About Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
The authors made a big step since the first DF game – Windows platform, use of DirectX, but still it runs well on weaker computers than the best of those days. Of course, from today's point of view, the graphics is old – 8-bit colors, blocky character models, blocky maps, no spectacular visual effects. On the other side, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II utilizes live-action cinematics, which is not common. Compared to the first game, it offers third-person view which is important for lightsaber fights – it gives the player better overview of the battle area.
Strong points of the gamer are in a good story, a music and a lightsaber with the Force powers. Compared to the new Jedi Academy, the number of special moves with lightsaber is very limited – there are just two: the primary attack is a short chop, the secondary attack is a long deadly swing. As in Jedi Outcast, Kyle does not have the lightsaber at the beginning. The Force Powers are similar – some are missing in JK:DF2, some are missing in JO, but the basic Pull/Speed/Jump is present as it is in the whole series.
So the major advantage of Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II over the other 3D shooters is the presence of Star Wars elements. This also includes the decision point in the latter part of the game – join the light side or the dark side of the Force. This decision is based on the behavior of the player since the start of the game. You can kill innocent beings or leave them be, you can choose dark side powers or light side powers. The Force powers selection itself is nicely done. You get achievement points in the form of stars – for some level completion, for all secrets found in a level – and then you assign these points to the Force powers you want to use.
Compared to the previous Dark Forces, Jedi Knight comes with a multiplayer. As I recall, the most favourite dueling map was the one called Battleground Jedi – great duels, great times on MSN Gaming Zone with a great game.