You know those moments when a simple day is turned into pure excitement? That about sums up my feelings when I went to the mailbox today to grab my issue of Gamestar, Germany’s Number One gaming mag. So I take a look at the cover to see a female Twi’lek wielding two lightsabers! “What the hell” was naturally my first thought before I see the words next to it: Jedi Knight III Revealed. World Exclusive.
So, where to start?
Right, with the story. At the end of Jedi Knight II, Kyle saves Jan from Desann’s claws, and the galaxy from the Doomgiver. Six years later: Kyle is now an instructor at Luke Skywalker’s famous Jedi Academy. Thus, for the first time in the Dark Forces series, you don’t play as Kyle Katarn! Instead, you create a character for yourself. Create? Yes, similar to a role-playing game you choose your characters gender, race (Humans and Twi’leks are confirmed so far) face, hair cut and clothing! And the customization doesn’t end there: you also choose a saber handle, colour and whether you want to use one or two sabers! Later on, you will also get a Darth Maul-style double-bladed saber.
Talking of sabers: Raven Software is trying to put a lot more emphasis on the Jedi’s favourite weapon. While there will still be conventional weapons (even more than in JK II), the current estimate says that around 70% of the game will be spent using a saber. And those 70% look spectacular for sure: according to the article, it will be quite common to face of against several Dark Jedi at once. This is where a new feature of JK III comes into play: you can now combine your force powers! For example, you can fight one enemy with one of your sabres, and at the same time throw the other saber at the next foe! Of course, Raven is adding new force powers to keep the experience fresh for us long-time fans of the series. Other than in JK II, you will now once again be able to choose what skills to advance in one of three levels. And you can choose if you want to follow the path of the light or dark side! This being more than a little touch, Raven promises that the last few levels of the 30-hour campaign will be different for the two sides; same goes for the final cutscene.
Which brings me right to the next cool new feature: missions! For the first time ever in an action-game, you will be able to choose which mission to tackle next! There will be a few key mission you have to do at a certain time, but otherwise, you are free in your decisions. Gamestar expects you to spend the time between missions in the Jedi Academy, from where you start on your missions. As I said there will be key point missions, as well as boss fights and side trek missions will allow you to improve your character, and maybe even pure vehicle missions! While JK II placed several levels in the same location, JK III will mostly be one mission in one location. These locations will be a merry mix of places from the movies, books, comics and new stuff. Examples of locales you will visit during your quest are Tatooine and Hoth (including a little ride on a Taun-Taun!)! Raven promises that the levels will often be twice the size of their JK II counterparts, and filled with life: on Tatooine, you will have to fight of Tusken Raiders, which are busy hunting Jawas (poor little guys always get beat up)!
The game will once again use a heavily-modifed Quake 3 Team Arena engine, as well as all of Raven’s own enhancements to it! Despite its Age, the screenies sure look spectacular! The multi-player part will also be enhanced, and rumours speak of vehicular combat!
And here comes the best part: According to Raven, JK III is 60% done, including story, scripts and levels. So, if everything goes well, you will be able to play it this fall!
New to old model comparison
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