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Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Revisited

The Star Wars Jedi Knight series is actually quite old at this point and one that might have been forgotten by many. The goal of this series was to provide intense action and lightsaber battles. There were gun aspects present as well, but the main focus in this entry of the series was immediate lightsaber use. Aside from just blasting or cutting each other force powers were available and a wide range of customization options. You could shoot lightning, push away enemies or do a number of other neat and fun tricks. In Jedi Academy this was done to the next level allowing complete creation as you went to school at the new Jedi Order under Luke Skywalker.

You apprentice under Kyle Katarn while also being given tasks directly by Luke Skywalker. The general goal of the narrative is to explore ancient worlds that are being investigated by a cult of Sith. The game was released in 2003 for PC and Xbox being published by LucasArts in North American and Activision in Europe potentially opening this up as a backwards compatible game for Xbox One. The game also had its source code released for a short period of time a decade later from which users have been able to greatly tweak the game with mods.

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Screenshot
With Jedi Academy, there's not only a really well developed campaign but also some exciting multiplayer. I remember spending hours battling bots with my friend and now there are still somewhat active servers to join. Even now, all these years later the option to battle others is still available. It's a blast too as the lightsaber action is rather thrilling, there were also so many customization options. You could be either gender, a selection of aliens and then choose your clothing. This was followed by complete saber changes from the crystal to the hilt, for those crazy Jedi you could have dual sabers or even the Maul design.

The story was presented in an interesting way allowing for levels of choice that were very distinct. The levels were focused on providing a less linear experience while also allowing fans to visit classic planets. There was also a theme of choice in the force and things were altered based on your chosen path. It was an entertaining story and this was backed by the solid multiplayer options. I've always enjoyed the classic Jedi Knight games and it would seem that Academy is usually the one brought up by many. It's amazing that players still enjoy going online to battle and I still felt this one has aged well. The graphics are definitely something that feels archaic almost, but the lightsaber combat still comes across as super fluid. I feel as though few Star Wars games since have captured that excitement of combat with the saber or the use of the Force.

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Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner