Incidentally, the morality system seen in Knights Of The Old Republic makes a partial return here, though it’s been toned down substantially, with less of the black-and-white moral decisions. They’ve also cut back on a few non-essential RPG staples, with slimmed-down character development and not an inventory in sight. However, don’t fret because it all feels marvelously balanced and you’ll soon forget that you ever needed those things in the first place.
As you may have realized, however, the core of the gameplay is action. Unlike KOTOR, Jade Empire offers real-time combat using different kung fu techniques and to their credit, BioWare has done a pretty good job of mapping the mass of controls to the PC. Once you’ve got past the first hurdle of getting your fingers accustomed to the multitude of controls, you’ll soon discover that the system is relatively easy to pick up but a bit trickier to master. Just bashing the light attack button may eventually win you your first few fights, but if you actually manage to get to grips with swapping styles, dodging, blocking and using the harmonic combos for maximum impact, combat becomes far more satisfying and you’ll start to feel like a true kung fu master. The fluid animation of the characters really helps things along too, making you feel like you’re right in the thick of the action.