Friday, July 22, 2005

Jade Empire's Twist (Spoiler Free)

I was playing Jade Empire last night and I'm around the 38 hour mark. I was just hit with what I believe was the game's "big twist," that massive revelation/realization/betrayal that completely changes the course of your player character, his/her motives, objectives, and generally his/her entire reason for existing.

I won't spoil it here since I know some of you intend to play through Jade Empire (and finding out is a great deal of the driving force behind playing these games), however I didn't see it coming (save in jest with myself). That said though, while I was surprised, I can't say I was shocked; no where near like the twist in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which was simply fuckin' genius.

I've often felt that as I've played through Jade Empire, a great game to be sure and worthy of being in my collection, however for an RPG (a genre by its nature that takes between 30 to 60 hours to complete and has you really get familiar with both allies and villians to the point where you do feel empathy or loathing towards them) I haven't felt any real attachment to most of the characters, they just haven't been developed strong enough. I have followed one of the possible romances though, which is interesting. The game's twist may change things to, as I think I've guessed certain importances of this game-based romantic interest.

Perhaps I'm just spoiled by Obsidian Entertainment's influence system from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords, where you can actually, well, influence your Party members towards the Light or Dark Side and thus have a much deeper investment and pay-off with them. Something I think BioWare Corp. should consider for future games, such as the rumoured Jade Empire 2 for the Xbox 360.

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