Sure we all love a good Star Wars game every now and then, especially when they are good. We take into consideration that it is a universe that is hard to mimic into an interactive experience let alone define it to one type of game style. This has lead to the atrocious Rebel Assault games as well as the mediocre, but truly fun IMO Obi Wan. Sure the XBox has not seen the best of what LucasArts has to offer, but the Cube has, Rogue Leader anyone? With this said you are probably wondering why this game is hitting the average mark at ZTGD, well the answer is simple. It drags itself into a boring and repetitive, find this key, hit this switch, go back and do it again flavor that loses it’s appeal early on. It’s saving factors? Well if you enjoy wielding a lightsaber, which we all do, then you may find salvage in the multi-player Jedi Arena. With that said let us delve into Outcast a bit more and truly dissect what could have made this game an instant classic.
With the power of Nintendo and Microsoft as the building block of this “port” LucasArts truly showed no sign of utilizing the hardware. The frame rate at times is so out of sync it interferes with the gameplay too much. An aiming reticle off center for a brief second followed by a pause for the game to load a texture is downright annoying. Speaking of textures did I mistakenly switch my Xbox and Cube for an N64?? These are blurry as can be, poor use of the compression technologies leave this game looking like a Perfect Dark add-on. Surely they could have done better than this..whew I hate it when companies cash in on a quick port license! Did I mention the FMV sequences? Surely the Xbox and Cube can handle more than 320 resolution…can’t they?? With all the technical gripes aside this game is far from ugly, decent character models mixed with lush environments that scream Star Wars are abound, the problem is they still look dated next to some of today’s finer looking games, no I am not going to make Halo reference here…nope nope nope.
OK we all know John Williams rocks the house, his harmonies are so beautiful they bring tears to my eyes. LucasArts is always quick to throw the William’s score into any SW game making the sound an instantly great thing. Problem here lies in the sound effects, whew what happened!! It seems as if they are somehow delayed, you shoot a blaster rifle and a split second later you hear it! Whaddup with that? As for the quality of the effects..very nicely done, taken direct from the movie. The voices are a bit tacky and uninspired but I can let that slide, I just don’t understand the delay, it isn’t like either system has a sound issue.
Alright have you played an FPS before? Then you know the drill here, all the same rules apply so I won’t go into some boring detail about how to play the game, that’s what instruction manuals are for dammit. What I am going to (bitch) about is the lack of multi-player options! I mean for Christ’s sake the reason people still play Jedi Knight on the PC is for the multi-player!! LucasArts leaves us with a shitty two player Jedi Arena mode…TWO PLAYERS! Where is the love…where is the XBox Live support…AT LEAST GIVE ME A CO-OP OR SYSTEM LINK OPTION! Ok I am calm again whew. As it stands the multi-player will intrigue you for a day or two, wielding lightsabers against (one) buddy is fun for a spell but gets old just the same. I do find it funny the AI players have the ability to chat..hmmm I wonder how on earth they do that.
What it all amounts to is a huge disappointment, I am such a huge Star Wars fan and on the PC this game rocked. Too bad it was over a year ago and since then nothing was added to even warrant me playing it again. XBox Live support or even a smoother frame rate would have helped but as it is I am truly let down. If you have never enjoyed the universe of Kyle Katarn then you may take to it, but if you have been down this road before steer clear unless you enjoy being disappointed. A truly wasted effort on an otherwise astounding game, perhaps next time. Rental at best.