Coming hot off the heels of the acclaimed Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Jedi Academy is a surprisingly robust experience given its short development cycle. Stepping into the boots of Jaden Korr rather than the series’ usual protagonist Kyle Katarn makes for an interesting change of pace. You play as a student, learning under Katarn himself, which allows you to grow and develop your force powers in a way that feels more organic than in past entries. As your force powers grow, so too does the intrigue of the narrative, as faces new and old pop in to weave a compelling tale. This, paired with the lightsaber combat the series is renowned for, makes for one of the most well-rounded Star Wars titles in Lucasarts’ history.
After all, it’s all about the lightsaber combat, isn’t it? Both Jedi Outcast and Academy represent the pinnacle in this. Sure, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order did a good job, but Jedi Knight’s more action oriented combat has never been surpassed. Hacking and slashing your way across a surprisingly large number of planets, many of them noteworthy in the expanded universe, has never been as satisfying as it is here. The fact the combat has aged as well as it has is truly impressive. Unfortunately, the AI cannot keep pace. Enemies are woefully inept, more likely to spin in circles than actually attack you.
Unlike the Jedi Outcast port, Jedi Academy includes the multiplayer component. It’s been brought forward to the new age exactly as it once was, which means all of the jank and lack of balancing are still present. Don’t let that stand in your way though. Despite the relative lack of polish, wildly swinging lightsabers at one another is a blast. The multiplayer is just as fun as you remember it being.