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Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Preview by Philip Roland
Developer: Raven Software
Publisher: LucasArts
# of Players: Multiplayer
Genre: Action
ESRB: Teen
Online: Yes
Est. Release: Fall 2003
Date Posted: 5-22-03

Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast was the best selling premium priced PC game in the US, UK, and Germany, and was a great sequel to it's predecessor Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight. Now Raven Software and LucartArts continue the series with Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, adding in a host of new features and improving upon the foundation laid by previous Jedi Knight games.

Jedi Academy will take place one year after the events of Jedi Outcast, and fourteen years after Star Wars: A New Hope. As the gamer, you will assume the role of a student at the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4, training under Luke Skywalker and Kyle Katarn.

The customization options that will be available are possibly the most exciting part of the game. The game allow players to create their own Jedi with customized lightsaber, for use in both single player and multiplayer. In addition to being able to decide how your character will look and dress, you'll also have the chance to choose the race of your character. Races that will be available include Human, Zabrak, Twi'lek, and Kel Dor Jedi. Lightsabers will be created choosing from different hilts and blade colors. You will eventually be able to earn the right to wield a saber staff(ala Darth Maul), or one lightsaber in each hand. Total character customization combinations is estimated to be over 2000.

In addition to the lightsaber, there will also be a host of other Star Wars weapons and Force Powers available, including blasters.

Some of the new features include use of Raven's ARIOCHE terrain system, a rag doll skeletal system, an enhanced vehicle system allowing players to not only drive some vehicles but to just ride in others, new ICARUS II scripting system for single player and multiplayer, and expanded mod support. Modders will have the freedom to design their own Jedi, lightsabers, character outfits, etc.

Jedi Academy is shaping up to look like a great game, and a worthy sucessor to the previous Jedi Knight games. Be looking for it when it arrives this fall.

-- Philip Roland wants a blue lightsaber.

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