home > preview > Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast Preview (Xbox, GC)
GamesFirst! Online since 1995

|| Get Prices

Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast Preview (Xbox, GC)
game: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
posted by: Jeremy Kauffman
publisher: Lucas Arts
developer: Raven Software
date posted: 09:10 AM Sat Sep 21st, 2002
last revision: 01:03 PM Thu Nov 17th, 2005

So, you\'ve been doing battle with imaginary Sith Lords since you were old enough to swing a broom handle and make lightsaber noises. You still dismiss your friends with a wave your hand and some inane variation of the \"these are not the droids you are looking for\" line, even though they stopped laughing at it twenty years ago. And you get choked up when you recall how Yoda was like a father to you. In other words, you have wanted to be a Jedi for as long as you can remember. Well, fear not fellow console owners. Although Obi Wan on the Xbox didn\'t quite cut it, there is another. Its name is Jedi Outcast.

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is a port of the popular PC game released earlier this year. In it players continue the adventures of Kyle Katarn, a Jedi whose quest for revenge nearly led him to the dark side of the force.

Jedi Outcast is a blend of third and first person action. Your point of view changes according to the type of weapon you are using. While wielding a lightsaber, your primary weapon, the game is presented in third person. This is perfect for dueling and reflecting blaster fire, as well as exploring and performing more precise athletic moves like crossing narrow walkways and jumping over chasms. Draw your blaster, however, and the game immediately switches to first person, performing much like other popular console FPS games such as HALO and Red Faction.

The third person combat offers players a much more intense and satisfying experience than the limited action presented in either Obi Wan or the previous Jedi Knight PC game. Katarn can run horizontally along a wall, leap from it in mid stride, flipping over an enemy, all while using his lightsaber. There are a slew of new attacks and defensive moves. You can even spin your saber around and stab behind you (think Qui Gon taking out the battle droid standing behind him without even looking at it during the \"negotiations\" in Episode I).

There are a variety of different weapons in the game. Among the blasters are Katarn\'s Bryar Pistol, the traditional Storm Trooper E-11 Blaster, Chewbacca\'s Bowcaster, and others, including heavy cannons and zooming sniper-style guns. There are also explosives like remote and trip mines, even the thermal detonator made famous by Leia while in disguise at Jaba\'s palace in Return of the Jedi.

Then there are the Force powers. The Force Pull allows you to rip weapons from the hands of your enemies, move objects, and manipulate switches from a distance. The Force Grip enables you to incapacitate your foes by choking them. Force Lightning emits a short burst or continuous stream of electricity, ala the Emporer, or, more recently Yoda in Episode II. Force Pull repels enemies or objects, knocking them onto the floor or off of ledges. You can use Force Jump to increase your leaping ability, Force Speed to give you an edge in combat, and Force Heal to recover from wounds. Perhaps the most interesting powers are the Jedi Mind Tricks, which allow you to outwit opponents or make them see or hear things that aren\'t there. Force powers are limited in use by a Stamina Meter, and each power grows in strength as the game progresses. At its most powerful, the Jedi Mind Trick can turn an enemy into an ally who will fight by your side.

Jedi Outcast is popular among PC owners for containing an intricate and involving story, told through dramatic cut scenes. The game takes place on many worlds. Some are original, while others are lifted directly from the Star Wars mythos, such as Cloud City, the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4, Nar Shaddaa, and the smuggler\'s moon. There are also familiar characters like Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian, C-3PO, R2-D2, the various incarnations of Storm Troopers, and alien races such as the Gran, the Weequay, and whatever the hell Greedo is (or, more appropriately, was).

Jedi Outcast contains a 2-player split screen multiplayer with up to 14 bots. Multiplayer games include Capture the Flag, Free for All, Team FFA, Duel, and Jedi Master. All of the weapons, Force Powers, and various characters are available. Too bad it is limited to 2-player.

Although this is a PC port, LucasArts promises that the graphics and performance will be optimized for each system. There are also extra features, like the ability to save anywhere at anytime, a bonus mission called \"Mission at Alzoc III\" which is unlocked after the single-player game has been completed, and a new \"Weapons Only\" option in the multiplayer game for \"decidedly uncivilized combat.\"

With Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast being released on the Xbox and Gamecube, console owners will finally get the Star Wars adventure that they deserve. This is the ultimate Jedi Experience. Look for it on shelves in November 2002.