After some initial training, the academy forms a base from which various missions are launched across the galaxy. There are ample opportunities to visit familiar places from the classic Star Wars galaxy and to meet some familiar faces along the way. There are numerous levels and quests, and each one requires a cocktail of action, guile and a bit of common sense--oh, and the occasional Jedi mind trick. These levels are pleasantly challenging and mighty good fun to play.
You can call on a broad arsenal of weapons--with the light sabre available right from the start--and as you progress, you must build up your Force skills, which will ultimately help you out of many a sticky spot.
If you can overlook the very occasional lapse in enemy AI, and just let the sky-high production values soak in, the game proves to be cracking entertainment. Arguably it doesn't move the whole formula forwards a great deal, but you get a thumpingly good game backed up with strong multi-player options. --Simon Brew
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy begins shortly after the conclusion of events in Star Wars: Jedi Outcast. Players create a Jedi apprentice character and join the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4 to learn the ways of the Force under the tutelage of Luke Skywalker and Kyle Katarn. While the young apprentice embarks on various missions to hone his skills and abilities, a mysterious group is discovered creating havoc throughout the galaxy. Until order is restored, the fate of the Jedi Academy--and the future of the Star Wars galaxy itself--hangs precariously in the balance. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy allows players to create and customise their own characters by choosing various characteristics including species, gender, clothing and physical attributes such as hair and facial features. In addition, players can create a custom lightsaber, selecting from hilt and blade colour. As apprentices progress in their training, different lightsabers will become available, such as the double-bladed lightsaber or dual lightsabers. A unique level selection system allows players to choose their own path through the game as well as the missions they undertake to improve their Jedi skills. The game adds several new multiplayer modes and enhances existing modes that were most popular in Star Wars Jedi Outcast.
In Jedi Academy you play as Jaden, apprentice to Kyle Katarn, our hero from Jedi Outcast. An enemy from the past starts accumulating force energy using an ancient artifact, and fearing for the consequences the new Jedi are sent out to investigate. The game allows you choose which missions to take, weapons to carry and force powers to develop. In time, and as the game progresses, you can learn new lightsaber combat styles and can even construct your own double-bladed saber-staff (or fight with two sabers at once). This game allows all the character options that players have been crying out for, and no player can go through the game without a feeling of smug satisfaction at the progress of his character - because it's your character, not someone else's. So why is this not a perfect game?
Well, reasons given by the previously mentioned review are basically: old game engine, problems with graphics when the action takes place in large areas, superfluous weaponry and moronic AI. I would like to debunk these accusations a bit because at least three out of four are unfair.
Firstly, this game uses exactly the same graphics as Jedi Outcast. This is a plus, because if you can run Jedi Outcast you can run Jedi Academy too, and I can't see any owner of Jedi Outcast not wanting this title (that's how good it was). Secondly, the game will only slow down if you shove the graphics' resolution too far, and why on earth would you want to? In the middle of hurried saber-combat there's not a lot of time for sight-seeing, and in any case who is actually going to need such a hi-res setup? Thirdly, how you choose to use weapons is entirely a matter of skill and style.Read more ›
Later on in the single player game you get to choose whether you'll be a Jedi or a Dark Jedi which has a dramatic effect on the closing levels and the ending of the game. Like I said, the game has a good mix of linear and freeform gameplay.
The multiplayer has kept me hooked for far too long. The amount of mods, custom characters, new levels and other fan made downloads is almost on the same scale as the original Quake 3. Want to play as Master Chief (from Halo) or Spiderman with a lightsaber? Just download the custom models and you can. Some people play Jedi Academy multiplayer for the saber duels, some for capture the flag or team based free for alls and some people play it to play out the role of a character. The amount mods and custom additions to the game means that you can have hours of fun just trying to get your team mates to dance the 'YMCA' in synch with you.Read more ›
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