Jak III - PS2

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Jak III (PS2)
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Platform
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Naughty Dog Soft. Co.: Naughty Dog
Publishers: Sony (GB)
Released: 26 Nov 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
Features: Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only, Vibration Function Compatible
Accessories: Memory Card

Summary

In 2001, Naughty Dog of Crash Bandicoot fame released the first game in what was to be one of the platform genre's finest series - Jak and Daxter. Good as it was, Jak 2, released two years on, managed to surpass its predecessor, expanding the series to include mission-based driving and a refined game structure. It was a resounding success, and paved the way for the final chapter in the Precursor Legacy, known as Jak 3.

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 rumours 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. But despite their bitterness and rejection, Jak and Daxter, together with Pecker, soon find themselves embroiled in their final adventure to lay the Metal Heads to rest once and for all.

Beginning in the barren wastelands, Jak 3 'wastes' no time in introducing its latest addition to the winning Naughty Dog formula, off-road vehicles. Akin in some ways to the early PS2 game Smuggler's Run, players will spend much of their time racing across vast landscapes in a competitive manner in order to fulfil the tasks assigned to you. You'll also be given a worthwhile tutorial in how to manoeuvre these mechanical beasts.

It's a welcome addition to Jak 3, but players needn't worry about the absence of platform elements, as later on, particularly when Jak and his cohorts make their way back into city realms, running, jumping and dodging makes a welcome return in gameplay reminiscent of that seen in the debut release. There's nothing really new in this respect, but the final chapter in the series remains remarkably faithful to its roots.

However, Jak has been blessed with a number of new abilities and weapons, the most notable of which is the introduction of light powers. Unlike Dark Jak's offensive capabilities, Jak in his angelic-like state is more helpful in the platform department. Invested in by the powers that be, Jak can now slow down time and even use angel's wings to glide to areas he would otherwise be unable to reach.

There's a strong feeling of continuity in Jak 3, giving sufficient meaning to the tasks put upon you. Every time you complete a mission, two or three more might become available, and the game in its entirety is brought together by a series of unparalleled and rewarding cut-scenes. Jak 3 is more than a game. It's an interesting and captivating story that is told extremely well. It's a real comedown to know that Naughty Dog won't be producing more of these games in future, but we're an optimistic bunch, and we live in hope...

Artwork

Jak III - PS2 Artwork