Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy E3 2003 Preshow Report

Raven Software is working on a third entry in this Star Wars-inspired series of shooters.

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Last month, LucasArts revealed that Raven Software, the developer behind many high-profile first-person shooters like Soldier of Fortune II and Jedi Knight II, will be making an all-new first-person action game set in the classic Star Wars universe. You’ll play as a trainee at the Jedi academy being run by Luke Skywalker and Kyle Katarn, the protagonist in the first two Jedi Knight games, and the game will take place one year after the events in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. There’s little information about the specifics of the story in Jedi Academy, but LucasArts has stated that it won’t rely on linear storytelling, and that you will have a fair amount of control over the path that you travel on your way to becoming a Jedi master.

You’ll have also have a large amount of control over your character from the start, and will be able to define your character’s species, gender, clothing, and physical attributes, with more than 2,000 different possible combinations. This level of customization will also extend to your lightsaber, as you’ll be able to choose the style of the handle, the color of the blade, and whether you have a standard lightsaber or a Darth Maul-style dual-blade saber. It’s also said that you’ll be able to wield two single-blade lightsabers at a time. Aside from the traditional Jedi melee weapon, the game will also feature a menagerie of Star Wars weaponry like blasters and wookiee bowcasters that you’ll have access to.

The visuals in Jedi Academy are to be an improvement over what was seen in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, with greater detail in the environments, new rag-doll death animations, and vehicles you can pilot or simply be a passenger in. The game is also said to make use of Raven’s proprietary terrain system used in Soldier of Fortune II. Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy is currently scheduled for release on the PC and Xbox in fall of 2003.

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