STAR WARS JEDI KNIGHT: JEDI ACADEMY / DEVELOPER & PUBLISHER: ASPYR / PLATFORM: SWITCH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Initially released in 2003 on PC and the original chunky Xbox, this is the third game in the Jedi Knight series, or fourth in the Dark Forces series (luckily, the makers didn’t add that to the mouthful of a title too). It’s ported over to the Switch by Aspyr, the team that also brought across the previous game in the series as well the excellent achievement of getting Civilization VI running on handhelds.
Like what came before, Jedi Aceademy is a third-person action game / first-person shooter. Unlike the previous game, Jedi Outcast, this one leans more into the third person side, starting you off with a light sabre rather than a blaster.
The story tells the final chapter of Jaden Korr, a former Imperial soldier who’s now on the side of the Alliance and has joined Luke Skywalker's Jedi Academy. The academy setting acts as a tutorial, teaching you how to use your force powers which initially consist of “Detect” which can show hidden objects, “Push and Pull,” and “Speed.” As you progress, you can choose to unlock new powers or increase the rank of the ones you already have.
The gameplay holds up well for a seventeen year old game - movement is a little clunky but there’s no camera control issues like you'd see in a lot of third person games from that era. Doing somersaults and using force powers is fun, as is cutting down enemies with your light sabre. The gun play, on the other hand, isn’t so good, and the level design is repetitive, made all the more confusing with lack of map. Finding a multiplayer game takes a while, and loading causes occasional issues with the sound and when you die it takes far too long to revive. Once you're in, however, the gameplay is as good as it’s always been and has a much higher skill level than the single player.
Jedi Academy still stands out as one of the better Star Wars games, and this is a decent port. If you want to play it online then get it while the player base is hot!