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Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast – Game Review


Developed by Raven Software
Published by Lucasarts
Platform: PC
ESRB Rating: Teen

Kyle Katarn is one of the best mercenaries in the New Republic. He used to be a Jedi, but after a too close brush with the Dark Side, he hung up his lightsaber. However, the Force has other plans for him. On a job investigating an Imperial base, he finds an unholy alliance between what’s left of the Empire and a powerful Dark Jedi. Now with a multitude of weapons and the powers of the Force, he must fight alien smugglers, Imperial stormtroopers, and evil Force users to stop their nefarious plans of conquest and destruction.

It’s always fun to take out the stormtroopers and Rodians with your blaster rifle or thermal detonators, but it is with the lightsaber that Jedi Outcast achieves real coolness. The lightsaber combat is vastly improved over the previous game in the series. You can select several stances from defensive to aggressive, perform various attacks depending on your movements, and enjoy assorted body parts being sliced off your opponents. Another change is the game gives you new Force skills and increases their power instead of the player assigning points. This gets rid of the worry that you can’t complete a level if you didn’t put enough points in Force Jump, for example. And I can’t begin to describe the joy of using the Force Grip power and listening to a stormtrooper’s neck bones snapping. I can understand why Darth Vader used it so often.

[ad#longpost]Unfortunately, that is the only really cool thing in this game. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of good stuff in this game, but there is very little that’s great. Your enemies are able to crouch, hid behind barriers, and even run from you. However, this behavior is not consistent and they will still pull some boneheaded moves. The power ups (shields, ammo, health) are more logically placed, but Half-Life did this better. You can listen in to conversations between bored stormtroopers, but No One Lives Forever also did this better. At points in the game, you command a mouse droid, a R5 unit, and an AT-ST “chicken walker,” but these events are brief and leave you hungry for more.

The levels can lack logical design. You don’t feel you’re running through the corridors of an Imperial Star Destroyer, you’re just going from one jump puzzle to another at times. You visit famous Star Wars locations as Cloud City on Bespin, the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4, and the Smuggler’s Moon of Nar Shaddaa, but the graphics don’t impress or thrill, they’re simply there. Even with all these complaints, it’s still a good game. But when compared to the previous games in the series, Dark Forces and Jedi Knight, Jedi Outcast pales in comparison. To sum up, Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast can be considered The Return of the Jedi of this game trilogy.

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