Game Review - by Dan Piparo
Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, is a 3D, first-person, action adventure for Windows 95. In a series of firsts for LucasArts, this original epic will incorporate highly anticipated network play, and will enable players to battle the evil Empire with lightsabers and gain strength through use of the Force. Jedi Knight requires players to navigate through more than a dozen complex and incredibly detailed multilevel mazes and environments as they face powerful enemies and once-again fight for the Rebel cause. Cinematic full motion video sequences punctuate the action and weave a compelling new tale in the Star Wars universe.
Although a 3D-accelerated card is not necessary for playing Jedi Knight, the full effect can not be appreciated without such technology. Blaster explosions are all light-sourced, and the other attention to detail is astounding. If your character remains idle for a "while", the camera pans back and begins rotating around him. He begins to shift from side-to-side, fidgeting with his weapon. When displaying the game using the third-person camera, inactivity will show your character's body moving ever so slightly, as he tries to catch his breath.
The sound effects are well-blended into the overall sound experience, with separate controls for effects and music. The player can also select the number of digital channels that the game will use, and the selections are 8, 16 and 24. The more channels that are selected, the more sound effects can be played at one time. In other words, the player can balance sound quality with system performance according to his personal tastes.
Players will find a variety of weapons -- old and new -- in the Jedi Knight arsenal, including the trusty Bryar pistol, a stormtrooper rifle, thermal detonators, repeater gun (picked up in Dark Forces from the defeated Dark Troopers), turret gun and Imperial Machines mines. Perhaps the most exciting new weapon to be found in Jedi Knight is the lightsaber. Players can now wield their way to Rebel victory with this most venerable of Jedi accouterments. In Jedi Knight, there are 21 levels. Plus 8 multi-player levels. 5 deathmatch levels & 3 capture the flag levels.
While Jedi Knight is an exceptional single-player game, the new network mode offers an amazing multiplayer/multisystem experience. Players can battle it out in real-time with up to eight opponents in two different modes: Total Combat and Territory Combat. Total Combat pits individual players against each other in an all-out battle. Territory Combat can be played in either single or team mode as players battle in a quasi "capture the flag" challenge to seize territory belonging to their opponents.
Jedi Knight allows Star Wars fans to experience the amazing -- and deeply mystical -- powers of the Force for the first time. Use of the Force is based on an experience points system that allows players to customize the game. As each mission unfolds, players earn experience points that are tallied when a mission is complete. The Force abilities -- either Dark side or Light -- are then awarded accordingly. Basic powers include enhanced jumping, the ability to see through walls, healing powers and the ability to retrieve weapons and objects from far away.