Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Impressions

We enjoy a brief demo of the PC version of LucasArts' upcoming Jedi action game, which is also scheduled for release on the Xbox.


On a recent excursion to LucasArts' E3 booth we were lucky enough to get a brief demonstration of the PC version of Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. As we've reported previously, the game will see you assuming the role of a student at Luke Skywalker's Jedi Academy on Yavin 4, and today we got to see the character creation screen in action. LucasArts has promised that there will be at least 2,000 possible combinations available when creating your character, and, as numerous beautifully realized species and items of clothing flashed past our eyes, that number became increasingly easy to believe. Equally impressive was the option to create your own lightsaber--in addition to being able to choose from a single saber, twin sabers, and a Darth Maul-style staff, there appeared to be a huge number of different handle and color options available.

LucasArts is including so much depth in the game's character creation system because of the game's Counter-Strike-style siege mode, which will complement the single-player adventure. Details on this multiplayer mode of play are scarce at present, but it's at least good to know that when you decide to take your Jedi online you're unlikely to encounter too many look-alikes.

The single-player adventure will feature numerous locations from all over the Star Wars universe and will see you visiting familiar planets, such as Tattooine and Hoth, and encountering more than a few familiar faces, such as Chewbacca. Although we didn't get to see any of them in action, certain levels in the game will allow you to assume control of vehicles or ride animals--the examples given were AT-ST walkers and tauntauns. The level we did see, though, was surely as impressive as any of the vehicle-based missions will be and had our character attempting to rescue prisoners that were scheduled to become playthings for a Rancor. The Rancor itself was a large and impressive-looking enemy, and since it successfully managed to kill the LucasArts representative that was showing us the game, we're still not entirely sure how we'd have tackled it. It's conceivable though, that our Jedi character wasn't particularly well equipped for the job in hand, since the game's structure is such that you'll have the option to choose your own path through the game--only being required to complete 80 percent of the missions to reach the end--and, in most cases, return to missions that you've previously failed once you have a few extra Jedi tricks in your arsenal.

Jedi Academy is currently scheduled for release in November. For more information, check out our previous coverage of the game.

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