lordgodalming's Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast (Collectors Edition) (PC) review

A game with good lightsaber mechanics? And Billy Dee Williams?!

Jedi Outcast follows Kyle Katarn, the hero from the two previous Dark Forces games, and his copilot, Jan Ors. Now, I have to admit, Outcast is a fairly generic shooter for about the first seven levels, mainly because the game farts around that long before finally giving you a lightsaber and Force powers. However, gameplay is so vastly improved from the previous titles that you'll hardly notice. Force powers are no longer controlled by the Function keys on your keyboard, which is particularly helpful for Force Jump. Instead of repeatedly cracking your head on crates or ceilings as we all did in Jedi Knight, the height of your jump is determined simply by how long you hold the jump button. Novelty! Your lightsaber behaves as a normal weapon, meaning the LMB swings and the RMB performs the alternate attack, a very useful boomerang throw. Force Push and Pull are also particularly useful now, as they knock out whole seas of enemies for a precious few seconds while you get close enough to use the lightsaber. Force Speed is also helpful, but not really essential until you reach the final boss.

The graphics of Jedi Outcast are built on the Quake III engine, meaning that they're good, but not astounding. What is most impressive about the graphics is the locations. You get to visit many familiar spots from other SW games and the original trilogy, including the base on Yavin 4 and, my favorite, Lando Calrissian's mining colony on Bespin. Old Lando even shows up for a cameo, voiced by Billy Dee Williams himself.

Lucasarts made the right choice by farming out Jedi Outcast to Raven Software. In a market clogged with ever-lousier first person shooters, Jedi Outcast is still a great game.

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