As close to perfect as games get.
I played Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast about a year after it came out, because I really like Jedi Academy. I was blown away after playing about half an hour of the game. I realized how much more polished and better Jedi Outcast is compared to Jedi Academy. I wish I had played Jedi Outcast before Jedi Academy... Well it is too late for that.
The story is deep, mature, and cinematic. Kyle Katarn who has cut all connections with the Force and all things Jedi, is sent on a mission with Jan Ors. The mission has something to do with lightsaber crystals. As the story unfolds, Kyle realizes that he has to get his lightsaber and Force powers back for the greater good. It takes him through different planets and environments. But there are stormtroopers to waste everywhere, so yeah.
The gameplay is what really stands out. If you see the screenshots, you think this is just another shooter with Star Wars weapons. You couldn’t be more wrong. This game has a very interesting and deep control scheme that takes time to get used to, but when you do so, you will find yourself throwing stormtroopers all over the place while chopping them in half with a lightsaber. In other words, you will feel like a true Jedi. The wise decision the designers have made is that the game throws you a little bit of Force powers at a time, so you have time to get used to it and then move on to the next one. There are many different Force powers (not all of them attacks) are in the game, some of them are crucial to the gameplay through puzzles and stuff and some are just there for the coolness. In other words, with a few exceptions you could play this game like a straightforward shooter, but why would you want to? If you play the game like a normal shooter, you will make the game more difficult and less fun. And that doesn’t sound reasonable at all, does it?
The only thing holding this game from achieving absolute perfection is the slow face of the first half of the game, where you don’t have many Force powers and your lightsaber. You defiantly have to stick with this game for a few hours to reach its sheer awesomeness. There is also the close to perfect multiplayer, and as of today, there are always dedicated servers having matches all day every day.
I saw the GameCube version of the game at an EB Games near my house for six bucks. I couldn’t believe that the piece of shit The Force Unleashed was selling for sixty and this was selling for six. There is no reason not to play this game. It is backwards compatible with the 360, you can play it on your Wii, and if you have a shitty PC like me (an HP laptop with an on-board graphics card) you are able to play this game. So get a copy off Amazon or somewhere and start playing this nearly perfect game. Ahhh, only if I worked at Raven at the time...