beautiful and features seamless environments. I can't fault the control scheme and the variety of mission types and vehicles available to the player leaves them with a sense of freshness throughout the entire experience. The humor hasn't been lost and Daxter's humorous dialogue compliments Jak's hard as nails lines fabulously.

The Bad
While I can recognize how good the experience is that Jak 3 tries to provide the player, it just doesn't work. For most of the game the progression is essentially linear, you have the illusion of choice however in the end you end up doing the same thing every time. You find the icon on the map, talk to someone who gives you a mission, the mission is completed, rinse and repeat. There is an enormous wasteland itching to be explored but there is no reason to do it. It's a dead place, obviously, but it didn't have to feel empty and boring.

The variation in gameplay is something that seemed to have approached with the subtlety of a pick axe to the face. With each faltering transition from plot point to plot point the player is thrown into a car or a tube or sewer and it all feels so fragmented and disjointed. The flow of the game is broken primarily because the player has their hand held almost the entire time. You can occasionally go and indulge in some side quest tom foolery but these are short, the pay off isn't worth it and they are well hidden. In fact the first couple of hours of play take place in an entirely linear fashion as Naughty Dog lay the table with everything you need to know. It's long and tediously protracted. I kept asking for the game to being in earnest and with each cutscene another thinly veiled tutorial would begin. These sequences end when you finally get to travel to Haven, however this transition brings with it it's own problems. Some situations are repeated like treks into the sewers albeit with a slightly different path however hearing "Now you have to go to the sewer" for the third time ends up forcing a sigh from your lips.

Then there is the exasperating trial and error game play. The magic of Jak and Daxter was that you didn't need to know everything that was going to happen simply to progress through the game. The flow of it was fluid and natural and provided a challenge but never frustrated you. Jak 3 consistently frustrated me, virtually every single mission that wasn't a platforming stage has some sort of infuriating quirk or stage section that forces you to know it is coming. The vehicles, while controlling well have a horrible collision detection system. If an enemy slams into your side you will cease to move until you either force them out of the way or they move themselves. The situation is the same for rocks, trees, walls, virtually everything that you hit you will stick to and when in a race, this means a restart is in order. Get ready to see the "mission failed" message a lot as the trial and error format becomes more and more punishing. It means something that should take 3 or 4 minutes ends up taking 15 minutes.

The lack of platforming is something else that might concern you. I know that to stay relevant developers need to institute change in their formula's or they risk being left behind. It doesn't matter how many times I remind myself this though, I will still lament the lack of emphasis on platforming. The situations where you do get to platform are so well designed, so tightly orchestrated and so plain enjoyable that when they ended and I was forced back into tedious races, rocket rides and protection missions I just died a little inside.

Then there are the little things that pop up here and there. Occasionally music refuses to play, which is a mixed blessing as the music is frankly woeful. There is not one single piece of music in Jak 3 that I enjoyed. I normally find at least one track to download, but there was not one that I couldn't describe as anything other than painfully mediocre. Naughty Dog; veritable royalty in the world of platforming also occasionally seemed to forget how to construct good platforming. Normally, the platforming is faultless however you'll find that the camera will zoom out throwing off your sense of depth and forcing you to simply take leaps of faith. When the camera does take itself off Jak it does so in a way that makes it impossible to initially compensate for and disorientates and frustrates you.

The Bottom Line
I liked what Jak 3 promised me, a free form game with an emphasis on exploration with some platforming amidst many different varying styles of play. It looks good, Jak controls well and the dialogue is full of wit and charm.

The tedious, trial and error game play, the feeling of fragmentation and the simple misdirection the series took leads to me believe Naughty Dog was trying to do so many things at the same time that they forgot to focus on delivering on the promise that box of the game displays. Jak 3 is just a mess, I don't like it and I don't see how they could have ended the series like this.

PlayStation 2 · by AkibaTechno (238) · 2010



This is the last game that Naughty Dog founders Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin worked on with the company they started. The working title was: Jak 3: Wastelander.

Information also contributed by SpikeNexus

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  • MobyGames ID: 15641


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Exodia85.

PlayStation 4 added by mars_rulez. PlayStation 3, PS Vita added by GTramp.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, EndlessDespair, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger.

Game added November 26th, 2004. Last modified March 30th, 2023.