Star Wars: Obi-Wan

Review (XBox) - by Remi O

It would be an understatement to say that Obi-Wan wasn’t surrounded by controversies from the start. Star Wars gaming fans hailed it as the spiritual follow-up to Jedi Knight, after seeing some jaw-dropping screenshots released at E3 2000. Then all of a sudden the PC version was cancelled, and it was revealed that it would be released for the XBox only. This didn’t go over too lightly for some fans and everything from petitions to death threats were sent to LucasArts. After playing this game, I can safely say that everybody who doesn’t own an XBox should send LucasArts a thank-you letter for not releasing this piece of garbage for their format.

Easily the best part of the game, the controls are actually pretty good. You use the right thumbstick to pull off some impressive lightsaber moves, including the cool Episode 1-styled twirl and your standard hack-and-slash. They’ve pretty much included all of the moves seen in the Star Wars movies, which is notable. Pressing the L-trigger with any additional button activates cool Jedi tricks like force force-jump, force-push, and other similar moves. This is, sadly, where the praise stops.

Where to start… Some of the locations in Obi-Wan actually look worse than the ones you see in Jedi Knight. How this is possible is beyond me, seeing how much graphical power the XBox packs. What’s worse is how the textures used for Obi-Wan himself seem to break up completely when there’s some additional movement on screen. Something like this would be half-way excusable if it only happened on some of the bad guys, but on the main character? For heaven’s sake, we have to look at him all the time! It doesn’t help that the characters seem to have a very low polygon count also, and most of the animation is severely lacking. And what’s up with the modeling? It seems like Yoda has dropped about 50 lbs since The Phantom Menace, and grown a couple of feet at the same time. Haven’t the modelers ever watched the Star Wars movies? It’s all just dreadful stuff.

What really irks me is the ghastly voice acting, especially the guy who does the Obi-Wan part. Imagine a cocaine sniffing Ewan McGregor with a bad cold after drinking lemon juice and you’ll know what to expect. It’s not like I anticipated an identical voice, but this just sounds way too comical. Then you have the enemies who seem to repeat two things over and over and over, with some of the cheesiest lines ever. Particularly “I will break you in two, Jedi” gets really old, really quick. The sound-effects aren’t too bad, with a decent sounding lightsaber, but at the same time the rest isn’t anything special. As for the music, it’s ok, but again very forgettable.

Gameplay and Storyline:
Oh brother… The main problem is that the game isn’t any fun at all. Sure, pulling off all kinds of Jedi moves has its charm, but the giddiness sort of wears out after five minutes. So what are you left with? Pretty much just a very buggy game, with shabby aesthetics. A good example of bugs is when you need to follow Qui-Gon Jinn around a level, which in itself wouldn’t be too bad, hadn’t it been for the fact that Jinn seemed to have been smoking dope before setting out. You’re running after him, when all of a sudden he stops and refuses to keep moving. “Hurry up, Obi Wan” he yells, while he just hangs around. Then, without any notice, he starts running again. This is just one example, but I feel it perfectly sums up other fun-stopping bugs like the non-existent collision detection, the ever-missing AI and the lackluster storyline. Ah, yes, the storyline. It seems like LEC pulled the old ID routine involving making the game first, then to slap a story line on top of it. I mean, the first mission Obi-Wan has to ensue on, is catching a train. Wow, excitement and drama. Sure, that’s only the first mission, and the rest of them have a tiny bit more substance, but they’re all pretty un-inspired.


Throughout the history of mankind we’ve seen a lot of horribly bad things, most of them involving deceases, war and Joan Rivers. However, all of these seem minuscule compared to Obi-Wan or Obi-Wanx as it now is known as (Obi-Wan + X box). The terrible graphics, the forgettable sound and the appalling gameplay makes this a strong contender for the turkey of the year award.

LucasArts, November 7, 2001

Everything about Obi X box has improved from the PC from Poly count to texture resolution to lighting. Any perception that the PC graphics were more advanced than the current Xbox graphics represent a very romanticized view of those old PC screenshots.

When?: Jan 2002 - (USA)

What?: Third person action, Single and multiplayer

What with?: XBox

Pro's: Nice controls.

Con's: Everything else.

Conclusion: Horrible, horrible, horrible.

1 skull out of 5

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