My latest PC Review: "Jade Empire: Special Edition" - 7.9
Great warriors, epic battles, magic, ghosts and demons- Jade Empire is by far one of the most captivating RPGs out there. Originally released for the Xbox in 2005, Jade Empire finally, after two years, makes its way to the PC, and the waiting was worth it. Though a bit out of date, the game is still able to produce great thrills, a wide cast of characters and a memorable storyline that keeps getting better and better as the game moves on.
Jade Empire is an RPG based in an oriental fantasy world, where spirits, gods and demons rule the fates of men. One promising martial arts student is sent by his master to rediscover himself and learn about his destiny. This seemingly simple quest quickly turns into a mission of save the entire empire for a power crazed tyrant. The main story is maybe a bit of a cliché, but the game storyline will take some major twists and turn before the end, and there are much, much more sub-stories to uncover and solve. Along the game the main character will be joined by what the game refers to as "followers". Each of these followers has a unique ability that can help the player along the way. You can only have one follower traveling with you at the time, but you can pretty much switch them on the fly, while not engaged in combat. Another cool feature is the "alignment" meter which monitors your character's inclement towards one of two philosophies: the "One palm" philosophy teaches towards harmony with all living things (the "good" philosophy), while the "Closed fist" philosophy encourages towards self empowerment (the "bad" philosophy).
I mentioned before the main "problem" of the game- the graphics. For a game that was first released in 2005, the graphics are not up to date with a lot of 2007 games, and there are a few visual bugs here and there, like walking through objects and the occasional missing floor and walls. The most annoying glitch happens usually after you enter a new area in the game- the camera suddenly falls down and gives you a thorough look of the floor, and nothing else. This glitch is rare and can be easily fixed by reloading a previously saved game; a bit of a nuisance, but nothing too major. Apart from said "setbacks", the graphics of the game are quite decent, making for an enjoyable journey through a verity of beautiful and authentic environments.
The best quality about Jade Empire is its replay value. Every quest and side-quest in the game can be solved in a verity of ways, depending on the alignment of the main character and how much work is the player willing to put into said quest. Adding the different rewards, items, followers, weapons and fighting **** the player can collect throughout the game, you are looking at a solid 20 hours (at least) of gameplay.
All in all, Jade Empire provides the player with a worthwhile experience. Even those who do not usually play RPGs will probably enjoy this game for its compelling story and characters complemented with some decent visuals and great gameplay.
Edited on Jun 27, 2007 3:44 pm GMT
Edited 2 total times.