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Jedi Academy's gameplay stays true to the action adventure style found in the previous Jedi Knight titles, though with some hefty upgrades. For instance, you'll have more options to play around with when it comes to combat. The lightsaber combat has been expanded, allowing you to wield a pair of standard sabers, as well as use the now famous dual saber. You'll have plenty of moves to choose from when using the assorted sabers. Aside from the basic moves, you'll also be able to use the saber like a boomerang, taking out enemies from afar, and we even saw a move that invloved two lightsabers being swung around in a circular pattern, essentially creating a shield. You'll have access to other weapons aside from lightsabers, including blasters, blaster rifles, Wookiee bowcasters, an Imperial repeater, and an electromagnetic pulse gun. There will also be plenty of Force moves available to your character, including a couple of new ones such as Force range and Force sight.

A pet peeve of many is that you started off the previous games without any Jedi powers. Here, you at least have a base level of abilities you can hone as you advance. The way those powers work has also been refined: Instead of being able to use either the lightsaber or force powers, you can now combine attacks. Force pull someone into you and swing away, then use Force lightning and strike at the same time for a double shot.

Instead of taking on the role of a specific character as in the previous games in the series, Jedi Academy places players in the role of an anonymous Jedi apprentice, studying under the tutelage of Luke Skywalker and former Jedi Knight hero Kyle Katarn at the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4. Missions designed solely to train you in the ways of the force will eventually give way to more pressing concerns, as a mystery group of baddies begins to wreak interplanetary havoc, requiring Jedi intervention.

ArmChair Empire
A unique level selection system allows players to choose their own path through the game as well as the missions they undertake to improve their Jedi skills. The game will add new multiplayer modes and bring back the most popular modes from Star Wars: Jedi Outcast.

The Jedi Academy will be the first in Jedi Knight series where you won't play with Kyle Katarn, instead you create your own character. You will be able to choose your specie, gender, face, clothing, hair style... You will also construct your own saber, with different handles and blade colors. Later in the game it will also be possible to have a double-bladed saber, like the one that Darth Maul used.

Of course, in addition to a new character, there will be all new weapons, force powers, and fighting skills to acquire. Perhaps the most exciting is the ability to wield different lightsabers in the game. After mastering a single blade, you will be able to fight with a Darth Maul-style double blade (cool), or two independent lightsabers at the same time (very, very cool). If you thought that the battles were exciting in Jedi Outcast, wait until you play Jedi Academy. You can take on multiple opponents in all new ways. You can throw one lightsaber at an enemy far away, while simultaneously Force Pulling another enemy over to you and cutting him down with your second lightsaber, then reach over and catch the first blade on its return path. And taking on another skilled Jedi in a dual lightsaber duel? Wow.

GameSpot (Xbox)
LucasArts is including so much depth in the game's character creation system because of the game's Counter-Strike-style siege mode, which will complement the single-player adventure. Details on this multiplayer mode of play are scarce at present, but it's at least good to know that when you decide to take your Jedi online you're unlikely to encounter too many look-alikes.

The main difference between the Jedi Academy and Jedi Outcast is the innovative character creation system, which will allow players to customize their characters before they can begin their journeys. Unsurprisingly, you can choose your path through the ways of the Force as you progress through the game. LucasArts wasn't prepared to be specific on new force abilities, however we do know that there a whole bunch of new ones were added and some of the old ones were slightly modified. If any of you have played trough the entire Jedi Outcast game (which should be?everyone), you are fully aware of how important force powers are to the gameplay. Once you've advanced all your skills to the highest level, and with the help of those nifty lightsaber moves, there's nothing that can get in your way. Enhancing these aspects is definitely a step in the right direction. Next to character customization, players will be able to construct their own lightsabers, which stands as a largely unexplored part of Star Wars mythology. Although we have yet to learn exactly how this system will work, so far it is clear that young Jedi recruits can modify the handle and the color of the lightsaber, thereby determining which type of saber is best suited for their unique character.

Single lightsaber, dual lightsaber and Darth Maul-style double-ended lightsaber wielding features, the weapons leaving gorgeous light traces in their wake as they sweep through the air, turning fights into visual treats.

GameSpot (PC)
LucasArts is including so much depth in the game's character creation system because of the game's Counter-Strike-style siege mode, which will complement the single-player adventure. Details on this multiplayer mode of play are scarce at present, but it's at least good to know that when you decide to take your Jedi online you're unlikely to encounter too many look-alikes.

The game?s engine, like Jedi Outcast, is still based on id Software?s Quake III engine but it?s pretty clear in our E3 demo of Jedi Academy that Raven has done a lot to improve upon it, including better character models and lighting. Indeed, when our Jedi sliced into the Rancor it actually left scars on the creature (not that it helped much; the Rancor eventually killed us).

IGN.com (PC)
My sexy little Twi'lek came stocked with over a half dozen force powers including drain, which is definitely a Dark Force power. She walks up to a cat, puts away her lightsaber and literally sucks the life force out of him. Oh, how many dates have I had then ended like that.

IGN.com (XBox)
Just a few weeks ago LucasArts surprised everyone with the sudden announcement of Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, the third in the Jedi Knight series. Scheduled for release this year, it seemed there was no way Jedi Academy could be anything more than a small upgrade from Jedi Knight II. Boy, was I wrong. Jedi Academy is not light years ahead of its predecessor, but the game has some distinct changes and improvements that should make it the best iteration yet.
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