BioWare may be all about dragons and space-robots nowadays, but a decade ago they’d set aside their wizard hats and pulse rifles to binge hard on martial arts movies. The result was Jade Empire, from that interesting phase when BioWare shifted from, y’know, RPG-y RPGs, to their more action-focused modern ways. It’s a mess in a lot of ways, but it may be interesting to you. It won’t cost you much to find out, as EA have set Jade Empire free on Origin for a while.
Jade Empire’s interesting for BioWare trying their hand at beat ’em up-ish fighting like Devil May Cry or something, all in real time with different equippable stances that have different moves. Figuring out which styles to invest in and which to combo together, along with which companions to bring along to, was pretty interesting. I found it pretty bad compared to actual fighting games, though, and too easy to cheese.
If you dig BioWare RPGs, hey, Jade Empire is a BioWare RPG! You’ll travel a world, chat, help people, make world-changing moral decisions, and maybe even do some kissing. It’s wonky, but interesting – especially for free.
Head on over to Origin to grab it for free. Claim it now and you’ll have it for keepsies. Yes, you’ll need an Electronic Arts account and yes you’ll need the Origin client, but if you consider either of those to be deal-breakers when it comes to free games, perhaps rather than going on about it – as you do every gosh darn time – perhaps try saying “You got me again, Ian Arts! You scamp you!” then shake your fist and make a grumpy growling noise and I’m sure you’ll feel a lot better.