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Have You Played... Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy?

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This is one of the less celebrated of the classic Star Wars games (now decreed to be non-canonical by the House of Mouse). Don’t get me wrong; it’s no KotOR or Jedi Outcast, but there’s a lot to like under the hood of Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. Or, possibly, inside the tauntaun.

The plot of this is pretty simple. Luke is the master of a school for new Jedi. You’re Jaden, a new recruit, just on the way there, but your ship is attacked! In fact, the whole school is! Only a handful of you survive to continue your training, whilst also trying to thwart a nefarious Sith plot. And so on. Your own master is Kyle “Better than Skywalker” Katarn, who, I swear to god, why wouldn’t they have him in the new films? But anyway. You get sent out on various stand alone missions to different planets, some involving some (admittedly pretty loose) combat, others a bit of platforming. Or, y’know, jumping around on Dune-esque sandworms.

As with most Star Wars games you contend with a pull to the Dark side or the Light, represented by whether you pick passive or aggressive force powers (which is a laugh, because you can still hurl people off cliffs with Force Push) and how much you hate Rosh, a fellow student and an irredeemable cheating prick. From my assessment of Roth you may be able to guess which side of the force I usually swing to…

A lot of my attraction to Jedi Academy was because it has a better character creator than Knights of the Old Republic. You can be a Twi’lek and choose the configuration of your head tentacles, and if you want to have e.g. bright turquoise skin. Plus you get to design your own lightsaber! You can make it purple or yellow! So, not a game if you’re a hardcore Star Wars purist, I suppose. It’s still, in my opinion, the closest you get to being your own Jedi, RPG style, and it’s always in Star Wars themed sales for about two quid.

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Alice Bell

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RPS's dep ed. Small person powered by tea and and enthusiasm for video game romances. Send me interesting etymological facts and cool horror games.

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