Verfasst: 27. Oktober
Short version: 76%
Jade Empire is a solid BioWare adventure game with an enjoyable world and storyline, complemented by a frustrating combat system and stripped-down RPG mechanics. It probably won’t be your favourite action game of all time, but you definitely won’t regret playing it.
Jade Empire was created between the releases of two highly successful titles, which later overshadowed its existence, although not without reasons. At its core Jade Empire is nothing more than an attempt to recreate the success of Knights of the Old Republic with a new world based on a highly fictional version of early Imperial China. For the most part, it works well… just don’t expect much historical accuracy, especially on the shoot-em-up stages against the ancient Chinese Luftwaffe. Yes, you read this correctly.
An RPG usually is as good as its story, and the game won’t let you down in this regard. The plot is solid with a few good twists, the characters are memorable enough, and the mandatory romance subplot doesn’t feel as forced as in most games. But it’s hard not to notice that most quests are recycled from KotOR and Neverwinter Nights.
So, why is Jade Empire so obscure and forgotten? For two reasons. The first is the lack of actual role-playing elements, and the second being the combat system.
This was the first title where BioWare tried real-time player-controled action instead of random-based mechanics, and it’s not working too well. Fighting is just mindless button mashing and the hit detection is beyond horrendous; using hand-to-hand styles almost equals a death sentence. As you can imagine, this creates slight
issues in a Kung Fu game.
Still, Jade Empire is a solid title, and highly recommended for those who like BioWare’s KotOR era. Set the difficulty to easy or medium to avoid the frustration over the combat system, and enjoy this little piece of uniqueness.