Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

Review

posted 11/18/2002 by Dan Clarke
other articles by Dan Clarke
One Page Platforms: Xbox
While there is an added level to the game when you complete the ‘original’ PC game, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the PC version and the Xbox version, which is a testament to the Xbox. Where there is a big difference is with the controls of the game. As far as I’m concerned there is only one way to play a first person shooter – with a mouse and keyboard. I don’t care what console it is, if it’s not supported it sure does make targeting very very difficult. Jedi Knight 2 tries its hardest to make it work well, but it is still very frustrating when trying to target some of the enemies, especially ones that are far off in the distance. If you don’t like the default controls, you can change them, but not of them really give me the comfort level of the mouse and keyboard.

Now, if you’ve never played a PC first person shooter, you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m talking about, and that’s ok. If you’ve played Halo, Time Splitters or anything else, you’ll probably feel comfortable – there’s a slight learning curve as you’ll have to remember to use your force powers, but other than that, you can get used to it. You'll learn how to use your force powers in a well-designed tutorial that teaches you the basics of force push, force pull, and all of the others. Vicarious Visions did do a nice job with the customization of the buttons, and it is very much appreciated.

As far as the levels go they are brought over very nicely from the PC game. Not much, if anything was left out. Graphics are very good with only a minor stutter or two when the screen is mobbed with people and projectile shooting. Pretty much all of the nuances of the PC game are here in the Xbox version. Puzzles like“jump and jump and jump to get the magic keycard” are still here in full effect.

Unfortunately one of the things not brought over from the PC to the Xbox was the internet multiplayer capability over Xbox live. You’ll only be able to play on a single Xbox with up to 2 (count ‘em 2) players, however you’ll be able to have bots all over the place for a pretty decent experience. Having only a 2 player game on a system that has 4 ports plus an internet capability is a real shame, but the 2 player game in itself is a lot of fun in all those modes – the only thing you’ll be thinking is “I wish I could hook up with more of my friends over Xbox Live, then this game would rock!”

Sound in the game is superb – typical Star Wars stuff here, but you have to really appreciate the score. The lightsaber exudes a slight hum that becomes more and more dynamic as it is wielded in action. Every weapon has its own sound that is very faithful to its cinematic counterpart.Of course there are nice touches like varying sound effects for your footsteps as you travel onto various surfaces – these little touches make the game a lot more immersive.

Vicarious Visions has done a superb job with the port with the exception of the online multiplayer. The game definitely won’t change your opinion of the PC version of the game – if you liked it, you’ll enjoy this one as well. If you weren’t a big fan of it, you will not be a big fan of this one. For me personally, I hedged on the PC version of the game. I hated the puzzles, but enjoyed the fast action. I have to admit, I’ve played this version of the game quite a bit more than the original, I’m not sure if it’s the ease of picking it up and playing or something else, but even with the controls, I have had fun. Highly recommended for Star Wars fans, you won’t be disappointed with Jedi Knight 2 for Xbox.



B-
Vicarious Visions has done a superb job with the port with the exception of the online multiplayer. The game definitely won’t change your opinion of the PC version of the game – if you liked it, you’ll enjoy this one as well.


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