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Star Wars Jedi Knight Outcast II
I stand almost alone as a techie guy that isn’t a fan of Star Wars. Don’t get me wrong, I saw the first one (or the fourth one, depending on your geekiness), when I was 13. I liked it – not enough to go and see the next one, but I think I bought some stickers for my skateboard. Anyway, this space opera has passed me by, and I don’t know who is related to who, what the heck Yoda is all about, or why a Jedi Knight has become an outcast. What I do know is that games based on the Quake III engine, which this one is, are usually a hoot.
This one is no exception, and there are plenty of features to separate it from the run-of-the-mill Quake games. For a start, there are light sabres, always a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Then there are the Force powers that enable you to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and the ominous (or odious) Jedi Mind Tricks.
You play a character called Kyle, which to my ear sounds more like a friend of Jed Clampett than a Jedi Knight. Anyway, for reasons that are still not clear to me, Kyle is an outcast, and he needs to battle various imperial baddies to regain acceptance into the Jedi gang.
As ever, the plot is secondary to the shooting, fragging, strafing and bombing. The scenery is impressive, with massive maps to work your way through. The baddies are numerous and ruthless. No dumb stormtroopers here – they dodge your shots, hide, and sneak around. When you go charging in – light-sabre swinging – they scatter and run, only to shoot you in the back as you blunder past.
With so many weapons and Jedi powers to hand, you’ll need plenty of practice to get the hang of the controls.
I haven’t used a keyboard as much as in this game since Hornet, the flight simulator.
Once you have mastered the light and dark forces, the game isn’t over. You can get online, and start battling real-live opponents. There are 15 special multiplayer maps, and the usual team and individual games – but with a twist. For example, instead of “capture the flag” there’s capture the Ysalamiri. A Ysalamiri is a kind of lizard that is like kryptonite to Jedi powers, which makes things interesting.
You don’t need to be a Star Wars fan, to enjoy this game. It adds enough new twists to the Quake genre to make it fun. The multiplayer games add extra mileage
to an already good game.