Jade Empire was originally a successful Xbox game that now, together with some extras, also got released on PC. The original dates from two years ago and nicely combined RPG with some action.
The story is as follows: you grow up in a remote village where you get trained in martial arts by an experienced master. One day, however, robbers come to town and from that moment it becomes clear that you’ve got an important (and mysterious) destiny laying ahead of you that has to do with the extinguishing of your people and an emperor who has an evil accomplice. This game is very story-driven and luckily that story is excellent. It will most definitely immerse you in the Eastern world of Jade Empire.
Although this is mainly an RPG, there’s a lot of emphasys on the action. Too bad that this usually comes down to hitting the buttons a lot, a sign that fights are often too easy. Still, there’s plenty of opportunities to go about this strategically as you can for instance change style of switch to magic.
Different from other RPGs, in Jade Empire you don’t have an inventory (or accompanying items). Somewhere in the beginning of the game you get an amulet that can be filled with gems and these help increase the stats of your character. For the rest you can also level up but the effects of this aren’t always as noticeable.
The most important stats are chi and focus. The first can be used to heal yourself while the second is for handling weaponry and can also activate some kind of slow-motion. There are different types of enemies that, as we’re used, have other properties and need other means to defeat them. Sometimes you get help by an AI-controlled friend who either helps you defeat the opponents or supports you with healing. Overall, the AI is pretty smart.
The soundtrack is excellent. The images a bit less and it seems some polishing wouldn’t have hurt. This PC port doesn’t look to differ too much from the Xbox version and although this is a so-called Special Edition because of the extras, these are more for the real fans as these consist out of some art and a poster.
I had quite a lot of fun with this game and can only suggest it to RPG fans as well as others. Owners of the Xbox version won’t need to get out to get this one though