Jade Empire
Special Edition

Format: PC
2K Games

5 026555 051910
Age Restrictions: 15+
02 March 2007

Step into the role of an aspiring martial-arts master and follow the path of the Open Palm or the Closed Fist. In this action-RPG, your choices and actions will determine the fate of the entire Jade Empire. Will you prevent the destruction of this beautiful land, or will you crush it beneath your heel? Are you a warrior who uses his strength and fighting mastery to bring peace, or will you instead use your powers to bring pain and ruin...?

Okay, first things first... With Jade Empire: Special Edition my first thoughts were: "why would a games company release an old Xbox game for the PC?". After playing this game for quite some time I'm still not sure if I'm any the wiser. It seems a little dated by today's standards, even if its still a great game.

The game is set against the backdrop of a fantasy universe that is quite obviously based on ancient China. The story is pretty straightforward - and not overly original. You are one of the top students who is studying at a martial arts school. When your teacher, Master Li, is kidnapped, you take it upon yourself to head off and track down his kidnappers and bring them to justice.

On you travels you can collect a number of followers to accompany you on your quests. However, you can only have one companion following you at any one time. But, if you've gathered more than one companion you can swap them at will at almost any time during play. Each companion is skilled in one form of martial arts combat, so picking the right one to accompany you on various missions is important.

The developers have added a few more fighting styles, but for most gamers that won't really add that much to what is already a well respected game.

Enhanced PC features include customisable, intuitive controls including support for game-pads and keyboard/mouse; increased graphics resolutions and new visual effects; new monsters and enemies; new fighting styles; improved combat AI and difficulty levels; and a new world map interface.

Sadly, most determined seasoned gamers will easily finish this after a couple of days playing. But that's not to say this game is bad - far from it. It's just a shame it feels a little dated.

Nick Smithson

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