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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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    Graphics and Sound

    While you're busy tracking down Desann, there are plenty of sights to take in. Jedi Outcast takes place in several distinct locations, including Nar Shaddaa, Cloud City, Massassi Temple on Yavin IV, and Artus. Each not only has its own environmental appearance, but the buildings on each are appropriately designed. Cloud City is almost a maze of underbelly passages and routes. Nar Shaddaa (the vertical city on the moon of Nal Hutta) has massive skyscrapers and plenty of ship traffic. The Massassi temple is solemn and quiet, and vaguely reminds me of the good ol' days of the original Tomb Raider. As I mentioned earlier, the level design is pretty good, mostly thanks to the nice textures. I just wish there had been more efforts to orient the player within the level - The layouts can be so massive that sometimes the only way you know you're going the right way is that you haven't run into a dead end yet.

    The models for each of the characters and enemies in the game is very well crafted, provided that they don't have to talk. The seams and expressions on Kyle's face as he speaks are all rather peculiar looking, and the characters all seem to have an impulse to talk through the teeth of their lower jaw. The facial movements by themselves are enough to generate disinterest in the story, as I'm too busy getting annoyed at how pretty the game can look in some places and ugly in others.

    The sounds are about what you'd expect within a Star Wars game. You've got your standard-fare lightsaber swishes, thermal detonator beeps, and John Williams themes in the background. Honestly, I can't say that I was pleased or displeased with the music in the game. Every last bit of it was from the movies, but somewhat strung together in a quiet medley of sorts. I'd be hearing parts of the music and I'd have the script flashing through my head. For instance, the fanfare that plays in A New Hope as soon as Luke and Obi-Wan reach the top of the mesa overlooking Mos Eisley…That plays in the game, and every time I heard it, I also heard "Mos Eisley spaceport…You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."

    I don't suppose I can really complain, but on the other hand, I haven't seen a Star Wars game in some time with original music that didn't sound like it was ripped straight from the films. The last one I can think of offhand is TIE Fighter, which also had some great dynamic music. Jedi Outcast's music changes depending on your situation (injured, fighting, exploring), but it doesn't do it with the same fluidity as we heard in TIE Fighter.

    Voice acting is relatively good. LucasArts managed to bring in Billy Dee Williams to involve Lando in the storyline. A good many of the other actors have their background in cartoons and other video games. Kath Soucie voiced Maureen Corley in "Full Throttle", and plays Tavion in Jedi Outcast. Mark Klastorin played in "Aah! Real Monsters" and as Torian in "Arcanum", and gives the voicing for Desann. Mark Hamill isn't in the game, despite his notable contributions of voice acting; However, LucasArts brought in its stand-by Skywalker voice, Bob Bergen, who has played Luke in four other Star Wars games (Rogue Squadron, Rogue Leader, Force Commander, and Shadows of the Empire). Even Dominic "Threepwood" Armato has a couple of bit roles in the game voices. Largely, the voice acting work is well done, but the drama and sincerity of it is often betrayed by the predictable script and the funky facial effects.

    Multiplayer and More 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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