Jade Empire - Xbox

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Bioware Soft. Co.: Bioware
Publishers: Microsoft Game Studios (US/GB/GB/GB)
Released: 21 Oct 2005 (GB)
2004 (US)
22 Apr 2005 (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 15, ESRB Mature 17+ (M)
No Accessories: No Accessories


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It’s no secret that games often imitate the trends and pre-occupations of the better established film industry. Just as Hollywood grows obsessed - and bored just as quickly - of one setting or another, the games industry has its own fads, and these often take their cue from the silver screen. Far more intriguing than an endless parade of WWII and Vietnam shooters, however, is a game that seeks to emulate the magic and grace of blockbusters from China like Hero, House of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Jade Empire is this game. Developed by Bioware, the well-respected software house behind action RPG titles like Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights, Jade Empire is set in a huge imaginary country inspired by Chinese myth and legend. You take the role of a young martial arts master, at a time when restless spirits indicate that the empire is in danger of collapsing.

Naturally, much of the gameplay is driven by martial arts action. As a proficient master, you have the ability to learn and choose various styles of combat. Switching between different hard, soft, fast and slow styles will give you the edge in duels. Set in an imaginary world, the game takes greater license than even the mystical films that inspired it. Your character can charge up their magical powers to unleash pretty but devastating attacks. Skills you learn from those whom you defeat allow you to transform into a supernatural being as well. You also have access to a range of weapons which you can master, if you practice hard enough.

A visually impressive game, Jade Empire drops the player into various different settings, from snowy and forbidding mountains at one end of the country to imperial gardens and palaces at the other. And as well as the human characters you’ll meet on your journey, there are spirits and magical beasts aplenty. The first serious attempt at creating a visual extravaganza inspired by the Orient.