Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Review: "Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast"

I first chanced upon "Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast" when I randomly walked into a LAN center and saw a few people playing it, so my friends and I decided to give it a shot. We ended up playing for around 3-4 hours before we had to go home because there was school the next day (ya I was only a teen then). Naturally, I obtained my own copy and installed it at home.

I don't think many people have a good first impression of the game since it kicked off as what-seemed-to-be just another Star Wars FPS game on its single player mode. But the best part comes shortly after, when your main character, Kyle Katarn, gains the usage of the Force and his own lightsaber.

Playing the single player makes you feel that you have progressed from a cool modern-age samurai to an invincible GOD. Unfortunately, Force Powers are automatically purchased as you go through the story. In multiplayer, you can be given Force Points that can be used to purchase Force Powers, which come in 4 different categories: Basic, Light, Dark and Saber Techniques.

Basic Force Powers are the staple of all Jedi. Push/Pull powers affect how well you push/pull as well as being pushed/pulled. Force Speed always you to move damn fast in Multiplayer, or activate bullet-time in Single Player. Force Seeking allows you to dispel Mind Trick effect and dodge sniper beams. Can't forget Force Jump, which can potential make you jump really REALLY high.

Light Force Powers are powers used by Jedi. Absorb protects and absorbs you from force-based attacks, Protect reduces damage done on you, Mind Trick renders you invisible to the target and Force Heal...well...heals you.

Dark Force Powers are powers used by the Sith. Force Grip allows you to be Darth Vadar, although you have more fun when you grip and throw them into a bottomless hole (watch out for people Force Pulling you along with them!). Force Lightning makes you Darth Sidious, zapping people with electrical power. Dark Rage drains your HP but makes your attacks stronger. Force Drain drains the target's so-called "mana" to adds it to your own pool.

Lightsaber Techniques only come in 3 parts: Offense, Defense and Saber Throw. Offense determine what saber stances are available to you. Level 1 only gives you Yellow (mid) Stance, Level 2 give you Blue (light) Stance, and Level 3 gives you Red (heavy) stance (correct me if I'm wrong, memory's a bit rusty). Saber Defense determine how well you block your attacks, or else even blasters can easily kill you. Saber Throw just gives you more control of its effect.

Non-stop lightsaber action!

In Single Player, you will not get to play with: Dark Rage, Force Drain, Force Seeking, Force Absorb and Force Protect, but you will still have loads of fun playing as Kyle as he tortures and dismembers helpless Stormtroopers and weak Siths known as "Reborns" (ya it's the midichlorians shit). Some powers might work a little differently like Mind Trick controlling enemies to shoot their own allies.

For Multiplayer, remember that the lightsaber isn't your only tool. There are still powerful weapons that even a lightsaber cannot defeat. There's one that works like a shotgun, and no Jedi can survive a fully charged wookie-bowcaster backstab. This is one of the games where more players means more fun. There are even trapped rooms with its death-switch located outside. Imagine 3 guys fighting in a room and you just touch the switch outside and watch them all get crashed/incinerated/zapped.

I would highly recommend playing this game first before you play its sequal, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, just for Kyle Katarn =)

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