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.
Awards & Rankings
Generally favorable reviews- based on 294 Ratings
Mar 11, 2011A 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 experienceÂ© at it's finest.… Full Review »
May 23, 2011If 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 »
Dec 8, 2013Worth it?: Overall, this game is worth about $10 (US).
Graphics, Sound, Interface: The characters models, backgrounds, and CG workWorth 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.
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.… Full Review »