Review by RyuGB

"One of the games that "forced" me to buy an Xbox"

Recently, I sold my PS2 and got an Xbox.
The three main titles I wanted an Xbox for were Halo, the forthcoming Dino Crisis 3, and lastly this game.
I was extremely impressed by what I saw of the PC version of Jedi Outcast, and was very delighted to here there was plans to port this ultimate Jedi title to console systems. However, I was soon to be disappointed, since the PS2 was the only system to not receive a port. Honestly, I'm still puzzled by the fact, since the PS2 has the largest installed user base, after all. Oh well. Any ways, as soon as I decided to buy an Xbox, I knew I would have to get myself a copy of Jedi Outcast on the double.
The good news is, the force is very strong with this port.

You are thrust into the role of New Republic mercenary Kyle Katarn.
Kyle was once a master of the force, but in fear of turning to the dark side, he decided to relinquish all use of the force. The galaxy once again hangs in the balance, as the cruel Sith lord Desaan threatens all that was gained through the fall of the empire.
Then, In a quick turn of events, Kyle is forced to once again assume to role of jedi, and become the sole hope for the galaxy.
The game play in Jedi Outcast chronicles this very tale, and should prove to be quite an exciting ride for all the jedi faithful. The game opens very modestly as a straight up First-Person shooter, that while isn't mind blowing, should prove to satisfy fans of the genre.
However, once Kyle once again assumes his role as a jedi, the action really heats up. Every force ability seen in the films is eventually made available for your disposal. Force lightning, grip, mind trick, and even in-human jumping capability is all here. You don't just play as a jedi; you are a jedi. This sense of jedi nirvana, largely stems from the fact that the control interface for this huge assortment of abilities, is nearly effortless in execution. (More on that later) I can't even begin to describe how awesome it is to force push imperial forces to their screaming deaths, or to strangle every last bit of life out of a storm trooper from yards away. The only black spot to all this is the huge level size. You can get easily lost navigating these huge expanses, and the sheer amount of mind bending puzzles stymied me many times.
This is not a game you'll finish in a rental, I promise you that.
Plus, the multi-player is just plain awesome, and should provide nearly endless hours of enjoyment.
The sheer amount of options (force side, ability strengths, and even lightsabre color!), bots, characters, maps, and modes go a long way to ensure that.

Amazing! The graphics are simply to die for!
Light-sourcing is incredible, animation is super fluid, and nicely detailed character models (especially you and Jan) impress. Little touches, such as raindrops steaming off your lightsabre, fallen limbs, and a meticulous attention to the source material does not go unnoticed.
The only real problems lie in muddy cut-scenes, occasional frame-rate drops,
and some rough texturing. I must also note that some outdoor areas (Yavin Swamp perfect example) have an abundance of fogging. However, again I must stress; that while the graphics are not free from problems, they are still some of the most outstanding on a console.

Sound: Wow! I must say I am impressed.
Jedi Outcast is home to one of the largest classic trilogy soundtracks ever assembled in a Star Wars title. There is never a shortage of epic music to blow away imperial forces to. Sound effects are also top notch, and feature a staggering amount of effects ripped straight from the films. Lastly, voice acting doesn't disappoint, and the developers even went as far as to have Billy Dee Williams reprise his role as Lando Calrissian. Star Wars nuts the world over will simply go crazy over all that has been included.

Control: Yes! The developers actually saw fit to program controls that allow jedi-like reflexes to actually be possible, even for a Padawan skilled player. The FPS controls are spot on, and free of the annoying ''twitch-factor'' that plagues so many other titles on the market. The third person controls are simply elegant, and lend the belief that you are in fact a jedi, something that sorely lacks in many other titles set in our favorite turbulent galaxy. It is simply unreal how easy it is to come to grips with the Force Power system. Before you know it, you will be able mind-trick an enemy storm trooper, follow through with a sabre throw attack, and then be able set your sights on the next lowly scum of the universe.
The only real drag, is you have to take your thumb of the analog stick in order to toggle through force abilities (or weapon/items for that matter). This is only a minor annoyance, that I'm sure you'll soon overcome. Otherwise, the controls are Jedi Knight worthy.

There has been a fair amount of titles that have brought justice to the Star Wars name. However, Star Wars Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast shames them all. It simply delivers on so many levels, that one has to wonder why Star Wars fans ever settled for less. Never has being a jedi seemed so real as in this game. The action is intense, the control is like butter, and the multi-player kicks serious galactic booty. Simply put: It would be a death-star sized disaster if you are a Star Wars fan, and chose to pass up on this adventure.


Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/09/03, Updated 07/09/03

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