Average User Score: 8.2Dec 14, 2012I'll start this review by saying I haven't finished the game yet, my guess is that I'm around halfway through the main story. I'll begin by saying that this game is absolutely beautiful - if you're into your graphics then this is the game for you. Having said this, you'll need a pretty decent system to run it at full settings. Seriously, when I saw the screenshots on steam I was pessimistic and instantly thought they were concept art or something, but that is literally how it looks in-game. The atmosphere of the jungle setting is perfect, I feel a lot more encouraged to scout out enemy camps than in the last Far Cry game, and stalking through the brush to avoid road patrols or to hunt your animal prey is exhilarating to say the least. The upgrade/perks system is as effective as it is in any game, and helps drive you to continue on with the story to unlock new abilities, although this could be a bad point for many people who want complete freedom. The crafting system is also good, although when finding materials from animals, selling any excess items is tedious and they quickly fill up your bag if you don't keep track of what materials you need. Also, as someone else has pointed out, animals become quite useless aside from atmosphere once you've finished all of your crafting. But the atmosphere they do create is excellent, with a massive roster of animals ranging from sharks to tortoises to birds of paradise.
The characters in the story are great and varied, and the voice acting is pretty good on the whole. Rather disappointingly, I find that the worst voice actor is the main character (the player). He seems to change his tone inappropriately and can be quite over-dramatic at times. This is probably my least liked point about the game. Another negative point is that sometimes the story doesn't really make much sense, there are a few moments where you "wake up" after missions without any explanation how you got there, seemingly just for the sake of progressing the story. Getting around the island is easy thanks to fast travel, much to the dismay of anyone who hates this feature in games, but it also encourages you to raid enemy camps to unlock new fast travel points. Driving can be quite difficult at times, the cars can feel quite floaty at times and easy to crash. Walking can be quite tedious but getting to experience the beauty of the island and the animals makes up for it.
All in all I think it's a fantastic game and definitely worth playing, despite the few bad points I mentioned.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.3Aug 1, 2012I find Jade Empire quite hard to review really, because I wanted to enjoy it so much but I feel somehow let down by it. I found most of the first half of the game to be significantly boring but this is probably because I'm one of those people who has to read *every* dialogue option with *every* npc that can talk in case they have something unique to say. Unfortunately I learnt the hard way that this was not the case, and that everyone literally says pretty much the same list of things albeit slightly differently to fit their characters. About halfway through the game I started skipping a *lot* of dialogue options and this is when it became a lot more enjoyable for me. Thankfully your team members do each have their own storylines and their dialogue options were more fruitful, which was great. The combat mechanic of the game is tricky to review. It starts off difficult because it is unlike anything in any bioware game I've played before, but then you gradually start to realise that it is very easy to exploit. I wouldn't be surprised if somebody managed to finish the game without using the block function a single time. As a result most fights weren't very exciting, especially towards the end of the game. They probably would have been if I had mixed up my styles a bit, but I found no incentive to. The story of the game was good, and lasted a lot longer than I was expecting thanks to a few twists in the plot, but towards the end there were several loading screens telling me that my choices would has dire consequences that I should consider carefully, but I don't actually recall making any decisions at the end. Perhaps it was just my general play-through which influenced it, but it was underwhelming to say the least. The environments that the game is set in are okay, although there are very few to explore so you quickly get quite bored of being in a certain place, especially considering the detail of your surroundings are hampered by outdated graphics. All in all though it's an enjoyable game, especially if you can get it in a steam sale. I managed to get it for around £3 which makes the pounds-per-hour ratio (around 25ish hours) much better than most games I've bought recently. The characters and story are worth that money alone, and the rest of the game can be enjoyed equally as much so long as you don't expect too much from it.… Expand