Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

Review

posted 11/18/2002 by Dan Clarke
other articles by Dan Clarke
One Page Platforms: Xbox
LucasArts has been working with the Xbox since the release of Obi Wan and Jedi Starfighter. Now LucasArts is bringing over their PC hit, Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast over to the Xbox. It it worth ditching the PC version for or is it a good game to get into if it’s your first Jedi experience? Read on and find out.

When you first fire up the game, you are treated to an endless supply of credits. The game has the following companies behind it: Activision, LucasArts, Vicarious Visions and Raven Software. This is because Activision distributed the PC version of the game which was made by Raven who licensed the Quake III engine from id/Activision and the Xbox version was designed by Vicarious Visions. Got all that? Good.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the game. You’re brought to the game menu with the following options: New/Load Game (duh), Jedi Arena (for multiplayer and single player action with bots), options and extras (like cheats). Just to give you an idea of what’s in the game, let’s take a look at the fact sheet for all the hot action:

· The ability to save anytime, anywhere.
· Graphics and performance optimized for each system.
· 2 player split screen multiplayer (known as Jedi Arena) with up to 14 AI controlled characters (aka 'bots').
· Game modes including: Capture the Flag, Free for All, Team Free For All, Duel, and Jedi Master.
· A bonus single player mission called "Mission at Alzoc III" which is unlocked after the single-player game has been completed.
· A new exclusive multiplayer "Weapons Only" option for decidedly uncivilized combat.

And, just in case you need the back story on the game:

Several years have passed since Kyle avenged his father's death and saved the Valley of the Jedi from Jerec and his band of Dark Jedi. Allowing his Force powers to languish for fear of falling to the Dark side, Kyle set aside his lightsaber, vowing never to use it again. But when a new and menacing threat to the galaxy emerges, Kyle knows he must reclaim his past in order to save his future.

Before we get into the meat of the real game, let’s take a look at the Arena options, which are a very nice addition. At the start of the game, there are six scenarios: Free For All, Holocron, Jedi Master, Duel, Team FFA, Capture The Flag. The beauty of these options is that they are all customizable: you pick the map, time limit, kill limit, whether or not friendly fire will kill you and of course the number of bots in the game. Unfortunately Xbox Live is not supported so you’ll either have to invite your friends over, or go solo with the bots. Fortunately the bots aren’t all stupid and the game can be rather fun.

Jedi Master is one of my favorite modes. It’s more of a “capture the lightsaber/king of the hill” variety. You’ll see a clock showing how long you’ve been the master. The bots or other players will try to kill you and gain control of the lightsaber. Overall, it's quite fun and will probably become a quick favorite gamers.

Getting into the real game, there are three difficulty levels at the onset with another that is locked until you complete the entire game. It’s pretty much your typical first person shooter with some added challenges along the way, like walking through the gateways of death and figuring out the pattern so that you won’t die a la Star Trek or even Galaxy Quest.
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