Fans of classic Star Wars games can rejoice, as two of the most beloved games are finding a new home on the Nintendo Switch and PS4.
Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is being re-released for the consoles on Sept. 24th, thanks to Lucasfilm and original developer Aspyr. Its sequel, Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, is also receiving a re-release next year.
Set eight years after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Jedi Outcast is the sequel to the 1997 Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II. Returning is Kyle Katarn, a Force-sensitive mercenary who has given up the ways of the Jedi after nearly succumbing to the Dark Side. Driven to take up the Force once more after a personal loss, Katarn walks the line between Light and Dark as a new Dark Jedi, Desann, seeks the means to overthrow Luke Skywalker and his new Jedi Academy.
Though not as popular as its predecessor, Jedi Outcast is still hailed as a triumph in the gamut of Star Wars games. This led to the sequel, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, in which players step into the shoes of a Jedi student learning mastery of the Force from Katarn. While this will be the first port for Jedi Academy, a backwards-compatible version of the original release was made available for Xbox One consoles earlier this year.
While both Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy received acclaim for their single-player action, a robust multiplayer mode gave both games longevity. Fortunately for fans of the classics, Aspyr has confirmed the online multiplayer will be included in all its glory. The re-release will also enable motion controls via Gyro Aiming support on the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers.
Katarn's history remains an interesting one in the legacy of Star Wars. He debuted in 1995's Star Wars: Dark Forces, a well-received but ultimately unimpressive FPS following in the footsteps of Doom. After many fans expressed displeasure with the lack of Jedi mythology in the game, the sequel pivoted to turn Kyle into a Jedi and gave players a Lightsaber. With the action blending into a more focused narrative and FMV cutscenes, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II became one of the best-reviewed Star Wars titles to date. With the inclusion of the Jedi, Kyle's universe expanded as he met and allied with Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade, Lando Calrissian and more. Though he appeared in several novels after the release of the games, Kyle is no longer included in the current Star Wars canon following Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm.
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast releases Sept. 24th, 2019 for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy is slated for release Early 2020.