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    Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
    Author: Drew Lanclos   Publisher: Lucas Arts   Developer: Raven Software
    Date Posted: May 29th, 2002
    SLRating: SLRating: 8.5/10
    Bottom Line: LucasArts' trust in Raven was well placed, as they've made a great game with good replayability. It could have used some polish, though.

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    You're likely already familiar with either of Jedi Outcast's predecessors. If you've played Jedi Knight, then you'll feel right at home. Much of the controls are identical. Unfortunately, this also includes lightsaber combat, which is really across the board. Jedi Outcast is switchable between FPS and over-the-shoulder FPS, so you've got your standard mouse/keyboard combo. If you've got something like a Ferraro Designs Claw or a Microsoft Strategic Commander, then you're likely to be in luck - With plenty of force powers and weapons at your disposal, keypress convenience is a must. I was able to juggle five force powers reasonably well using the default ASDW layout the game comes with, but it really depends on your gameplay method.

    Jedi Outcast uses a variety of weapons, many well known in the Star Wars universe, and a few of its own unique varieties. You start with your standard Bryar blaster pistol, and almost immediately trade it out for an Imperial E-11 assault rifle. Other weapons making appearance include the Wookiee bowcaster, the Tenloss Disruptor rifle (with sniping sight), the Golan Arms flak cannon, and everyone's favorite noisemaker, the Thermal Detonator. All in all, the weapons are pretty good, though several seem like rip-offs from Half-Life (especially the explosives). They're reasonably varied, and have different effectiveness ratings based on what kind of enemy you're attacking, instead of just doing a fixed damage number. By and large, though, I really stuck with the lightsaber, saving the Tenloss Disruptor for sniping situations. The other weapons were just unnecessary at that point.

    Force powers are back, and they're really great. As a matter of fact, once I became reasonably strong in the force, I would just use my Force powers and keep my lightsaber active for defense. All the classic ones are present and accounted for, including Grip, Push, Pull, Jump, and Speed. Nothing really new in the way of Force powers, but what is different is that Kyle's affinity with the light or dark side of the Force doesn't affect the availability of the powers. In fact, the points-allocation system is gone entirely, as the game decides when your powers get upgraded. On the one hand, this is useful for level design, since you wouldn't want your players to get stuck in the middle of a level because they don't have enough points in Force Jump. However, it does remove a really interesting component from Jedi Knight that I really appreciated, allowing you some degree of character customization.

    Lightsaber combat is especially fun, but usually only when there's no real combat going on. For example, as soon as you retrieve your lightsaber, you gain the inherent Force powers of Lightsaber Defense, Lightsaber Offense, and Saber Throw. Lightsaber Defense in particular is the power that governs how well you use your lightsaber to deflect blaster shots and whatnot. As you get better with this skill, it's easy enough to just walk into a crowded room of stormtroopers and let them be their own demise. In the mean time, you can still speed up the process by using Force Push or Force Grip on them. Force Pull is supposed to be able to yank weapons from enemies when at Level 2 or higher. However, it never seemed to work for me.

    Gameplay (cont.) Go the the next page
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    Article Navigation

    1. Introduction
    2. Story
    3. Gameplay
    4. Gameplay (cont.)
    5. Graphics and Sound
    6. Multiplayer and More
    7. Pros & Cons/Conclusion
    8. Rating Breakdown

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