Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II finally gave Star Wars fans the power that they've always wanted: the ability to use a lightsaber. Released as a follow-up to LucasArts' first shooter, Dark Forces, it continued the story of the mercenary Kyle Katarn as he raced against Sith Lord Jarec to find the legendary Valley of the Jedi, and realize his true Force potential.
Today we add 1997's classic shooter, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, to our growing list of video game classics, presented by MobyGames.com.
MobyGames reviewer Chris Martin highlights two of his favorite aspects of Jedi Knight: the high-quality soundtrack and effects. "John Williams," he states. "The name alone means that LucasArts was smart enough to put REAL soundtracks from the movies into the game, and not just MIDI recreations of them. The weapon fire, the whine of Tie Bombers, and Crunching sound of AT-ST's walking around give the game that much more 'authentic' atmosphere than most 3D-shooters."
While fans were excited to try out the lightsaber, LucasArts certainly left some room for improvement. "The game's biggest selling point is, of course, is the chance to brandish a lightsaber, and it is precisely here that the game blows it," notes MobyGames reviewer Zovni. "When it comes to lightsaber fights the game really comes apart," he explains, "since the collision detection between the swords is poorly realized and you simply go at it smashing all the buttons you can and praying that you hit and don't get hit."
Tell Us Your Stories! We want to hear about your experiences with Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II. Tell us your stories. Why did you love it? What drove you crazy? Remember it fondly with us in the comments below. We'll select some of your thoughts and memories and add it to a Weekend Update to this feature.
Kyle Katarn, a former mercenary and now an ally of the rebels, discovers that he is in fact a Jedi, and is on a quest to find his lightsaber and learn the techniques of the Force. The evil Sith lord Jerec, who was responsible for the death of Kyle's father, is on a quest of his own, searching a mythical place called Valley of the Jedi, where his dark powers could be unleashed. Will Kyle be able to stop Jerec and become a true Jedi without falling to the dark side?
Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II is a sequel to Dark Forces. The game is set in Star Wars universe and its events occur after those depicted in the movie Return of the Jedi (Episode VI). Primarily a first-person, 3D shooter, the game also allows the player to switch to third-person perspective. Kyle can use blasters and rifles to take care of his enemies, and later in the game is also able to fight enemies with a lightsaber.
Moby Games Classic is our chance to look back at the games that helped shape the video game industry with the help of our sister site MobyGames.com. It combines a short history lesson on the title and anecdotes from the Shacknews community.