Use the force…uh…Lando.
**WARNING**I LIKE STAR WARS WAY TOO MUCH! **WARNING**
Before any of you get on my case let me state for the record that I really like Jedi Knight II. In fact I am in love with the single player game. However I think the multiplayer is not only a disappointment but an absolute waste of the license. Raven had the entire Star Wars universe to play with and we get Quake multiplayer with force powers. Seeing a stormtooper and Lando Calrissian battle it out with lightsabers makes the star wars fan inside me cry like Luke Skywaker after Darth Vader cut off his arm and revealed his dark secret during the climactic battle at the cloud city of Bespin. This is not what a multiplayer Star Wars action game should be. It doesn’t take an astromech droid to figure out that what is needed here is mission based multiplayer matches along the lines of RTCW or Medal of Honor. Just take a second and imagine the wealth of possibilities. One of the multiplayer levels could drop you into the battle of Hoth. You would have rebels on one side imperials on the other. If you joined the rebellion you would play as a rebel trooper. Your objectives would be to defend echo base and protect the escaping transports. If you joined the empire you would play as a snow trooper in the Imperial death squadron. Your objectives would be to infiltrate Echo base and destroy the transports. There would be no Gamorreans running around using force jump. You would either be a rebel soldier or a snow trooper and you would have the appropriate weapons and abilities. You don’t even have to stick to battles from the movies if you don’t want to. How about a mission in which the rebels have to destroy a new advanced tie fighter that is located at some imperial testing facility. The mission objectives are endless. You should also limit the number of Jedi on each side. The way the current multiplayer is setup you’d think you could buy lightsabers in bulk at Costco along with thirty rolls of paper towels and a cinnamon churro. Everyone and their tauntaun has one! The jedi are special and that should be carried through into the game. Imagine playing on a team of rebel troopers, you’re pinned down by stormtroopers in some imperial facility. Then your team’s Jedi moves out deflecting blaster fire and cutting you a patch to your objective. They are the heroes of the goddamned republic! There was absolutely no care taken to fit the multiplayer in Jedi knight II into the Star Wars universe. It was tacked on and in my opinion does more harm than good. What we need is for mod makers to step up to the plate and deliver the kind of mission based multiplayer experience that Raven either couldn’t, or wasn’t willing to do.
I know there are plenty of people out there who are having a great time with the multiplayer and I think that’s great. Safety Monkey seems to think it’s the best thing since those Marky Mark underwear ads that he loves so much. And honestly I can appreciate the fact that you can have a good time playing it. My point though, is that it’s a kick in the balls to hard core Star Wars fans and a slap in the face to anyone who is used to the compelling multiplayer modes of other current games.
My plan for today is to play a shit-ton of Jedi Knight and take breaks every so often to read bits of the latest New Jedi Order book. Wish me luck.