It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, so I’ve whipped up a fast one. It’s not as detailed and elaborate as some others, but right now, I can’t find the motivation to do more for it. I’ve been playing a lot of games recently, and I could theoretically write over a dozen new game reviews. In order to get back into the habit of blogging, I’ll probably make a review at least twice a month, starting with this one and the month of February… Yes, you guys, it’s the 31st of January still. I know. ;D
The first game I’ll do is an older one: Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.
What do I say about it? On the one hand, the story didn’t impress me as much as I’d have hoped. The bulk of the story is progressed through a grand total of five-ish missions, each of which are accomplished after doing 4 of 5 miscellaneous missions that don’t push the story at all. Outside of these five missions, you do nothing in regards to gathering or learning about the intelligence that pushes to these missions. You’re just told to do them, and it’s disappointing, considering as Luke Skywalker and Kyle Katarn’s star protege you’re put into the heart of all the important Cult of Ragnos missions.
Those cons with the story aside, the gameplay is wonderful for the release period. Once you key in your Force powers to your preferred hot-key arrangement, you are a fluid, deadly Jedi apprentice and Knight. Combat is quick and deadly with the lightsabers realistically severing limbs and doing massive damage to enemies, and there are a nice variety of guns and miscellaneous items like mines and grenades that can be employed by you, although in truth your Force abilities and lightsaber is more than adequate for all missions except for one (where you are deprived of your lightsaber after being taken hostage), so there wasn’t a lot of gunplay on my part, although it was nice to have the option available to me. Force powers are nice and varied, with several light, dark, and neutral powers that can be trained in and upgraded to tailor your Jedi to your own playstyle.
The miscellaneous missions, while useless to the story itself, are fun and varied, ranging from things as simple as fighting your way through bandits on Mos Eisley to disarming bombs, or even ranging out to exciting racing/jousting on Speeder bikes as you race through valleys and canyons or taking part in a “wild west” style takeover of a commandeered train.
Visually, the game has aged quite well, and there are numerous subtle atmospheric touches that enhance the combat experience within the beautifully designed levels, including steam from rain falling on your ignited lightsaber and burn marks created on walls and the floor if your lightsaber strikes a surface or body in combat or just while running and moving around.
While the story the game tells is weak in terms of dialogue and development, the gameplay, the fun variety that comes with the miscellaneous missions, and the variety of customisation options related to your Force powers and lightsaber provide enough to the game for me to give it a recommendation, if for nothing else than the most exciting Jedi combat I’ve experienced in a Star Wars game, aside from during The Force Unleashed (let us never again speak of that horrible entry into the Star Wars franchise, which is only good for combat).
Now, for the games I’ll potentially write reviews for, these are the ones I’m considering, though by listing these, I’m not guaranteeing that they will be included or that this will be the order they are done in. The current list is Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Hearts of Iron III, Crusader Kings II, Civilization V, Grand Theft Auto V, MXGP, Watch_Dogs, perhaps a nostalgia post/review about Star Wars: Battlefront II, and Dragon Age: Origins — which is the last, and maybe the least likely to be done, because my friend who recommended it assures me that the dozen hours I spent getting to where I’m at is only “barely into it”, so more playing is necessary to write a fair review of it.