7.5

The force is strong with Jedi Academy

I've been meaning to review this game for a while now and after having the urge to play the game once again, I think its time to grade the final Jedi Knight game, entitled Jedi Academy...

Looking back at the time, I think Jedi Academy for the most part is a good looking game that looks like the Star Wars Universe. Player models are pretty sharp though the textures can look a little rough sometimes, even for the era the game was made in. The levels also look improved from Jedi Outcast with the only problems being some of the buildings can look a little bland. The light-sabre looks great and easily the best from any of the JK games but I still feel more detail could of gone into them, like some mods created by the community have managed.

The games strongest area is probably the sound department, which has managed to make Jedi Academy sound truly authentic to the Star Wars Universe, from the gun sounds to sabre combat. Voice acting is pretty strong too, however the dialogue might not be the best ever written and the male human voice for Jaden and Tavion are probably the weak links among the cast.

Gameplay is mostly solid, offering the chance to start as a Jedi unlike Jedi Outcast, which is a big plus since force/sabre combat is way better then the clumsy shooting engine. The ability to choose, which of the force powers you want to focus on is a good addition and gripping people off ledges or attack groups with lighting is great fun. The sabre combat is easily the best in the series but I still find it lacking on what I truly want from a Star Wars game, however fights with the sabre can be truly exciting at times. The ability to customise your character adds depth to the game, however the amount of choices for sabre hilts, clothes and the general look of the characters are not enough for me and more could of been put into the game. The shooting engine is pretty much like Jedi Outcast but while it can feel clumsy, it does feel more like Star Wars especially when shots go wide often with the standard rifle.

The AI is easily the weakest part of the game with most of the enemy characters very easy to kill and will shoot wide often. Standard cultists are for the most part easy to kill but the reborn Jedi do offer real challenges and will require skill with the force and sabre to defeat. The AI is not quite dumb but a lot more work could of gone into creating a more challenging array of opponents.

The game offers a good length single player with the ability to choose what missions you want to play through and of the the 15 standalone missions you will have to complete at least 12 of them. The levels that push the main plot forward are of course non optional but they are very strong with the last levels being the most fun in the game. Also Jedi Academy has two different endings, giving you reason to play through the single player more than once. Online is pretty decent with several game modes to choose from though am sure most will play the FFA mode, in which you can go around killing whoever you want or challenge certain opponents to duels. Overall the game offers a worthy if not a little easy, single player with a true Star Wars like story but for me lacks a true bad ass for the main enemy like Desann was in Jedi Outcast. Online will give the game more life for those interested in fighting the best the Internet has to offer and I would recommend this to any Star Wars fan.

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