Jade Empire: Special Edition Image
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81

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

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 267 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 yourStep 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
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Pelit (Finland)
    95
    Offers excellent drama in fresh, new settings. Hopefully, the unwashed masses will come to understand its greatness. [Mar 2007]
  2. With a great story, tons of missions, beautifully rich settings, satisfying fighting and brilliant characterisation, all swaddled in over 20 hours of play, Jade Empire has transcended its Xbox roots to reincarnate itself as a high-kicking, epic RPG for PC. The chi is strong with this one.
  3. PC Gamer UK
    86
    Elegant and refreshing. [Apr 2007, p.76]
  4. It is arguable that no game that is directly comparable to Jade Empire in the past two years has been better than it, and that in all probability none will be until "Mass Effect" is released later this year.
  5. The game looks dated on the PC, but it offers people a different kind of adventure, one not centered on first person shooting or real time strategy.
  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. 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.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 43
  2. Negative: 5 out of 43
  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. Expand
  2. AndrewK.
    Mar 6, 2007
    10
    Awesome game, best action RPG I've played since Half life 2. has a truly unique, compelling, and intriguing story line that keeps you Awesome game, best action RPG I've played since Half life 2. has a truly unique, compelling, and intriguing story line that keeps you wanting to hurry to the end to save Master Li.. In truth you can take your time and finish all the gloriously illustrated and story voice acted NPC interactions of any game yet to come.. This game even compells you to talk to simple peasants due to the chance you may stumble upon some simple quest that may make your character more powerful. The action is simply wonderful, fluid combat moves non turn based real time combat makes this game very challenging, I suggest playing on easy mode your first time through so you can master the martial arts moves on each successive play of this game I suggest raising the level of difficulty as the game itself will change due to your difficulty rating.. Every choice you make allows you to change your alignment towards good or evil.. or possibly neutral if your choices aren't genuinely good or evil.. but selfish. Overall this game gets 10 out of 10 due to the amount of work put into this game to enhance the realism and draw your further into the world that is The Jade Empire.. I can see this game becoming the next World of Warcraft.. or Everquest.. As long as they don't make the MMORPG suck like Matrix online sucked... or Star Wars galaxies.. etc.. (or even FF12's horrid grinding rate.) I'll be playing this game for a long time, hoping and wishing for a Jade Empire MMORPG... Expand
  3. YermakirumY.
    Mar 4, 2007
    9
    Very good game.
  4. Mar 18, 2017
    8
    A really underrated gem. I originally played the game on Xbox but after playing the PC port, there really isn't any competition as to which isA really underrated gem. I originally played the game on Xbox but after playing the PC port, there really isn't any competition as to which is better. The PC version adds in two new styles as well as upgrades for two weapons, a new character and two more enemies, the Rhino demon and the Ghost Lord, both of which fit right in to the original cast of enemies. The Story is interesting if a bit simple by Bioware standards, but it benefits greatly from an interesting setting in Imperial China that is fairly uncommon to see. The writing is as always well done that added a real sense of immersion, there always felt like there was a whole world out there outside of the land your exploring with use of clever characters and dialogue. One such moment was when the water dragon mentioned how while the Jade Empire prospered many lands suffered because of it which helps add to the feeling of a world outside the Empire. The charatcers and followers are also well written but I always felt as if the team was much smaller and less diverse then it was in reality. This is most likely due to many of the characters having no real impact on the plot with only about half of your followers really needing to be there for plot progression after their initial introduction. In terms of graphics the game does a good job of holding up with a good mix of cartoonish colours and realistic models and faces, which helps the game stand up well over a decade after it's release (so long as you can handle somewhat low poly count and a few graphical glitches here and there). The combat is where most people find fault with the game due to it's simplicity, and they are not wrong. The games combat is very easy to abuse with a combination of Paralyzing palm/Storm dragon and any attack the enemy isn't weak to but I think most people forget that this was Biowares first attempt at a real time combat system that didnt rely on pauses and dice rolls like Kotor or BG. For the most part the combat gets the job done. The game length was my biggest gripe though as my run of the game only clocked in at 22 hours, that includes completing all side quests. This is criminally short as most RPGs take roughly 50 - 60 hours to complete. This is most likely due to the game quickly coming to an end just as it starts to reach its high point. The first three chapters of the game take up more then half of the run time which is fairly disappointing as the game still has another 4 chapters to go that is completely linear with no side quests to be had. These last 4 chapters combined took about six hours to complete compared to chapters two and three taking about 8 - 9 hours. The game felt very rushed after the plot twist which may have made sense in a story telling perspective, but it made the later portion of the game feel as if there should be another 30 hours of content.

    Overall I feel as if Jade Empire is overlooked by many. I feel as if it's initial reaction of hate was due to it not being as polished as Bioware's previous game Kotor, and that it's niche setting and glaring flaws made many people overlook this fantastic game. If a sequel is to ever be conceived I hope that the flaws are addressed as the World of Jade Empire has a lot of potential to expand upon because as of right now, Jade Empire doesn't do enough justice to what is a really interesting setting.
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  5. Nov 2, 2013
    7
    Bioware games are known, visuals aside, for their unforgettable characters and imersive story telling, unfortunately this is not always theBioware 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
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  6. Dec 11, 2013
    7
    Jade Empire tells an intriguing story with developed and personalized characters. Unfortunately, the game is marred by frequent crashes andJade 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.
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  7. CastShout
    May 10, 2007
    0
    I bought it on Steam. Quite unstable on WindowsXP. Nothing for the price.

See all 43 User Reviews