Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast is a first person shooter/third person action game hybrid released in March 2002 for PC, and November 2002 for Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, and Mac OS X. It was developed by Raven Software and published by LucasArts in North America, and by Activision for other regions. Publishing for Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube was controlled by Vicarious Visions. The first game in the Jedi Knight series to be powered by a Quake III: Team Arena-based engine, the game featured overhauled graphics compared to Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, and a heavily redone lightsaber combat system which would serve as the backbone and appeal for the later entries in the Jedi Knight series. The Xbox version of the game is not compatible with the Xbox 360. Jedi Outcast received a sequel in Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.
It is a time of relative peace in the galaxy. Eight years have passed since the Empire's defeat at the Battle of Endor, but the New Republic still struggles to restore order and vanquish its enemies.
After defending the Valley of the Jedi from the evil Jerec and nearly falling to the dark side himself, former Jedi Knight Kyle Katarn has severed his connection with the Force and returned to his mercenary ways. With his longtime partner, Jan Ors, Kyle continues to aid the Republic in the fight against the Imperial Remnant.
As the Remnant launches its latest gambit to regain control of the galaxy, Kyle and Jan have been sent by the New Republic to investigate the planet Kejim, home to a long-dead Imperial outpost....
After defeating Dark Jedi Jerec at the Valley of the Jedi (as seen in Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight) and almost falling to the dark side of the Force (a story told in Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith), Kyle Katarn abandons the Jedi ways and becomes a mercenary again. Together with his long-term partner Jan Ors he completes different missions around the galaxy.
This time he receives an important message from Mon Mothma, who tells him, that the New Republic intelligence intercepted an Imperial Remnant message, mentioning some Reborn and the Valley of the Jedi incident. This brings Kyle and Jan to the planet of Kejim, where a small Imperial outpost is located. Through their investigation they learn, that the Remnant forces make experiments with crystals from a planet Artus Prime. While fighting off the Imperials there, Kyle sees, that someone experimented with the miners from this world and eventually meets face to face with the main figure behind the veil – Desann, a powerful Dark Jedi. The latter captures Jan and order his apprentice Tavion to execute the pilot, a tragic moment, which brings much hatred and anger within Kyle, making him go to Ruusan to gain powers from the Valley of the Jedi.
The crusade against Desann brings Katarn to Jedi Academy in Yavin 4 and meet with Luke Skywalker, who knew Desann as a former Jedi apprentice to have gone rogue and fall to the dark side. Kyle also wants to get his lightsaber back, but Luke asks the former Rebel agent to pass the tests at the Academy before rushing into battle with a sword. After completing all the trials, Katarn retrieves the lightsaber – much to Luke's surprise – and continues his journey to Nar Shaddaa, a possible lead to Desann.
While dealing with different thugs in the Vertical City and chasing Reelo Baruk, a minor crime lord, dealing with the Imperials, Kyle rescues Lando Calrissian, who was investigating the mercs himself – a group of bounty hunters showed up on Bespin prior, and Lando wanted to resolve the situation in Cloud City.
After escaping from Nar Shaddaa, Kyle and Lando deal with bounty hunters on Bespin, as well as encountering the Reborn warrior, a Force sensitive, infused with the powers from the Jedi valley. Kyle would engage in a duel many of these during his journey. It is revealed, that they are led by Tavion, the one responsible for Desann operation in Cloud City. After defeating her, Katarn learns that her master and the Imperials hide in the Leniko belt.
Kyle and Luke are again reunited, this time on the Imperial facility, which prepares troopers, ships and AT-ST to attack Yavin 4. In one of the cells Kyle meets Jan Ors, who appears to be alive and kept in secret to uncover the location of Valley of the Jedi. Galak Fyyar is a major Imperial figure, assisting Desann in his revenge against the Jedi Order, and actually one responsivle for the experiments. Aside from the Reborn, he made special shadowtroopers to fight New Republic and the Jedi. The admiral is defeated however in the last moments before the destruction of his ship, the Doomgiver. The Imperials manage to begin their occupation though with many attacking the Academy, buying time for Desann to make a ritual in the heart of one of the old temples. Kyle passes many ancient traps to find the fallen Jedi and engages him in the underground hall. After his perish, the remaining Imperial forces and Reborn are taken prisoner, while Luke meets with Jan and Kyle in the great hall of the Jedi Academy, to offer Katarn a place at their Academy.
Work began on Jedi Outcast when LucasArts began a contractual arrangement with Raven Software in the spring of 2001 to produce the next entry in the Jedi Knight series. The crew at Raven Software began work quickly on a prototype level, which showed off the power of GHOUL 2 and their ability to make curved architecture for Imperial missions. The prototype level later became the Alzoc III demo mission, included with the console variants of the game and released separately from the PC version as a demo. This mission was to be shown off later in the year at E3.
LucasArts was impressed with Raven Software's work, and development was soon pouring out. In the first version of the prototype mission, the Stormtroopers throughout the mission were actually the Klingon enemies from a previous Raven title, Star Trek: Elite Forces, repainted white for aesthetics. These were later refined to become the modern stormtrooper model. Several other notable changes occurred at this point. For instance, Tavion was originally supposed to be male, with her model becoming the Jedi Trainer model. Originally, Raven intended for Tavion to follow a "Bruce Lee" appearance.
On May 17, 2001, LucasArts announced that they were working on a new Dark Forces game. A few details were let out, including a list of locations to be featured in the game. The following day, LucasArts gave a full demonstration of the game, showing lightsaber and force combat, as well as the abilities of companion NPCs such as Lando and Jan Ors. They announced that the graphical capabilities of the Quake 3 engine were improved upon, including a doubled polygon capacity. A few subtle details differed from the final game, including the heads up display and the animations. Some of the animations and sounds from Jedi Outcast (most notably, death animations) would later appear in Soldier of Fortune II.
In July, Pat Lipo noted that Rich Whitehouse was brought onto development to handle the multiplayer bots. Rich later developed the whole of the multiplayer experience, and became the sole credited multiplayer programmer. Rich would later develop mods for the game including Hydroball and HAPPYLAND.
There are a few inconsistencies between the console versions of the game and the PC version. The HUD is noticeably different, and, among other things, Trip Mines and other weapon and prop models (such as the Imperial shuttle, on the Gamecube version) looked completely different. On the console version of the games, cinematics are pre-rendered from the PC version of the game, and played back using BINK Video Player.
Several developers from Raven Software have made it publicly known that Jedi Outcast was, for all intents and purposes, their favorite game developing experience.
|Artus Mine||Artus Prime|
|Yavin Temple||Yavin 4|
|Nar Shaddaa Streets||Nar Shaddaa|
|Nar Shaddaa Hideout|
|Nar Shaddaa Starpad|
|200px||Cairn Bay||Cairn Installation|
|Yavin Swamp||Yavin 4|
Jedi Outcast was very well received amongst critics, earning between 85%-90% on Metacritic depending on versions, with the PC version earning a 92%. It received an Editor's Choice award from IGN. Critics praised the lightsaber combat, mature storyline, and excellent (at the time) graphics. Critics continually refer to it as one of the best Star Wars action games out there. The puzzle sections of the game received mixed reactions, with some critics praising the puzzles for their addition of variety into the game, and some critics finding them frustrating for an action game to include. It was also felt that the game had a slow start.
The GameCube and Xbox versions were not as well received by critics. Criticisms were directed at the clunky controls and the inability to see well in low-light situations. They were nonetheless praised however.
Jedi Outcast was probably the first Star Wars game to fully introduce an opportunity for the fans to create new content for the game. With multiplayer being especially popular with the players, a large collection of maps, characters, mods and other stuff was made.
- Dark Forces
- Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight
- Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith
- Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
-  - Jedi Outcast on Wookieepedia