Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Adequate, but nothing incredible.
  2. 70
    Compelling narrative and crippled combat make Jade Empire a case of form over function -- and depending on what you want from a single-player RPG, that might be totally OK. It's short (in the 20-hour neighborhood for first-timers) and sweet; just don't let the premise trick you into expecting gameplay that isn't altogether there.
  3. Not only are there better looking, more advanced games on the shelves now, there are also simply better games out there; this genre hasn't stood still since Jade Empire came out.
  4. 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.
  5. It's not perfect, but it's a great action game with a unique setting and cast. PC gamers looking for a game that doesn't require an upgrade or a rebuild should definitely check it out while they're waiting for their DX10 video cards to arrive.
User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 193 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 35
  2. Negative: 3 out of 35
  1. Mar 11, 2011
    10
    A little weak on the story at some points, but with amazing gameplay and incredible atmosphere, thanks to the good music and level design.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. Full Review »
  2. May 23, 2011
    6
    If you had trouble playing Mass Effect you will probably have trouble playing Jade Empire. I'm a huge fan of KoToR, Mass Effect 2, and DragonIf you had trouble playing Mass Effect you will probably have trouble playing Jade Empire. I'm a huge fan of KoToR, Mass Effect 2, and Dragon Age Origins but Jade Empire only resembles these games in it's technical aspects. The narrative is bland and the setting/characters are an alarmingly stereotypical depicting of Asian culture. The PC version also has many technical problems with the nearly impossible to navigate menu. Personally I think the graphics were pretty good for it's time but that's coming from a KoToR background. Basically, if you are KoToR fan like me who was expecting a similar game in Jade Empire, you may be disappointed. Full Review »
  3. C.J.
    Apr 4, 2009
    9
    A fantastic game. After playing Mass Effect, I went out and bought every BioWare game I could find, including Knights of the Old Republic and A fantastic game. After playing Mass Effect, I went out and bought every BioWare game I could find, including Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, simply because I couldn't afford to have missed these brilliant games at the prices they are being sold for now. Having a strong interest in Chinese history, Jade Empire appealed to me immediately. As with Mass Effect, Jack Wall has produced another hit-and-miss soundtrack, with slow, drab tracks followed by thunderous, spectacular masterpieces. The yu pipes and taiko drums prove to be the saving grace here, and the Ancient China-based theme of Jade Empire certainly benefits from their presence. The graphics, whilst not brilliant, are more than adequate. I did, however, play the "Special Edition" PC version, which has been obviously heavily modified as opposed to its Xbox counterpart, so my perspective may be somewhat skewed. I found the characters enjoyable, with vibrant colours and intricate clothing designs making them all the more appealing. I was surprised to read that my personal choice of character, Monk Zeng, was not even in the original release of the game! Good thing then that BioWare had the presence of mind to return him to the cast for the Special Edition release. Voice acting is above average, which is always a plus with a dialogue-heavy RPG, and there are familiar voices involved. I believe I even heard Nathan Fillion in there, whom I had no idea did voice acting for games. There were also no bugs, crashes or sudden errors of any kind here, which plagued my experience when playing through both of the KotOR titles. On the negative, I found Jade Empire's one and only major flaw to be the combat system, which was far too basic. The AI was not particularly brilliant and the combat move sets for each style were very limited. This alone strikes one point from my final score. Nevertheless, if you enjoy BioWare's other renowned high standard RPGs like KotOR, you should certainly not miss this game. For $10 (Australian), there's really no excuse. Full Review »