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E3 Jedi Outcast Impressions

By Kevin Weiser

Editor and owner of TheMushroom.com
Special Guest Reporter

Title: Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast

Platform: PC Windows

Publisher: Raven/Activision

Genre: First Person Action/Shooter

Tentative Release Date: Q2 2002

What I saw of Jedi Knight 2 was very early in development. Rick Johnson of Raven software told me this: "I want to tell you now, when you see Jedi Knight, remember, it's only a month's worth of work. I'm not saying that as an excuse, but because I'm boasting." And he has every right to boast. I'd easily put the pre-alpha, one level build of JK2 in my top five coolest things I saw at this year's E3.

The level was pretty simple: an Imperial base of some kind, lots of Storm troopers, a few droids, some crates, and one Dark Jedi. I didn't really have time to notice who was doing what, though, as the person playing the game proceeded to tear it up Jedi style on about two dozen Storm troopers without breaking a sweat. JK2 uses the Quake 3 engine, and so far it's one of the best implementations I've seen of it, though Soldier of Fortune 2 (also by Raven Software) and Medal of Honor: Allied Assault may give it a run for its money.

I was especially impressed with all the little details they have crammed in such a short amount of time. Mouser droids flit about, the lightsaber leaves cuts in whatever it touches (even when you are not swinging it; walk up to a wall and the saber will poke into it like it wasn't there. The demo guy said that you can accidentally kill NPC's if you aren't careful with it, ha!), Storm Troopers that follow a commander and use squad tactics (though a bit weak at this point, the AI has much work left on it) until you apply your Jedi Mind Trick on them (then they look around in a confused manner), reflective floors, and the list goes on and on.

I took some time to grill the LEC rep about what kind of features we can expect, and the list gets me pretty excited. There will be a full single player campaign, with plot and stuff. Of course at this point they didn't want to go into details, but I can say you play Kyle Katarn, and he is a full-blown Jedi at this point. I saw Kyle use both 'light side' and 'dark side' abilities, including a lightsaber throw, force lightning, force push, and force jump. Multiplayer looks pretty promising too, with all the old features from JK1, as well as a few extras, like co-operative play! I personally can't wait for that one.

We've still got to wait a bit before we see more of JK2, but I personally will be first in line to get my copy.

Exclusive E3 gameplay video footage (click here)

Special thanks to Kevin Weiser for this preview!

Check out our own Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast community forums to share your thoughts. [an error occurred while processing this directive]