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Jade Empire Review

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Magnificently rendered, evoking Crouching Tiger, or Flying Daggers - an instant Xbox classic

★★★★★

With Baldur’s Gate and Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic under its belt, BioWare has carved itself a niche as the daddy of role-playing quests. Now turning its attention to ancient China and wushu combat, it has created one of this year’s greatest gaming achievements.

The adventure is magnificently rendered, its huge, mystical world basked in a warm glow that evokes the dreamlike mood of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or House Of Flying Daggers. The structure of the game is also compelling, being open-ended enough to allow you the freedom to tackle challenges in whatever order you like, but with enough interesting characters and sharp dialogue to stop you straying too far from the forward path.

Jade Empire is also a relatively streamlined experience — both in terms of its action-based combat and dumbed-down character-building — helping to widen its appeal and hook in players who’d normally be alienated by fiddly role-playing epics. An instant Xbox classic.