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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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    Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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    Gameplay (cont.)

    On the other hand, when it came to actually swinging the lightsaber, things got much more unpredictable. To actually conduct lightsaber combat, you just keep clicking the primary attack button while moving around to change your attack angle. Just as in Jedi Knight, saber-to-saber combat becomes more of an exercise of luck and mouse clicking. It's really disappointing that this is the case, but it's incredibly difficult to get a good working lightsaber combat system that's also not incredibly slow-paced. I eventually gave up on actually "fighting" with the lightsaber, and used it for defense while I took down my foes with Force Grip and Force Lightning. This also makes the game difficulty level vary widely - a room with a stormtrooper platoon is but a nuisance, while a single Reborn can cause you reload after reload of agony while fighting with your lightsaber.

    Needless to say, I didn't experiment too much with the varied lightsaber combat styles that Jedi Outcast offers. You begin with Medium, and then later earn Fast and Strong. Since I was more worried about not getting cut to ribbons and actually landing hits on occasion, I only stuck with the Fast style. Theoretically, a broadband Jedi who has obtained mastery of all three styles and switches between them frequently in multiplayer would go forth and kick a lot of ass.

    Another aspect of Jedi Outcast that seems to be widely across the board is the level design. The levels themselves are very long and involved, which is fine - I never really got tired of any particular location until right as I was leaving. The areas of the game you play are very well detailed and look very authentic (for something that's sci-fantasy, anyway), and really make you feel like you're actually present in the locations depicted (the Cairn hangar and Doomgiver, in particular). The rooms themselves are cleverly designed in most cases, with some interesting stealth puzzles to work through. On the other hand, *way* too many of them rely on jumping puzzle skill, and they quickly become an exercise in futility. The poor level design is by far the most pronounced in the final areas of the game, where I struggled for a few hours trying to find the way to go. Finding a reachable outcropping that looked like the next place I should go, I started jumping up to the higher levels of the canyon, only to discover invisible walls in places and incomplete map areas in others.

    The level design could also use some work in helping the player accomplish his objectives. In some places, Kyle will say something to himself that could provide a useful clue, but other times it would have been most helpful for him to utter something to tell me where the hell I was going. Or, it'd have been even better if there had been an in-game mapping function (There's not one). I had to consult a FAQ several times because I got stuck not knowing where the next location was that I needed to reach.

    Graphics and Sound 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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