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Platform: Playstation 2
Genre: Action / Platformer
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Naughty Dog
ETA: Q4 2004

 

Related Links:

Review: Jak & Daxter - The Precursor Legacy (PS2)

Review: Jak II (PS2)

Review: Ratchet & Clank (PS2)

 

 

 

 

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Jak III

 

          jak 3 preview

 

Development time for games has increased dramatically in the last few years – at least if Half-Life 2, StarCraft Ghost or Doom III are anything to go by.  The buddy team of Jak and Daxter has appeared in two games, the last one, Jak II, was released just last year so it took me by surprise that another sequel was to be released so quickly.  The relatively quick development time boils down to the re-use of the game engine that powered Jak II (with some improvements).

 

While this may seem a bit of a cop-out by re-using the same engine, being able to put out a sequel to a well-received series more than balances it off.  And even though it essentially uses the same engine, Jak III doesn’t sound like a simple rehash.

 

Here’s the official word from Sony:

 

Created and developed by Naughty Dog, Inc., Jak 3 is the team's follow-up to their best-selling title, Jak II and their Greatest Hits PlayStation 2 debut title, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Together, Jak 

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and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy and Jak II have sold more than 2.5 million units worldwide, both playing a part in revolutionizing the action platform genre.

 

Combining a variety of genres including driving, adventure, action-platform, puzzles, strategy and exploration, Jak 3 promises to deliver one of the most entertaining and interactive experiences to gamers this holiday season!

 

In Jak 3, nothing is the same. The story begins with Jak's banishment to the Wasteland, a desert environment five times the size of Haven City, with multiple areas including mines and a volcano. Given the enormity and variance in terrain, vehicles play a large role as off-road transportation is introduced, fueled by a true-to-life physics engine. An action-adventure game featuring story-based missions that integrate a dynamic plot with gameplay, the city's new look is just the first surprise in Jak 3 as the game unveils more guns, vehicles, additional dark powers and the introduction of light powers. Players will also find a cast of both new and familiar characters that will slowly be revealed as Jak and Daxter begin another adventure that will leave them fighting for their lives.

 

Storyline:

One year has passed since Jak and Daxter saved Haven City from Kor and the attacking Metal Heads, yet Haven City is still immersed in deadly chaos as three groups fight for control of the streets. The people of Haven City have grown to distrust Jak's dark powers, and as rumors boil of Jak's ties with Krew and Kor, the city blames Jak for its current woeful circumstances. When the palace is destroyed by a surprise Metal Head attack, even Ashelin cannot protect Jak as the High Council's power broker, Count Veger, forces Jak into banishment for life to the desolate Wasteland. Upon Jak being flown to the harsh island and dropped off to fend for himself, he discovers that Daxter and Pecker have discreetly followed him to his proclaimed lifetime of hell. With Daxter and Pecker bravely by his side, the three begin their next adventure as they wander the Wasteland and along the way encounter perilous situations, violent battles and devastating consequences.

 

jak 3 preview          jak 3 preview

 

Features:

The new Wasteland features a desert with multiple areas, including a mine, volcano and the desert city of Spargus that is home to fierce inhabitants.

 

True to the Jak and Daxter franchise, players will be immediately thrown into a compelling storyline, fast-paced action and seamless adventure.

 

Vehicles play a large role in the game, as Jak and Daxter will unlock a variety of vehicles, including off-road transportation. All feature complex, simulated vehicle physics and come equipped with weapons.

 

Not only will players take on the role of Jak, they can also play as Daxter, who has an extended role within the game during level-specific areas.

 

Now that Jak has been exposed to Light Eco, players can transform themselves into Light Jak, with amazing new abilities including a move that allows Jak to glide with the addition of large angelic wings.

 

Dark Jak powers also return, as Jak must find a balance between Light Eco and Dark Eco.

All of Jak's weapons from Jak II return with the addition of two devastating upgrades for each gun type.

 

Haven City has changed dramatically since players last saw it. After a Metal Head attack destroyed the palace and demolished the majority of the city, players will notice some major aesthetic differences that will alter gameplay.

 

The Titan Suit and Jetboard return to provide Jak and Daxter additional ways to get around their dangerous surroundings.

 

Jak 3 feature new technology including Ragdoll Physics, which will allow gamers to observe a unique death for each enemy that is killed, cloth dynamics, Wasteland terrain renderer, revamped spooling and memory management scheme, and massively overhauled rigid-body physics system.

 

Players will enjoy more than 60 minutes of movie quality in game cinematic.

 

In short, it looks like Naughty Dog has listened to the feedback from fans and critics regarding the failings of Jak II, while implementing their own ideas to improve the experience (with more weapon upgrades and Light Eco powers).

 

Jak III will be released during the Fourth Quarter Glut so it will have to fight for a broad audience but fans shouldn’t be disappointed with the closing chapter of the Jak and Daxter series.

 

- Omni

(July 14, 2004)

 

 

 

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