Jade Empire: Special Edition Image

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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 167 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. Mar 12, 2012
    One of my personal all-time favorites, and a game that deserves all the accolades I can bestow upon it. Amazing gameplay, clean and crisp graphics, immersive atmosphere, and great music all culminate in an RPG extravaganza that I cannot recommend enough to any RPG gamer out there. This game is a must-have, especially on the PC! Expand
  3. Mar 22, 2012
    Awesome, highly atmospheric game with lots of love for fantasy kung-fu clichés and amazingly cool endings. Do try to play through as an utter, complete villain and be amazed. The only downside is a bit simplistic combat, plus it´s not the longest thing out there, either. But, for any RPG fan, this is a no-brainer. Must play, will enjoy. Expand
  4. Sep 16, 2010
    Awesome game this game have really good fighting system but there is problems too.The style of fighter is extremly slow and style of fighting tiger (magic) is fcking fast.I use it in almost every battle.The dificulti is too much easy for me and when u get the style of lighting dragon u will havent problem defeat everyone in the whole game.Lighting dragon is something like stun for 10 sec so u just hit him with dragon 9 seconds fight by using other style and then u will hit him with lighting dragon again.CASTSHOUT the problem with installing the game DONT MEAN THIS GAME SUCK. if u win the game there is cool difficulty where u play as character u using in the master campaing and u have all your styles and stats but the enemies is extremly strong and whit favourite style fighting tiger (which was maxed) is relly hard to play only the third battle i hope this reviev is helpful.
    ps:The style called mirrabel is good for defeating deamon and the tiger style is for nothing there

  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. Nov 2, 2013
    Bioware games are known, visuals aside, for their unforgettable characters and imersive story telling, unfortunately this is not always the case in Jade Empire.
    Presentation: 7
    In teams of presentation, Jade empire still looks good to the “modern” eye, the art work is appealing despite being a bit cartoonish, the animations are fluid and the menus are easy to navigate (atleast on the GOG version). Although, I experienced a few annoying graphic glitches between loading times, but nothing major.
    Sound: 6
    The sound effects are just average, like in previous bioware games.
    The soundtrack is surprisingly bland and occasionally hard on the ears.
    The voice acting is a mix bag, because Bioware decided it was a good idea to cast american voice actors instead of asian ones. Why is this bad? Because, when I'm exploring a fantasy Asian world, i'm not expecting the NPC's to speak perfect English, it kills the immersion for me. Other than that the voice acting it self, is sill above average.
    Characters an Story: 6
    The Characters are also a mix bag, Wild Flower is the only character in the lot to be remotely original, the rest are just a compilation of badly written stereotypes with uninteresting back stories and inconsequential roles. The only other character worthy of mention is Sir. Roderick, because he's just one of the most hilarious characters I have ever seen in a video game, unfortunately you can't recruit him, go figure!
    The Story it self is ok though. But don't expect nothing spectacular or memorable like in KOTOR or Mass Effect.
    Gameplay: 6
    As customary, in Bioware RPGs, you can recruit party members to aid in combat, but only one can accompany you, though it's possible to switch between the rest at any time. The problem is, other than giving you stat bonuses, your companions are utterly useless, mainly because their I.A is borderline inept.
    The I.A. in general, is also very easy to exploit. To win, you will only need to master 3 styles: Paralyzing palm fallowed by Leaping tiger and/or Dragon sword, which makes the rest of the fighting styles completely useless. Their are also “Harmonious Combos” you can use, by pressing the left and right mouse buttons at the same time, but I rarely used them myself because they take to much time to trigger.
    Their is also no customization options what so ever, you can only choose between a set of predefined characters. The only variables are the fighting styles you can master and the points you can attribute to Health, Chi and Focus.
    The combat system is fun to a certain degree, but it shows limitations when you ramp up the difficulty, mainly because of the iffy controls and wonky camera.
    Nonetheless, Jade Empire still has some cool ideas under the hood, for example: you can switch between styles during a fight to vary your strategy; you can use magic for long range attacks; you can use a combination of flips and rolls as well as slowing time to avoid enemy attacks and also turn yourself in to a freaking daemon or animal!
    Value: 8
    It took me 30 hours (flat) to beat this games without skipping any dialogs and completing ~95% of the side quests. And by the way, it is always fun to replay it a second time as an evil guy, lol!
    Other than that, there is no modding community to speak of, so after the second play through there is no point replaying it again.

    Final Thoughts: If you're looking for a hardcore rpg game, you'll better skip Jade Empire. But if you liked Knights of the old republic and Neverwinter Knights, you might want to give this one a try.

    Final Score: 7
  7. Dec 11, 2012
    This is probably the most blatantly offensive, stereotypical, cookie-cutter, console garbage action RPG I have ever played. Poor game length, awful controls, awkward mini-games, muddy graphics and linear level design round out what is probably the worst game made by Bioware. Don't bother with this even if it's on sale. Expand

See all 35 User Reviews