Attack of nostalgia in the (quite) successful port of an iconic title.
The premiere of Jedi Academy took place without a huge campaign or huge media hype. Aspyr – the publisher of the port – continues its policy of bringing the Star Wars classics to the current generation consoles, and they are doing quite well. Jedi Academy is the second title – after Jedi Outcast – on PS4. In addition to the single player campaign, we also got a multiplayer mode, which is a kind of icing on the cake.
“Great, kid. Don’t get ___y. ” – Han Solo*
Let’s start with the technical issues. Yes – the game has been pulled up to 1080p and 30 frames, thanks to which the gameplay itself looks really good on a large TV. Unfortunately – the quality of the textures has not been improved, which means that the game will visually reject younger audiences who are looking for another game in the world of Star Wars after Fallen Order. For older players who grew up on the original, it will be a throwback to the past, but even though I am one of the older fans, I have the feeling that it might have been tempting to introduce a little bit of quality to the textures and appearance of the levels in general. It does not offend so much inside, but as soon as we leave the building – it starts to scare a bit. The animations are very smooth and well adapted to modern consoles – there is nothing to cling to here and all the acrobatics and special attacks performed with the lightsaber still look really epic. If I had to stick to anything else, there are cutscenes. Pixelosis is cruel on the big screen as it was brought alive from the original. And it was enough to simply display them in a smaller window, if no one was working on improving their quality anymore. This is something I can stick to quite a bit, because it disturbed my reception of the game, which I gave a credit of trust knowing that it was only a port.
“Stay on target.” – Gold Five
There is one more thing to mention and to get used to. Control. Moving control from the mouse and keyboard to the controller always requires minor changes. In Jedi Academy it was handled quite well, but you have to dig a bit in the sensitivity settings because what we have set at the beginning can be a bit frustrating. Especially in third-person mode when we try to perform special moves. However, after adjusting the sensitivity for yourself – everything is fine. It should also be mentioned – for those who did not play the original version – that in Jedi Academy we have a choice of first-person and third-person modes. In the first-person view, we shoot all kinds of firearms, throw grenades. In third-person mode – we fight with a lightsaber.
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” – Darth Vader
The single-player campaign is still one of the best stories ever told in Star Wars games. Sure – she’s aged a bit, but the amount of flavors, characters and great dialogue is really huge. Let’s add the different endings and the possibility to play on the dark and light side of the force and we have everything a Star Wars fan needs. Despite the rather linear missions (Kill the smugglers, defuse the bombs) and the lack of an open world, the game is not simple and accessible – due to the lack of hints, tags and tutorials known from today’s titles. Most of the player has to find out, figure it out for himself. And that’s all the beauty of this campaign on the one hand and a minus for younger players on the other. I had fun before, but while browsing the discussions about the title on the Internet, I found a lot of comments that indicate that the Jedi Academy was the cause of many outbursts. Finally, I will add one more small point – remember that the plot is in no way canonical. This is where Luke Skywalker is rebuilding the Jedi Order! Kylo Ren doesn’t exist! Everything happens as part of Star Wars Legends.
“There’s always a bigger fish.” – Qui-Gon Jinn
In addition to the single player campaign, we also got a multiplayer mode. It has not been modified, but transferred alive to modern platforms. Despite many perturbations right after the premiere (console and PC players on one server, which ended up being literally impossible to play a match due to the advantage of PC players), I did not encounter any major problems while playing the title. Interestingly – I had a lot of fun because I finally got the title in which you can conduct epic lightsaber duels with the use of the Force! Add to that 20 different maps, up to 32 players at the same time, and a lot of different game modes. There is something to do for long hours. There is one more thing that speaks in favor of this form of playing in Jedi Academy – there is practically no competition on the market for this title!
“The Force will be with you. Always. ” – Obi-Wan Kenobi
To sum up – it is a well-functioning port that could be slightly polished visually. The low quality of textures, fairly closed levels, and some of their linearity can be a deterrent. However, if you are a fan of the original or Star Wars, this is a must for you. Younger players should also try, because the gameplay itself is significantly different from what we are used to in modern titles. I don’t want to use clichés, but “that’s how it used to be”. As a fan of Star Wars and the original, I rate the game highly and highly recommend it to everyone.
* All quotes are in English because the original ones sound best.
Thank you Aspyr Media for providing the review key.