Публикувани: 26 март
Jedi Academy is the latest and greatest (2003) of the Kyle Katarn/Dark Forces Star Wars series and the only one that I was able to play recently, due to the older games’ incompatibility with more modern Windows versions. I was unfortunately unable to get the game to run at higher resolutions than the default 800 x 600, but since I’ve played the game before, I was able to go through pretty fast and just ignore the poor graphics. The game is more than a decade old after all.
The game’s story follows a new Jedi recruit named Jaden as he tries to work his way up to Jedi knight status. He has to hit the ground running though, since his very first day arriving at the academy there’s an attack by a mysterious Sith cult called the Disciples of Ragnos. This cult of dark force users is led by Tavion, one of the minor villains from a previous Jedi Knight game, who has now acquired some ancient Sith tech and is able to power up herself and her followers with it. With some help from your master Kyle Katarn, you have to stop Tavion and her followers from their grand plan of resurrecting a long dead Sith lord.
Like the preceding Dark Forces Jedi Knight games, Jedi Academy is a first person shooter except when you pop out your lightsabre, then it switches to a third person perspective. Honestly though, you should probably have your lightsabre out all the time, so really it’s a third person sword game where you can use guns if you want. Right from the start you have a few force powers to choose from, such as push, pull, speed, and sight. These powers improve naturally as you go through the game and you can also choose between light/dark powers such as heal, lightning, protect, etc. I’ve played through the game about half a dozen times and I almost always get the same powers (heal, lightning, dark rage). They’re just too good to skip. You won’t be able to max all of the available skills, but you do have some room to experiment.
The guns in the game, while good, just can’t match the effectiveness of a lightsabre. The lightsabre not only kills most enemies in one hit, it also deflects enemy lasers. As you progress, your ability to deflect/reflect enemy shots improves, and by the end you probably won’t be taking much damage from stormtroopers. The true obstacles in your path will be the cultist warriors who use lightsabres and force powers of their own. Lightsabre combat is a huge part of the game and if you suck at it, you’ll be stomped many times over. Fortunately (or not) there seems to be a tremendous element of luck when it comes to sword fighting, and if you swing wildly, there’s a good chance you’ll chop down the weaker enemies easily. Just remember that the game doesn’t autosave very often, so if you don’t manually save before sword fights, you might end up replaying large sections of the game. Remember how I said there was a lot of luck involved? Yeah, a weak enemy can slice you down in one shot very easily.
+Right from the start you have force powers and a lightsabre, unlike the previous Dark Forces games I played. The sword fighting can make you feel like a badass with the slow-mo kills and katas (flashy sword moves) that you can use.
+The story is intriguing and you get to try out a bunch of Star Wars weaponry. Most of them suck, but the concussion rifle is pretty cool. Watch out for the splash damage though, it’s huge. Remember though, that guns do not work on enemy force users. They either reflect the shot at you or just dodge it like Neo.
-The game is very old, and with that comes poor graphics and incompatibility with Windows 7 & 8. You can get the game to run, but the screen resolution thing is very annoying. I tried everything from using compatibility mode to manually setting custom resolutions and restarting, but it just never changed.
-It is possible to just run through most of the game not fighting anyone, especially in the last few levels. The vast majority of enemies will stop chasing you if you get more than one room away. This includes the more powerful cultist sword masters as well (the real threats). Also, if you’re looking for an overpowered force ability, the force lightning can get you through most of the game, clearing out entire rooms of baddies in one shot.
Overall, the game is fun to play, and if you have it from the recent Star Wars bundle, this is probably the oldest game on there that I would still replay. The other Dark Forces/Jedi Knight games have aged poorly and may not be worth it, despite how good they were back in the day.