Home Gaming Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast is still one of the finest Star Wars games ever made

Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast is still one of the finest Star Wars games ever made

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Jedi Outcast (1)

How hard is it to make a really good Star Wars game, that captures the spirit of the original films? To take the idea of blasters and lightsabers, and to compact that into an experience which stands the test of time? Pretty damn difficult actually. Star Wars is a beast, a universe filled with so much action and lore that pleasing everyone is about as impossible as loving Jar Jar Binks. But in March of 2002, at least one game in the franchise set the bar impossibly high as it combined all manner of action into a tight package of Jedi on Sith action.

Jedi Outcast (5)

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast picked up shortly after the events of Dark Forces II. The live action cutscenes were gone, the game engine was dropped in favour of the Quake 3 Arena engine and action was split across an arsenal of more elegant weapons and uncivilised blasters. Sweet Sith-spit, it was good. Damn good.

While the Dark Forces series had introduced lightsaber battling into a more three-dimensional space several years earlier, Jedi Outcast perfected the system. Sure, Katarn could run and gun his way across levels if players felt like it, but having a variety of Force powers at your disposal was magical stuff that other games had failed to properly recreate in digital form.

Jedi Outcast (2)

Force chokes, lightning, pushes and speed. Man, Jedi Outcast had it all. The crowning glory of the gameplay however, was proper lightsaber combat. Katarn would eventually reconnect with the Force, and pick up a new lightsaber and tricks to help him fight against the dark side of the Fao Schwartz. Wall-running, flips and various styles of swinging a blade of condensed plasma around the screen made for some epic duels. Now imagine all the glory of the Quake 3 Arena gunplay and twirling a lightsaber dangerously close to your face…in multiplayer.

The number of hours spent at LANs perfecting a lightsaber rush, were absurd for me. Even years after the game had shipped, it was still a firm favourite at parties, making for some magical moments of victory followed by congratulatory dick-punches from the losing side. One thing that’ll always stick with me however, is that Jedi Outcast possibly had the best Stormtroopers.

Jedi Outcast (3)

When you weren’t severing their limbs or obscuring their face with blaster fire, these fellas were downright deadly. They’d strafe you, work on ambushes and work as a team all in pursuit of the glory of the Empire. On higher difficulty settings, these guys could tear wannabe Jedi down in seconds. The beauty here is that Jedi Outcast is still a damn good game. And having Billy Dee Williams reprise his role as the smoothest rogue in the galaxy, Lando Calrissian, was just icing on the cake.

Hell, even the Jedi Academy expansion is worth a revisit, not for the rubbish story but for the fact that you could fine-tune a Jedi and send them into battle with a lightsaber staff or double up on the laser-swords and wreak havoc. Good times, in a galaxy far, far away.

Last Updated: May 4, 2016

29 Comments

  1. Jedi Outkast, with Darth Andre 3000… Heeey yaaaa

    Reply

  2. Admiral Chief in New York

    May 4, 2016 at 15:05

    Amen

    Reply

    • Pariah

      May 4, 2016 at 15:05

      Gesundheid.

      Reply

  3. Pariah

    May 4, 2016 at 15:06

    KOTOR > This x 10000000000000000000000000000

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief in New York

      May 4, 2016 at 15:08

      This game set the bar, while KotOR is the superior game, it had JK2 to thank

      Reply

      • Pariah

        May 4, 2016 at 15:09

        I hated this game tbh. I found it horribly boring.

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief in New York

          May 4, 2016 at 15:10

          It got better when you got FP and your saber.

          (I just used console commands from the start so that I can have my saber and FP from the very begging)

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            May 4, 2016 at 15:13

            VAC BAN!

          • Admiral Chief in New York

            May 4, 2016 at 15:13

            *waves hand*
            You cannot VAC ban me
            My schwartz compels you

          • Admiral Chief in New York

            May 4, 2016 at 15:14

            Imagine running around in a CS match with a lightsaber and FP, LOOOOL

          • Pariah

            May 4, 2016 at 15:20

            I’d play that mod.

  4. Admiral Chief in New York

    May 4, 2016 at 15:07

    Actually, it was not Sith, just normal run of the mill Dark Jedi

    Reply

  5. Admiral Chief in New York

    May 4, 2016 at 15:09

    JK3 was also a damn fine game, barring the meh-story

    Reply

    • DrKiller

      May 5, 2016 at 16:01

      That was definitely my favourite one.. I finished it atleast 3 times

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief in New York

        May 6, 2016 at 07:13

        I finished that game at least 10 times, vanilla.

        Then about 10 more times with mods

        Reply

  6. Admiral Chief in New York

    May 4, 2016 at 15:12

    89/100 on Metacritic

    Reply

  7. Raptor Rants

    May 4, 2016 at 15:18

    Man I loved this game so very much

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief in New York

      May 4, 2016 at 15:23

      Me too man, mee too.

      Still love it though.

      NEEDS A HD REMASTER!!!!

      Reply

      • Pariah

        May 4, 2016 at 15:24

        And a console port while you’re at it.

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief in New York

          May 4, 2016 at 15:25

          Get
          in
          the
          carbonite

          Just get in there

          Reply

          • Pariah

            May 4, 2016 at 15:29

            But then more people will be able to experience this majesty.

            In fact, you know what? Let’s make is PlayStation 4.5 EXCLUSIVE!

          • Admiral Chief in New York

            May 4, 2016 at 15:35

            xD

          • DrKiller

            May 5, 2016 at 16:02

            Because PS don’t have anything else going for them… right? 🙂

      • Raptor Rants

        May 4, 2016 at 15:34

        77/10 would play

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief in New York

          May 4, 2016 at 15:35

          *777/10

          Reply

  8. HvR

    May 4, 2016 at 16:46

    MMmm, wonder how well it aged. realized this was during my gaming hiatus and I’ve never played it.

    Reply

  9. Yondaime

    May 5, 2016 at 13:05

    Confession time: I’ve never played a Star Wars game… So from the Steam sale, which titles are the must haves? apart from this 1 of course

    Reply

    • DrKiller

      May 5, 2016 at 16:07

      Just buy all of them!

      Reply

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