Jade Empire: Special Edition Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 172 Ratings

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  • Summary: Step into the role of an aspiring martial arts master and follow the path of the Open Palm or Closed Fist. In this multi-award-winning action-RPG, your choices and actions will determine the fate of an empire. Will you prevent the destruction of this beautiful land or crush it beneath your heel? Are you a warrior who uses strength and fighting mastery to bring peace or will your power bring pain and ruin? Enhanced PC features include: Customizable, intuitive controls including support for game-pads and keyboard/mouse. Increased graphics resolutions and new visual effects. New monsters and enemies. New fighting styles. Improved combat AI and difficulty levels. New world map interface. Jade Empire: Special Edition is exclusively available for the PC and features increased graphic resolutions with new visual effects and fighting styles, as well as new monsters and enemies with enhanced AI. The game also includes customizable, intuitive controls and an all-new art book as part of the Special Edition bonus content. [BioWare] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Offers excellent drama in fresh, new settings. Hopefully, the unwashed masses will come to understand its greatness. [Mar 2007]
  2. Translates remarkably well to keyboard control. [Apr 2007, p.72]
  3. Elegant and refreshing. [Apr 2007, p.76]
  4. Jade Empire is non-linear in the most magnificently linear way, and well worth it for those who missed it first time around.
  5. Jade Empire: Special Edition still has strong replay value, with different characters to choose from and different paths to take in terms of alignment.
  6. The controls are fairly decent and simple, but the camera is just terrible. It gets stuck behind objects, above them, pointing at awkward angles, and sometimes an area will load and the camera will begin pointing at the floor. Directly at the floor.
  7. In the end, you can't help but feel that Jade Empire lost its focus in the design phase. No one element really works, no one element really stands out.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 35
  2. Negative: 3 out of 35
  1. Mar 11, 2011
    A little weak on the story at some points, but with amazing gameplay and incredible atmosphere, thanks to the good music and level design. Bioware experience© at it's finest. Expand
  2. May 5, 2012
    Awesome game, very involving story, fleshed out companions, rich dialogue and a lot of roleplaying options. The outcomes are not quite spectacular, but the sheer amount of options give me that great feeling of being there and staying in-character as much as possible. The combat is simple but dynamic and rewarding. The world design and atmosphere are top notch, I wish there were more games like this, with distinct personality. I love the lore and the presentation. The voice acting is also great quality. Expand
  3. AndyS.
    Oct 22, 2007
    This is more like it, an RPG that does not take days to learn tp play. The visuals are good, the story compelling and the control system works. So its "old fashioned"? so what! Its all that a game needs to be. My only quibble is that it is fairly short at 21 hours. Expand
  4. Nov 12, 2011
    Very good game which contains a lot of the stuff of which Bioware were the very best at delivering - excellent story and great characters, excellent voice acting (how on earth did they get John Cleese?) and solid gameplay. Quite beautiful to look at in some parts too. The fighting system is by no means perfect but it's good enough and the mini game brought back some good memories. I was a little disgruntled with the duration of the game, but at today's prices this is very good value for money and you should get at least one playthough out of it. Try it if you haven't already. Expand
  5. Dec 8, 2013
    Worth it?: Overall, this game is worth about $10 (US).

    Graphics, Sound, Interface:

    The characters models, backgrounds, and CG work
    aren't so bad as to be distracting, but they are dated (as this game is from 2005). The style is an odd mix of western cartoon and stereotypical Chinese, and while this isn't bad or distracting, other games from this generation, like LOZ: The Wind Waker, were much stronger in the art department. Overall the art direction definitely seems content to take a back seat to the rest of the game.

    The music, voice acting, and sound effects are all solid. There isn't really much to comment on, other than the sound team did a good job. Again, there wasn't much to laud, but there wasn't much to criticize, either.

    The interface, for the PC version, can be confusing at first. I used a mouse and keyboard, and sometimes I was stuck using trial and error to find what I wanted. This definitely is not an intuitive setup for the game. I cannot comment on gamepad controls. The menus are streamlined, but they are also a bit confusing. Sometimes it would have been easier to look online than to navigate the menu for the purpose of a recently acquired item.


    The story is really in two main parts. The first part takes up most of the game, and does a good job pacing you through to its conclusion. There is lots of intrigue to be had, and very little slowdown at the beginning. Towards the end of the first part, however, you start to run into some pacing issues. Despite this, there isn't much to hinder most players from wanting to get to the goal here.

    The second part of the story is a train-wreck. I will not post any spoilers, but ending this game was neither enjoyable or rewarding. Really, I just wanted to reclaim the space from my HDD and be done with it. Luckily this last segment is only about three or so hours of game play.

    Battle System:

    The battle system fails, but shows a lot of promise. You really want it to do better, and at the start of the game it seems like you will end up having a rewarding experience with the style switching and real-time movement. It just doesn't pan out.

    Overall: I'm being a bit harsh here, but it's because the first five hours of the game made me hopeful and sparked my imagination. The last bit of the game crushed that idealism. I'm giving this a seven because there was so much the team could have done to make a great game. Indeed, it is painful that the last bit of the game is so bad, and I thus I am choosing to weigh the better parts a bit heavier.
  6. Dec 11, 2013
    Jade Empire tells an intriguing story with developed and personalized characters. Unfortunately, the game is marred by frequent crashes and various glitches. The pixelated text doesn't help and it overall seems like a product that's very rough around the edges. Another thing that's not particularly appealing is the outdated visuals. It may've looked good back in 2005, but with the special edition released in 2007, it just doesn't compare to games released in the same time.

    Combat is simplistic enough and works for the most part, but is hindered by an annoying camera angle. Often times, particularly towards the end of the game, boss/mini-boss fights had me resorting towards kiting which became very tedious. Styles are certainly unbalanced, where some are clearly more inferior or superior than others.

    To sum it up, a decent game. The game plays best in chapters 1, 2 and 3 where there's a great deal of intrigue, open environments and a plethora of side quests. The game kinda falls off from chapter 4 onwards, where it becomes completely linear and it feels as if the story is being dragged out. Took me 25 hours to complete after doing the main quest and most side quests.
  7. CastShout
    May 10, 2007
    I bought it on Steam. Quite unstable on WindowsXP. Nothing for the price.

See all 35 User Reviews