8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Very good indeed...,
This review is from: Jade Empire - Special Edition (PC DVD) (Video Game)
If you've played through the Bioware/Obsidian set of RPGs, you may have a sense of deja vu in some places while playing this game. Protaginist with mysterious past? Check. Female partner with equally mysterious past? Check. Powerful teacher/mentor with mysterious past and with a host of shocking stories about yourself (the ones about your destiny, that is)? Check. Evil guy in a huge suit of armour? Check. This is basically Star Wars:Knights of the Old Republic (with "chi" instead of "Force") and Baldur's Gate (did I mention the characters with a mysterious past?) rolled into one, upgraded, sprinkled with the Oriental appeal and a sense of humour. Is this a bad thing? Heck, no.
The newest additions to the normal Bioware fare is the real-time combat and the "transformation" discpline, whereby you can turn yourself into a demon with added benefits - kind of like turning into the Reaper in BG2, or a druid turning into a sword spider. It also puts in a few more situations of moral ambiguity that may find you running around the map a lot, but the reward is worth it in the end. And like KOTOR, you feel that as you're going along, you really are getting impressively powerful. This is a game that is not merely a console port - it has been designed for the PC as the controls are keyboard and mouse oriented (as they should be) and it takes full advantage of the resolution and texture changes. It also knocks Oblivion for six with overhearing NPC's conversations - you actually hear about people talking about you and what you have done, rather than the "hello - hello - did you hear about the emperor's murder - I hate you - good day - toodles" way of Oblivion.
So why four stars for "fun"? Well, it's a bit short for an RPG and it feels like it does re-tread old ground in a few places - albeit in new and interesting ways - and you may be able to see some plot elements coming from a mile away. And also there's the camera. Sometimes the fight area runs out of room and you can't see properly who you are fighting - this is annoying when you have half a dozen opponents bearing down on you.
This is a well-packaged RPG that will leave you wanting for a Jade Empire 2. If you're disappointed in general with the current glut of mediocre RPGs, then this is for you - it will truly brighten your day.