Thursday, April 14, 2011

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast Review

Platform: PC
Genre: FPS

Here comes a nostalgia one from the time I had somewhere around 10 games I played over and over again and never got bored of. The time when my internet connection had to struggle a few minutes to download a simple picture, long before my first kiss or any other "firsts".

One of those few games I went through a lot of times was Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. At first, the story didn't make much sense because I hadn't played the first game from the series (or even heard about it for that matter) but I kept going. It kept me entralled because it was the first Star Wars game I got my hands on. Soon followed by Rogue Squadron and Jedi Knight III.

So back to Outcast. You start as Kyle Katarn (one of my favorite Star Wars characters) on a "blue milk run" (yeah, I still know a lot of the dialogue from the game) a.k.a. a scouting mission towards a imperial Outpost. After gunning down some imperial troopers, you find some crystals used to induce the Force into living subjects.

As the story develops you find Dessan, a Sith ... Lord I guess and his apprentice who kill your partner to get information about the Valley of the Jedi (something happened there in the first game). From here on the game takes you to many well-known places including Yavin 4 (where you get trained by Luke Skywalker to get in touch with the Force again), Bespin, Nar'Shadaa and many more. You will also meet many of the movies characters like Lando Calrission, R2-D2, C3-PO ... Some will help you in your quest (or you will help them) or others are just there to look pretty (and as reference to the movies I guess). Trust me you will not be dissappointed with the story and the way it evolves. Also you find out why it's not always a good idea to trust "a bartender with bad grammar". Linking the story are cutscenes (which at the time I found to be awesome) usually presenting the Raven Claw (Katarn's ship) leaving or coming or landing...

One of the most awesome levels, in my opinion, is the one where you have to regain your lighsaber (and your force powers). You have to go through a training ground gaining one force power at a time and use it to go to next area. At the end of the course your lightsaber awaits ... in a cage of sorts. I don't know about other people, but that was a moment in which I wished I had three hands. But, after gaining the saber I felt powerful and awesome. From that moment on I usually tried to "role-play" the game. Not having a moral system, I usually tried to feel like the "good guy" by walking slowly through the levels with the sword turned of, trying to mind-trick the enemies and so on.

The Force Powers are pretty neat, you get the ability to pull, push, mindtrick, lightning, run very fast and maybe some others I don't recall right now. From time to time, these upgrade themselves. The only problem with the lightsaber is that after you get it in your possession all the other weapons become obsolete (and you get a lot of new ones from that point on) ... you will use them just to see how they fire or maybe in a few bossfights. But when you start meeting the Reborn (the bad guys with lightsabers) you can pull some cool combos or jumps and stuff (I don't know exactly how many there are or how they work ... cause I remember smashing buttons when I experienced them). Oh, I forgot to mention dismemberments.
All these being said, the game still has some tricks up it's sleeve until the end. At some point you have to go through a stealth-based mission and at another point you get to 'drive" an AT-ST.

The game also offered a pretty nice multiplayer. With the above-mentioned Force Powers (customizable) you could do some pretty sick stuff. I always liked to play on the Bespin level with Force Jump maxed and jump around all over the place like a moron.

the bad: i'll have to think about it
the good: a nice Star Wars title for it's time

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