on 9 October 2004
This is undoubtalby the best of all action/shooter/adventure star wars games, and in my opinion the best star wars game ever. The feel is sooo good, and authentic, and its incredible when you walk into a room full of imperial activity and the imperial march come thundering on. kyle katarn has some great quotes to. The story is cool aswell, and orinal and interesting. proper live action cut scenes really gets you intersted in the characters too. the levels are really well desinged, not too much veriaty in the gameplay its self, but plenty of exiting and varying mission objectives. and now with the amlmost equally good expansion pack, the mysteries of the sith, top value for money! so what if the graphics arn't that good, i still love it.
on 20 February 2005
Upon it's release in 1997, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 brought a truly epic feel into first person shooters that simply hadn't been possible before, and indeed was the first Star Wars game that felt like you were part of something big that wasn't just involved in flying star fighters.
First of all, the graphics engine. The character models were not as refined as some other games at the time (Quake being an ideal example, or even Quake 2) but the animation was smooth and fluid and this brought enough life to the characters that the rather angular design didn't matter too much. Visual effects such as explosions and other animations, for the time were effective enough and still are, if lacking modern polish. However where the engine really shined was in the expansive nature of the level design. The levels were enormous, expansive. Incredible wide open areas, with intricate interior locations, all at a superb framerate (perhaps aided by the less than high polygon count on the models). Not until the Unreal engine was unleashed would this kind of epic size be experienced in a game, and even then, Unreal would push itself to run as well as Jedi Knight with such large designs.
The sound design in the game is pure Star Wars, as you'd expect, and is quite solidly done, if not particularly groundbreaking. The voice acting is above average, and the main characters voices are provided by the actors featured in the games FMV sequences, which used real actors, a sure sign of an expensive production. and a rarity these days. The acting in these sequences is perhaps somewhat wooden and, of course, highly derivative of the original Star Wars films, but it's still immersive enough to gloss over these minor points and the story is fleshed out superbly.
And the story. The games places you in control of Kyle Katarn, the ex-Imperial mercenary of the first Dark Forces game, and the beginning of the game sees Kyle trying to find out who murdered his father. The first three levels of the game don't feature lightsabers, or Jedi at all, so be patient. Through Kyle's quest we learn of a dark Jedi, Jerec, and his band of apprentices who intend to sieze the power contained within an ancient Jedi burial ground, and the connection it holds with Kyles father and ultimately, Kyle himself. Not to give too much away, but there are many locations to visit throughout the story, and some impressive (even today) set pieces and battles that will prove challenging even to experienced first person shooter veterans. Once the inevitable lightsaber is discovered, throughout the rest of the game you will amass points which can be allocated to force powers both light and/or dark side orientated. This affects the course of the game around half way into it as well, so there are two different endings.
The gameplay is, overall, great fun, with a few annoying control issues on occasion and a slightly clunky physics system but this does not detract too much and is easy enough to adjust to. In summary, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II is a FPS classic, from the FPS golden age when sprites were first being eschewed in favour of polygonal characters and environments.
Mysteries Of The Sith is a special 'mission pack' expansion for Jedi Knight that adds a substantial amount of new content to the game, with an all new story set around 5 years after the story in Jedi Knight has concluded. The introduction of several new weapons, force powers, enemies, environments and a new main (and controllable) character as well as significant graphics engine enhancements (Quake 2 styled coloured lighting) which add further vividness to the experience make this an essential selection, and one that will keep you occupied for some time.
In a few words: challenging, essential, immersive and great fun.
on 26 September 2001
Jedi Knight is a game people think of as old these days, but if you love classics or have an old PC buy it. It's got everything you could want, engrossing story line, great game play. What more can I say.
on 11 July 2013
"Jedi Knight" is an undisputed SW game classic, being the first 3D game to let you wield a lightsaber and one of the few games set after Episode VI. The graphics have obvious aged poorly (I mean, come on, it's 15 years old!) but the gameplay still holds up surprisingly well. A lot of nicely designed, if occasionally bland, levels, with some nice duels thrown in. The only real point of contention if the fight against Gorc and Pic, which is only the second duel of the game, but easily the hardest due to the frustrating speed and small size of Pic.
The game also features some slightly corny live-action cutscenes, which, I for one, appreciate, and some of the actors are clearly relishing their parts, particularly Jason Court as Kyle Katarn and Christopher Neame as Jerec.
"Mysteries of the Sith" however is a much lesser title. More force powers and the ability to play as Mara Jade (in one of maybe two or three SW games where you play as a female character, barring games with customisable appearance) don't make up for the rather frustrating levels and some situations where not choosing the right force powers can make the game unwinnable (you need Persuasion to beat the last few levels or you cannot progress). An abundance of hard-to-kill enemies that can easily kill you also adds to the problems. Essentially it's just more "Jedi Knight", which is not a bad thing in itself, but overall the story adds nothing, besides a few character moments between Mara and Kyle and the missions get quite annoying at times.
Overall, a recommended package, and worth playing to get the whole Kyle Katarn story, but while I enjoyed my time with "Jedi Knight" I can't say the same for "MOTS"
on 5 August 2006
Before I got DF2 I bought Jedi Academy and then Jedi Knight 2. Both are fantastic games to play but it got me wondering what started it all in the first place and the closest I could get was DF2.
Being the high graphics technofreak that I am, I had forgotten that when DF2 was first released in 1998 (?) it was a superior FPS game at the time but just 8 years on many people, especially the younger generation would probably call this game 'Ancient Technology' or 'obsolete' compared to the games of today.
I admit when I brought the game I expected the graphics to be round about the same as JK2 and JA so playing it for the first time and seeing bright colours and very little in the way of Polygons (in the graphics industry thats basically a 'mesh' that helps build the character/scenery and the more polygons the mesh has the more detailed the character's features/building's detail will be) was very surprising and nostalgic in a sense. The last game I played that was similar in the way of graphics was Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force a few years back and if you compare DF2 and Elite Force with JK2/JA and Elite Force 2 you can see the staggering overhaul the graphics industry has had in less than a decade.
But because this game is old makes it all the more better to play it. True, nowadays, you either need to wear sunglasses or turn the brightness down on your monitor a little to play it properly but its still a good game. The drawbacks I see though is that sometimes you can get lost with the occassional confusion of which wall starts and which ends at times because alot of the features are the same colour. Nowadays designers add lighting to create the atmosphere and help you to see where you are but one has to remember that in 1998 this was in its infancy so you gotta use your brain alot more to find your way around.
So if you like the games of the 1990s or, if you're like me and you wanna see how technology has progressed in the last decade or so, then I'd strongly suggest buying the game...even if you need a pair of sunglasses just to play it ;)
on 20 May 2001
What needs to be said? At the time DF2:JK was not only a great first person shooter it also followed the tradition of the early lucasArts games - ie it was great. It allowed you to immerse yourself in the role of the jedi knight, weild a light saber and save the galaxy etc. I love it. The mission pack was okay but not great, hence four stars, and it all looks a tad dated even on a top-spec system. If the rumours are to be believed then there will be a new JK soon, but hey, buy this one for a flavour of the great LucasArts games, so that you can ignore the more recent ones!
on 6 June 2003
Although it may be a bit too big of a step back if you've been playing the latest games. Or even games that are just a couple of years old.
Its great if you like Fisrt Person Perspective Shooters. Better if you like Star Wars (like me), but the graphics are abit dated and it can be really difficult in places. Still, if you persevere you'll find a riveting storyline.
The cust scenes are cool as is the end sequence.
The controls can be a bit awkward--reaching the force powers you need in an instant can be VERY fiddly to begin with