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Jak III on the way.

Romier S

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Heres the report from IGN:






According to Swedish Superplay, Naughty Dog is indeed in the early stages of creating a third in the series. During a visit to see Jak II: Renegade (which is what it's called in Europe), Superplay's writer Thomas Wiborgh saw some early work on the game including several desert environments, and learned it will make its debut in May 2004 at the Electronic Entertainment Exposition (E3).


Man I haven't gotten around to playing II yet!

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It will be interesting to see where they take the third game. I liked the original quite a bit, even though it was essentially a collect-a-thon like every other 3-D platformer on the market. As far as those types of games go, Jak and Daxter did just about everything right. The environments were big and lush without being too big. There was a lot of stuff to collect, but not so much you'd think you were playing a Rare game. The graphics were nice and it featured plenty of interesting characters who were all brought to life with outstanding animation and voice acting.


Jak II didn't excite me as much. While I do appreciate the attempt to take the platformer genre in a new direction, the elements borrowed from other games didn't work as well as they should have. For instance the basic structure of the game felt like a watered down version of Grand Theft Auto. Both games take place within a big city, where you get missions from various characters. In Grand Theft Auto, you can focus solely on the missions, but if you don't want to do that, there's plenty to do in the city. You can explore, earn money as a cab driver, jump off ramps, beat up pedestrians, and just cause mayhem. With Jak II, you didn't get any of that. You had an entire city, but nothing to explore in it. There was nothing of value to do in the city outside of the missions. Additionally, the shooting elements were not nearly as refined or as interesting as they were in the Ratchet and Clank games. Not only were there not as many weapons, but the controls for using them weren't as well developed. Ultimately, I see Jak II as having a solid platforming foundation, with lesser aspects bringing the whole thing down.


Now, will Jak III continue the gameplay seen in Jak II, or will it return to the platforming roots of the first one? Or will it go off in an entirely new direction. My bet is that we'll see Naughty Dog take the series someplace it hasn't been to before to keep things fresh and interesting. We?ll see.

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  • 2 months later...

As I mentioned in this thread, there is a big cover story on both Jak 3 and Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal this month. And since I went through all of the trouble to summarize some of the more tasty nibbles from that Ratchet article, I might as well do the same here for good old Jak and Daxter.

  • The story picks up where the second left off. Jak has been banished to the wasteland desert for his "crimes" against the people of Haven City. Here, he, Daxter, and Pecker (that wise-cracking bird guy from Jak II) run into others who have been banished and have developed their own little Mos Eisley in the wild. All this happens will the remaining Metal Heads continue their assault on the city, which includes a spectacular demolition job on the giant palace at its heart.
  • The wasteland is reportedly five times the size of Haven City.
  • Obviously, vehicles play an important role in the game as they did in Jak II.
  • Roughly half the game takes place in the wastelands and half in or around Haven City.
  • As with Jak II, all missions will tie into the plot in very specific ways.
  • Naughty Dog is taking a different approach to the city this time out. Co-founder Jason Rubin explains, "[in Jak II] the city was too large with too little to do." He goes onto explain that the war has changed the landscape of the city, making it easier to manage and brake down. It won't be as big, but there will be more to do within it.
  • Jak will once again wield several weapons, only this time they can be upgraded to more powerful models. You'll still carry the basic form of each weapon though. If you want to use and upgraded weapon, simply double or triple click the crosspad buttons. Upgraded weapons will use up more ammo.
  • Dark Jak returns along with a new power, Light Jak. With this new ability, Jak can transform into an Angelic figure and recover hit points as well as fly into the air.

I should also mention that I was able to download what appears to be the opening cinematic of the game at Game Informer's website. Rest assured the stupendous voice acting and animation that makes these sequences so enjoyable have not been neglected, and Dax is still as funny as ever.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Well, I just finished Jak II and I loved it. I'm not sure why I waited this long to play it, and now I wish I hadn't. I could gush at length about the graphics, storyline, characters, voice acting, many different types of missions, etc. but instead I'll just say that it's really good and everyone should give it a try. The one weak spot is perhaps the GTA-style business of driving around the city to get the missions, but it really is a pretty minor annoyance. Once you get the hang of driving and figure out the layout of the city, you can get from place to place pretty quickly with a minimum of hassle.


I'm really looking forward to the third and final? installment in the series now. It sounds like it's going to be even better.

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The one weak spot is perhaps the GTA-style business of driving around the city to get the missions, but it really is a pretty minor annoyance.


From what I can tell, the traveling in Jak 3 will be less cumbersome. The narrow, winding passages of Haven City have been done away with and replaced with the wide open spaces of the Wasteland. Additionally, it's sounding as if Naughty Dog is working the story out so that individual missions may involve getting from one place to another in one piece. This, I think, would be very good indeed.


The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced I'll have to play Jak II again, just to reacquaint myself with the characters and the story. I remember the general gist of what happened, but not the specifics. I'd hate to be lost story wise in the third game, which looks really interesting at this point.

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  • 6 months later...

I received a call from GameStop today, telling me that Jak 3 should be available to pick up tomorrow. If I can tear myself away from a certain first-person shooter for another console long enough, I'll probably give Naughty Dog's latest opus a spin for an hour or two. Here's hoping it's good! :tu:

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I finally managed to get some serious play time into Jak 3 this weekend. I'm currently 50% through the entire quest after about 5 hours and 25 minutes of play time. At this rate, I suspect it will be about a 10-hour game total, making it significantly shorter than Jak II, which took me about 20 hours to complete. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing since this game is much better than its predecessor.


Much of the reason I say that I because Jak 3 is far more focused. Whereas players needed to spend much of their time traversing the streets of Haven City to find the missions in Jak II, this game does away with that process. Sure, you still have fairly large areas to explore, and yes, you do have to go to certain destinations to start a mission (all of which are marked on your map), but traveling through the vast desert of the Wastelands proves to be far more exciting than meandering through Haven City's winding passageways. For one, the desert is relatively open and easy to navigate. Secondly, the various dune buggies you get to use are more fun to drive than the hovercraft of the first too games. The wheeled vehicles -- something that we haven't seen in this series until now -- really do bring a new dynamic to exploring this world. Little things like skidding on the sand, flying into the air as you speed over the top of a steep hill, or even flipping your vehicle over make them feel very different than the hover vehicles.


I should also mention that you'll be spending a lot more time running, jumping, shooting, and hover boarding through the game's missions. Everything is packed closer together, so you're always on the move, doing something interesting, even if it means you're just trying to get through one area to reach another. The controls feel exactly as they did in Jak II, which is to say that they're tight and very responsive. The gunplay still feels like a watered down version of Ratchet and Clank, but it works well enough most of the time to make it enjoyable and not frustrating. The graphics are every bit as impressive as the games before it, but I do think the sound is a lot better this time. I think the surround track option in Jak II was far too gimmicky (why do all the sounds Jak makes come from the rear speakers?), but now it's much more natural and realistic. One of the new guns does a particularly good job of demonstrating how well a good Pro-Logic II mix can envelope the player in sound.


The story is also quite interesting, although I don't think I've gotten to the good parts yet. I?m very anxious to see what Naughty Dog has planned for the end of Jak and Daxter's adventures together. I only hope it doesn't disappoint.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I made it to the end of Jak and Daxter's journey tonight. I have to say, I'm really pleased with this game (and this series) overall. I would definitely say that this is better than Jak II for the reasons given in the above post. Also, those of you who have played through the first two games, let me just say that the ending for this one is very good. There are some interesting revelations towards the end -- some predictable, some not -- that make getting to the conclusion very satisfying from a storytelling standpoint.

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