There are several ways to become a Jedi Knight: You could knock on George Lucas’ door and demand a leading role in Star Wars: Episode 3. Alternatively you could go down the pub, sink ten pints of loudmouth soup and leap from table to table swinging a big stickaround claiming to be Luke Skywalker. Failing that you could sit cross-legged in the middle of an RAF base and attempt to levitate Harrier Jump Jets using nothing but the power of your mind. However, by far the easiest is to wait a couple of months and play Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast.
Do Not Underestimate..
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast has the makings of a great Star Wars game inside it, but an incredibly frustrating front-end makes getting to the enjoyable meat a chore and will likely turn off most modern players. The demo is unlockable in the Xbox and Gamecube versions of Jedi Knight II by simply entering the word 'DEMO' in the cheat menu. It is uncertain when this demo is set. The opening scroll places it 8 years after the Battle of Endor. This scroll is identical to that of Jedi Outcast except for the final paragraph. Star Wars JK II Jedi Outcast 18.104.22.168 is free to download from our software library. The most popular versions of the program are 1.6 and 1.0. The program lies within Games, more precisely Action. The latest version of the program is supported on PCs running Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, 32-bit.
A mere year in development, JK2 has to be one of the quickest high-profile games ever made. On one hand this is great news: we’ll have a Star Wars first-person shooter utilising Quake III: Team Arena technology upon us before we can say: 'Aren’t you a little short to be a stormtrooper?' On the other hand, there’s the distinct possibility that this project may have been just a little rushed.
The fact that the Q3 engine is powering this latest escapade is reassuring, and with Raven software at the helm signs are also good. With the bulk of the code already in place, technicalities aside, all Raven has to do is tweak the gameplay and create the Star Wars character models and scenery. And even then they’re saving time by re-using levels from previous Dark Forces and Jedi Knight games.
For more cynical gamers the words 'cheats’ and 'rip-off immediately spring to mind. Eve online: galactic zakura - starter pack. Yet, cast your mind back to some of the stunning level design seen in Jedi Knight and Mysteries Of The Sith and it’s easy to understand why levels like the Vertical City have been brought back.Don’t be misled into thinking this is just a 21st-century remake though.
Admittedly JK2 has its fair share of hand-me-downs’, yet LucasArts has also delved deep into Star Wars mythology to deliver original designs with a familiar feel. Cloud City where Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker fought in The Empire Strikes Back is one of many locations fans will recognise from the films. But if that still isn’t reassuring enough for you, you can always design your own, on the JK2 level editor that will ship with the game.
Mr Trooper I Presume?
The plot of JK2 is loosely based upon Star Wars novels covering events proceeding Return Of The Jedi, and of course JK and Mysteries Of The Sith. So, without getting bogged down in history, let’s just say that ex-Jedi, Kyle Katarn is back and must relearn how to use The Force (how can you forget how to use something like that?) in order to eliminate one of the most menacing threats the galaxy has faced.
In other words it’s business as usual with hordes of stormtroopers and a whole cacophony of strange beasts to blast, annihilate, disseminate and destroy in as many ways as you can possibly think of during 20 levels of futuristic, FPS brutality.
Well mostly FPS. We say mostly because it’s possible to use any of the game’s 12 weapons in a third-person view. Generally speaking you’ll probably want to give that a miss; as always it’s the first-person viewpoint where the Q3 engine really excels.
The only exception is the lightsaber - and what a shimmering beam of beauty it is too. To truly appreciate the splendour of this devastating tool, the third-person view is a must. If you thought the feel of the lightsaber in the first game was special, wait until you get your sweaty hands around this little number. The showering display of sparks and amazing sound effects as lightsaber crashes upon lightsaber almost brings tears to your eyes.Equally impressive are the Jodis training at the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4. You can watch them perform huge leaps, spring off walls, spin, roll and more, all of which you will eventually be able to do yourself - once you’ve mastered The Force.
As in JK, mastering your Force powers is imperative. There are 11 of them in total including mind trick, lightning, saber throw, heal and jump - all with three power-up levels. This is slightly different from the way Force worked in JK, as Graham Fuchs from Activision explains: 'We’ve forgone the Light Side/Dark Side stars from the previous titles. Here, as you progress through the game, your Force powers increase naturally. Biolab wars + soundtrack downloads. Usually at the end of a level you are told which power has increased. What we’ve tried to do is have a distinct level for each of the powers. Rather than just adding another star so that you can run a little faster or jump a little higher, each power-up level does something different.'
The Heal Force is a perfect example of this. You can only use first level heal while standing still; second level heal can be used whilst running and attacking though it heals over time; and third level heal acts instantly. It’s also possible to use combinations of two or more powers at once.
But once again, fans of the original JK will be worried that they have no influence whatsoever over the way their character develops. This was after all a popular feature of JK that added a very subtle, yet albeit distinct RPG slant to the game.
It’s not all bad news though. In the multiplayer game the availability of Force powers as pick-ups means you can still develop your character the way you want. And while we’re on the subject, expect the usual array of multiplayer treats encompassing a dozen maps and 32-player Capture The Flag, Deathmatch and Free-for-all game types. And as an extra bonus, LAN and Internet players even get to choose the colour of their lightsaber. OK, it may sound petty, but it’s something obsessive Star Wars fans have been crying out for. There is a practical use too; it provides online Jedis with a totally unique look.
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But what other weapons will we be treated to? As previously mentioned there are 12 in total including your standard blaster, a stun baton, a rather tasty crossbow, trusty old thermal detonators, a wicked laser rifle featuring an liber-powerful zoom, and a lethal disintegrate gun that does exactly that. Standard model damage also applies, as in a single shot to the head proves infinitely more effective than a dozen or so blaster shots into a stormtrooper’s foot. You’ll also be delighted to learn that all enemies can be dismembered in some way with the lightsaber.
Controversy Will Reign Supreme
All these delights are played out over nine different environments ranging from space stations to vast outdoor levels. As you would expect, each one of these is painstakingly detailed and in homage to JK2s predecessor the sheer dramatic sense of size and space is utterly breathtaking. Couple that with John Williams’ dynamic soundtrack and the scene is set for one hell of a Star Wars experience.
Controversy and disagreement will not be far away though. Your lack of influence over the way Kyle develops will cause friction amongst the reviewing fraternity, and importing old levels from ancient games is another contentious issue. Still, with everything else that JK2 has up its sleeve, we can’t help feeling that good will triumph over evil, and that ultimately we’ll be treated to the kind of quality shooter a marriage between Star Wars and Qua/ce III should surely produce. Roll on April.
In Replaying the Classics, StarWars.com revisits Star Wars games of yesteryear, examining why we loved them then and why they stand the test of time.
Star Wars video games have a rich history, steeped in decades of Legends lore, and a shining example of this is the beloved Star Wars Jedi Knight series.
When an eagle-eyed fan spotted a Corellian YT-2400 freighter in the Star Wars Rebels Season Three trailer at Celebration Europe in 2016, he asked Dave Filoni, “Are we gonna see Dash Rendar [in Rebels]?” He was referring to what looked to be the Outrider, a Falcon-esque starship featured in 1996’s Star Wars:Shadows of the Empire game. Filoni gently squelched the fan’s hopes when he explained that it was simply another vessel of similar design; Rendar wasn’t likely to show his face in Rebels. Then Darth Maul voice actor Sam Witwer, himself a massive fan of Star Wars games, joked about another possibility: “But Kyle Katarn will be in there.”
So who’s Kyle Katarn, anyway? In the early 1990s, LucasArts set out to build upon the hugely popular first-person shooter genre established by id Software’s Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. The result was Star Wars: Dark Forces, a hit 1995 FPS that married the quick run-and-gun formula of id’s Doom with Star Wars-caliber storytelling. It told the story of an Imperial turncoat named Kyle Katarn, who, in the now-Legends continuity, was responsible for stealing part of the blueprints for the first Death Star. Born to farmers on one of the moons of Sullust, Katarn had enlisted in the armed forces of the Galactic Empire at the age of 18, while his father quietly aided the Rebellion. After learning that one of the Emperor’s Inquisitors murdered his father, Katarn became a rebel — and, eventually, a reluctant Jedi.
Much of Katarn’s tragic tale takes place in Dark Forces, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (1997), and a Jedi Knight expansion called Mysteries of the Sith (1998). All three won critical acclaim, and are equally worth your time, but Raven Software’s Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (2002) is arguably the culmination of everything that made the series great. To get the most of Outcast’s lore-intensive narrative, consider playing the first two games as well as Mysteries of the Sith, and maybe even check out Drew Karpyshyn’s novel of the ancient Sith, Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, while you’re at it.
With all that out of the way, however, Jedi Outcast is just a fabulous playground in which to live out your biggest Star Wars fantasies. The game begins as a straightforward first-person shooter in the vein of Dark Forces; anyone who picks up Jedi Outcast after playing the Star Wars Battlefront II (2017) campaign will see the clear lineage between the two. Katarn (Jeff Bennett, who later voiced Revan in BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic) will start out wielding familiar weapons like the E-11 blaster rifle and his trusty K-16 Bryar pistol, his longtime partner Jan Ors (Vanessa Marshall of Hera Syndulla fame) at his side, as they investigate new stirrings within the post-Endor Imperial Remnant.
The worlds of Jedi Outcast are vast, at times labyrinthine, and you’ll regularly feel compelled to stray from the task at hand to explore, seek out hidden secrets, and take in the sights. There’s a hint of retro charm to the game’s 2002 textures and models, but the environments boast such exquisite lighting and epic scale that they seem utterly timeless. You won’t forget which galaxy you’re in.
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After witnessing a terrible tragedy, Katarn seeks out the spirits that reside in a place called the Valley of the Jedi (you really ought to read Path of Destruction). His connection with the Force rekindled, he heads to Yavin 4 to retrieve his lightsaber from an old friend: Luke Skywalker (Bob Bergen). Katarn, no stranger to the dangerous lure of the dark side, doesn’t give in to hate; this isn’t a straightforward tale of revenge, and nothing’s quite what it seems. Kyle’s journey sees him once again becoming a Jedi Knight, impressing even Skywalker with the depths of his strength, and bringing a fallen Jedi — a memorable saurian named Desann (the late Mark Klastorin) — to justice.
For a story that begins with Katarn picking up his lightsaber to exact vengeance, its ending almost couldn’t be more Jedi-like.
Star Wars™ Jedi Knight Ii - Jedi Outcast™
Come for the classic Doom-style gunplay, Jedi action, and Force puzzles; stay for the online one-on-one lightsaber duels in familiar Star Wars locations, like Cloud City and the Death Star. For years, Jedi Outcast has maintained a reputation for being one of the best Jedi-centric gaming experiences ever made. Game Informer magazine once deemed it “the most enjoyable and accomplished Star Wars game yet,” and it’s aged as gracefully as any fan could hope for. If you’re new to the realm of Star Wars Legends but you love video games, rediscover the Valley of the Jedi. Take your first step into a larger world.
Star Wars Jedi Knight 2 Jedi Outcast
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is available onSteam, GOG.com, the Humble Store, and the App Store.
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Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, Syfy Wire, Variety, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.