Jade Empire

a game by Microsoft
Platform: XBox
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 1 review
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What does Bioware plus an RPG equal? Apparently assured success, which is exactly what Jade Empire has. By taking some of the better aspects from Knights of the Old Republic and adding real time action, an entirely new story based Chinese lore, and a highly functional and dynamic control system, you end up with a game that out performs almost all of its competition.

So what's so great about Jade Empire? It really comes down to how the entire game comes together. To start, a solid story is developed with twists and turns that will keep you pushing well into the night. You really find yourself absorbed into the story early on and it keeps you till the end. If you played Knights of the Old Republic, you'll recognize a similar story telling style that kept you guessing till the end.

The gameplay follows suit with a dynamic action style RPG. There are so many different ways to attack, its hard to find any compliant at all. You can change your attack style at will, which is a unique style such as using a sword or turning into a giant toad, use your chi (magic) to increase the strength of you attack, or slow things down so you can better position yourself for attack using focus. There are meters for your health, chi, and focus to keep track of how much of each you have left.

As with most RPGs leveling up allows growth in areas of your choice and in Jade Empire you'll be able to choose an increase between your health, chi, and focus potential and then select between upgrading the strengths of the different attack styles. It has a similar feel to Knights of the Old Republic again and it works as well if not better.

Both the graphics and audio seal the deal with stellar performances. From the environments, to the voice-overs, to the cutscenes, Jade Empire creates an entire experience that more then justifies its cost.

Jade Empire is another Bioware creation that continues their legacy as some of the best RPG developers around. Jade Empire is probably one of the best RPGs you'll play this year.

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