955th played so far

Genre: Action/First-Person Shooter
Platform: PC/Xbox/Gamecube
Year of Release: 2002
Developer: Raven Software
Publisher: LucasArts

So I still had two Star Wars games left to play, and it felt like it has been a while since I played with force powers, rather than flying ships around. We’ve played Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II before, an earlier game in the series,which was quite fun even if I never got to the force powers in that game. As I’ve got a bit more time these days, I hope that I can get to it earlier this time. It feels like the game should let you do so anyway.

Our Thoughts

As I sort of said, it takes a while for you to get to use those Jedi powers. Initially, you land on a planet to penetrate a base, free prisoners and do other heroic things. It’s a lot of shooting that builds up its enemies slowly and has some quite frustrating jumping puzzles that I barely cleared and where I used noclip to avoid repeats. It then went into a mine level that had some more interesting exploration puzzles to go as I grew my set of weapons. It still felt like an FPS from its age, with winding levels that only have a single real path at a time but has you doubling back because you missed that one extra door that opened up, with the second level having quite a clever twist that forces you down a different route. It’s a decent implementation of the concept, among the better of the era that I’ve seen, but it takes a while to reach that point.

Then you decide you need to get your Jedi powers back and have to go through the trials to do so. There is a lot more interaction here in the physics to make use of your force powers. It’s a pretty neat system with the final puzzles having some neat twists, but it’s all a bit tricky which at times makes it a bit too easy to get stuck.

Final Thoughts

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is good at doing what it does, and it brings in enough twists to keep it fun. As I said, the force powers makes a big difference, but dragging an empire officer around part of a level and threatening him so he’d open doors was just as much fun. There’s a lot more here than I expected, and there’s more for me to get into still.