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Publisher: Aspyr Media    Genre: Action
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: G3 @ 400 MHz    RAM: 128 MB    Hard Disk: 665 MB    4x CD-ROM

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
December 10, 2002 | Christopher Morin

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“Always two there are…” – Yoda
Before I really get into the multi-player aspect of the game, let me preface it with the following disclaimer: I am not a great FPS gamer. In fact, I stink. That is what I get for spending so much time with RPG and RTS games. My reaction times are those of a chronic allergy sufferer doped up on Benedryl. That being said, online play is a blast. It is incredible to see six or so players battling each other with various colored lightsabers. Needless to say, I was soundly thrashed as I flailed away; however, even as a Lightsaber tyro it was great fun. I am not too sure about some of those players on GameRanger, though. In one free-for-all game, I was in second place with five points. The person in first place, the guilty shall remain nameless, had thirty. Be that as it may, just the mere sight of Jedi battling for supremacy live on my computer screen brought a tear to this Star Wars uber-geek’s eye. Jedi Knight II not only supports GameRanger but also other online and LAN multi-player games. Of course, with most online play, it is recommended you have a fast internet connection. Most people should have broadband available to them by now. If you have the means, have it installed. You will not be sorry.

”There can be only one.” – Conner McLeod
One other great feature is the ability to challenge other players to a duel. These duels limit the players to use of the lightsaber. They will be surrounded by a glow and will be unassailable by other players on that server for the duration of the duel. The only ways a lightsaber duel can be ended is with either the death of one of the challengers or when one gets too far out of attack range. These players will be unable to attack other players on the server for the duration of the duel. So, if you think you have what it takes to be the king of the mountain, put your skills to the test.

”Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” – Vince Lombardi
Gameplay in JKII is fairly balanced. The game provides the option for instant quick saves and I recommend you make frequent use of these. There are various checkpoints in the game, but they are spaced pretty far apart. Unless you cheat, you will die often. Make use of the quick saves so you do not have to go back and cover territory you already cleared out. Despite the presence of a quick save option, load times are very long. Even reloading from a saved game seems to take forever. Reloading in an active session of the game is much faster than launching the application and loading a saved game, but it is still slow. In fact, you will likely have time to make yourself a sandwich while your game loads. Okay, that is a bit of hyperbole, but you get the point.

The enemies in the game are standard Star Wars fare. You have the obligatory storm troopers and their officers, Rodians (think Greedo from A New Hope), and other denizens of Lucas’ imagination. One new creature is a crab-like vermin. They show up occasionally and are indiscriminate in their appetite, as they will attack the nearest being – be they dead or alive. Unless you are a crack shot, they will take up a great deal of your precious ammunition. Intelligent foes act intelligent. The storm troopers will strafe, crouch and beat a hasty retreat just as you would. Those of you with highly developed FPS dexterity will not have to chase as many troops into another room as I did with my wild strafing techniques. I chased many an enemy away with my wild shooting. Some of them are smart enough to attempt to back away when they see you coming with your lightsaber, though. Of course, if you run through the game, you will tip them off to your presence; and they will tip you off to theirs when you hear them ask, “Is there someone there?”

Jedi Knight II is also filled with ammo and power-ups. Of course, you can replenish your ammo from those enemies you kill; however, ammo, shield boosters and health kits are stashed everywhere in the game. Be sure to look on top of stacked containers and behind them for hidden items. Also, be sure to look for the power converters that will recharge your shields and weapons. There are some great weapons to be had in the game, as well. Of course, the pinnacle of weapons in JKII is the lightsaber. One of my favorites was the Wookie Bowcaster. The alternate setting on this weapon fires up to five bolts of energy that spread out and can hit multiple enemies, if they are standing close together. The Imperial Heavy Repeater is also a great weapon to obtain.


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