Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast Review: Welcome To The Dark Side
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is a direct Switch port that fails to bring anything new and enticing to make the game worth recommending.
Opening Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast reveals the game to be exactly as it was on the Gamecube way back in the early 2000s. This port for the Nintendo Switch is just that – a direct port. No more, but sadly, much less, thanks to the removal of the endlessly entertaining multiplayer mode. This game will definitely bring you over to the dark side.
The Dark Side
There were no attempts whatsoever to upgrade anything about the game. The removal of multiplayer options really thrusts into the spotlight all that is wrong with the single-player campaign mode.
When I say “spotlight,” you should note that this is metaphorical, since the game is so dark that even the tiniest bit of glare on your screen will render you virtually blind and very much dead.
The dark side is truly present as you begin your adventure through the storyline, which takes place eight years after Return of the Jedi. You control Kyle Katan, a former Jedi turned mercenary. As you begin your adventure, you’re joined by fellow mercenary, Jan Ors. Later in the game, prominent Star Wars legends including, Lando Calissian and Luke Skywalker, will join you, assuming you haven’t rage quit before then.
Controlling The Chaos
The first thing you’ll notice is that Stormtroopers live up to their reputation of not being able to shoot straight. As they begin to appear, expect them to just blindly shoot at you while going into headless chicken mode.
In the early game, the blaster you are equipped with has a short-range and not much more accuracy than the Stormtroopers, leading to an incredibly annoying cat-and-mouse scenario to see whose randomly scattered gunfire lands first. To make matters worse, friendly fire is a thing, so make sure Jan is out of the way.
This chaos means you will die, a lot. I’d advise hitting save as often as you remember to minimize the frustration, then strap in for the ride as this madness is about to last several levels before you finally get your hands on that sweet lightsaber.
Switches For The Switch
I hope you like switches because in this game you’ll need to find a lot of them. The campaign is packed with switches and keycards which need to be located in order to navigate the different areas. There are also a number of annoying puzzles that involve some hardcore parkour in places.
Once you’ve figured out the controls, things get easier. Sadly, however, they won’t get more interesting for a while. It takes a good few hours of dark rooms, accidentally setting off alarms, and annoying battle encounters before finally being rewarded for your efforts.
Lightsabers To The Rescue
Once you finally gain your lightsaber and begin to tap back into your Jedi Force powers, things improve immensely. The game becomes much more entertaining and engaging as you begin to hack and slash your way through the rest of the story. Lightsaber combat is fun and enjoyable, with some decent mechanics involved.
The story itself is also quite engaging, while the soundtrack, complete with iconic Star Wars music, helps lift this game from being truly dire.
If you can get through the first few levels and cope with the darkness and control system, you’ll be rewarded with a fun few hours of campaign mode. Unfortunately, that’s all you’re rewarded with.
One of the greatest things about the original game was its multiplayer feature, which saw you facing off against other players via local co-op, LAN, or online in several different events, including deathmatch and capture the flag. You could even choose your character, Force powers, and settings for the matches, allowing for hours of entertainment and some great customization.
“As If Millions Of Voices Suddenly Cried Out In Terror And Were Suddenly Silenced”
Unfortunately, removing the multiplayer component reveals just how lackluster the campaign mode is in comparison. Although the game is well priced, unless you’re prepared to spend a few hours being frustrated in order to get to the good parts, steer clear of this port.
2 Out Of 5 Stars
A Switch copy of Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast for the Nintendo Switch was purchased for this review. Star Wars Jedi Knight II is available now for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, and Mac.