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Jade Empire

Platform(s): PC, Xbox
Genre: Adventure
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: BioWare

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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1. 'Jade Empire' (Xbox)

by Rainier on Feb. 13, 2005 @ 12:30 a.m. PST

Jade Empire will let players master dozens of martial arts fighting styles and mystical powers that match the dazzling spectacle of Hong Kong action movies like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." The game features a deep, rich story in the tradition of BioWare, which most recently developed Star Wars®: Knights of the Old RepublicTM. Players can train under their master's watchful eye to learn powerful martial arts and mystical powers. When danger threatens, players will travel across the world, from the harsh mountains of the Land of Howling Spirits to the lush gardens of the Imperial City. In their adventures, players will face powerful human and supernatural foes, learn exotic and magical martial arts and discover the darkest secrets of the world. Only by mastering the greatest fighting styles and defeating the most powerful enemies will players earn their place as a master of martial arts in the world of Jade Empire.

Kris Graft: BioWare knows kung fu. They've been doing their homework for Chinese Mythology 101, and Jade Empire will showcase the melding of folklore and good old-fashioned butt-whoopin', Bruce Lee style. It will be more focused on action than BioWare's other RPG offerings, and it's looking better graphically than the somewhat ugly KOTOR series. Like KOTOR you will have choices to follow a certain life path. It is unlikely that JE will disappoint when it is released. Until then, keep your patience, young grasshopper.

Corey Owen: When every game a company releases is heralded as the best RPG of all time, people begin to expect great things. I am one of those people. Combining the greatest traits of RPGs released in the past decade and a real-time fighting engine that puts many fighters to shame, this game will bring many RPG haters to the Bioware following. Their incredible storytelling ability, graphical prowess, audio adeptness, and gameplay mastery make any game Bioware touches turn to gold.

Gordy "XyzzySqrl" Wheeler: When it comes to Jade Empire, I only really have to say four words to explain why I'm looking forward to it: "BioWare's Martial Arts RPG." While that's technically three words and an abbreviation, it still carries the message well. Filled with demons and magic, BioWare has neatly harnessed a kind of mythical China-as-it-could've-been that just screams to be played around in. It's a world where fighting styles shift smoothly at the touch of a button, where respect comes either from a persuasive argument or at the end of a fist, and where ham can be wielded as a deadly improvised weapon. (Hey, this is still BioWare we're talking about. They've got some entertaining people working there.) This is one of those games you buy a system for. The major reasons I've been watching Jade Empire so hard are its combat scheme and its setting. So far, combat in the movies we've seen has been swift and painful-looking, with a lot of variety between styles. Sure, there's bound to be an epic and sprawling plot. Again, this is BioWare. I don't doubt that there'll be tons of engaging sidequests, as well. It's just that by and large I'm in this one for the chance to get out there and prove to a legion of assassins and thugs that their kung-fu is insufficiant in comparison to my own, and Jade Empire looks like it'll serve up a lot of ways to do that.



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