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Jade Empire 2 in the Works

Zonk posted more than 5 years ago | from the we'll-all-get-a-kick-out-of-it dept.

Role Playing (Games) 34

San Jose Mercury News reporter Dean Takahashi shared a small story over the holiday that will be music to the ears of RPG fans. BioWare is apparently already hard at work on a Jade Empire 2 . "I talked with someone who saw code for Jade Empire 2. It's coming for the Xbox 360, and it's real. It's not much as far as scoops go, but I'm on vacation. What do you expect? Jade Empire was BioWare's second big game for the Xbox, following the exclusive Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic title in 2003. It will be interesting to see if Jade Empire 2 will remain an exclusive for the Xbox 360, now that Electronic Arts has agreed to acquire BioWare/Pandemic."

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But, will it run on linux? (0, Offtopic)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 5 years ago | (#21885942)

Or at least WinXP?
No?
Bad.

Re:But, will it run on linux? (3, Informative)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#21886286)

They did port the first one to PC.

Likely they will do the same again.

Re:But, will it run on linux? (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21902290)

They did port it, but about 2 years after. Then Mass Effect came out as an exclusive. Oh Bioware, why do you mock me, and by extension my PC?

I'll be happy... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#21885978)

... as long as they've got John Cleese in it again. That whole scene was just tremendous. Foolish foreign person!

Re:I'll be happy... (1)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 5 years ago | (#21886572)

as long as they've got John Cleese in it again.

I remember his character had a ridiculously hilarious name, but I can't remember what it was.

Someone help me out here.

Open hand vs. closed fist. (3, Interesting)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 5 years ago | (#21886078)

One problem I've been having with every one of these action RPGs (KotOR, Mass Effect,..) is that Bioware claims that you don't have to be inherently evil to go down the 'bad guy' path, but in Jade Empire it was the worst. They said it wouldn't be good vs evil, but every time you end up making that very choice. Inherently Good vs obviously evil. Like the end of JE. Kill the dragon and enslave your friends, or don't. Even if you spend the entire game being a bad guy, saving the dragon pops you half-way up the other side. Just doesn't seem to be as blurred as Bioware wants it to be.

Re:Open hand vs. closed fist. (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 5 years ago | (#21886226)

Lion Head did a pretty good job in Black and White 2 balancing evil with good. It's pretty easy to be neutral unless you're a completely pacifistic or a war lord/dick.

Well, it was Kotor: the asian edition (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#21886362)

The game was offcourse heavily based on KOTOR and in that universe, at least as far a jedi are concerned, you have no greys, only black and white. Evil and good.

While Bioware talks a lot, they are just a mortal game company and as such they are no different from The Sims where your sim needs total luxury to be happy or every shooter wargame where enemies never ever surrender or retreat.

What they wanted and what game mechanics allow just don't match up. They talked a lot in the game about how the "good" path could actually be harmfull and the "evil" path could be about giving people strength BUT it never panned out.

Perhaps because that entire idea is a load of bull. According to the theory of the closed fist, Hitler did the jews a favor with the holocaust since they got Israel out of it and made them into one of the thougest nations on earth.

If you delve a little deeper into the ideas that this game half-mentioned and then forgot to actually implement you might get the idea that this closed fist talk about making people stronger seems an awfull lot like excuses. A load of bullshit to cover up their selfish actions. Oh yeah I stole from you and killed your family but really I wanted to make you stronger.

Think of it like this, and suddenly Bioware has done a lot better, they have this game were the "evil" NPC's spout their nonsense (rememeber your master who tells you about this turns out to be evil) but when you actually look at their actions instead of listening to the words you see true evil.

It is a bit subtle perhaps, but perhaps bioware never ment for your to believe the bullshit about the closed fist not being the "evil" path. Same as in Kotor the darkside at times pretends to have higher motives.

Re:Well, it was Kotor: the asian edition (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 5 years ago | (#21886546)

I think you might be reading a bit too far into what I was saying. I had read a few interviews and articles that explained that Bioware wanted to accomplish what you were saying. Closed Fist can make people stronger, Open Palm could harm in the long run. These things make sense depending on the situation. But, there wasn't any 'reward' for taking the middle path. That's not even my point.

They wrote the story. Anything could have happened in their world. Now, it's not our fault they couldn't come up with some more original situations, but definitely something we should expect, no?

Also, I'm not interested in applying video game ideas or ideals to real life, even if that's where they originated. And your example is sickeningly extreme, even if it does drive the point. Besides, in order for this example to work, Hitler himself would have to believe he was doing them a favor, and clearly he was a murderer.

Re:Well, it was Kotor: the asian edition (1)

spirit of reason (989882) | more than 5 years ago | (#21886650)

I think you might be misinterpreting the difference between the two paths. The game discussed a sort of chain of being very heavily, and the two ways of life were different takes on that chain of being.

The Way of the Open Palm was all about working within your "station," following orders of those above you (without question) and aiding those below you. Its basis was that your station was preordained and you had some inescapable destiny. It was for that reason that you would help those below you in the manner they describe--those people with problems couldn't escape them because of their station, and it was your duty to help them as someone higher on the chain of being. (Can you see how this might be interpreted as "good" for a game with an East Asian theme?)

The Way of the Closed Fist had a different basis--there was no belief in destiny or a preordained station. Instead, your final station was the one you managed to achieve through your own works. If you felt inclined to help someone, you would act differently than the one that follows the way of the open palm; you would give them tools to move up the chain of being. This mode of thought makes it easy to do something evil, though--instead of gaining power to help others, you could step beyond your station to dominate them.

That might not be precisely right, but it's the way I understood it as I played through the game. Bioware definitely did not implement the way of the closed fist properly.

Re:Well, it was Kotor: the asian edition (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 5 years ago | (#21887688)

If you look at the philosophies behind religions like Bhuddism, as well as the martial arts and other practices, they all pretty much say the same thing. Your goal in life should be to develop and improve yourself spiritually. However, the normal state of the universe is for things not to change, and eventually stagnate. So, it takes a lot of work and effort to change.

If open hand dictates you should accept your place and do nothing outside of it, then that goes against the real reason to practice martial arts - after all it doesn't take much, if any, effort to just keep the status quo. Open hand also seems to border on mindless charity - which doesn't really help in the long run, since this struggle to better oneself is a journey - not a destination. You can't just buy enlightenment, for instance.

I think the difference between the two can be summed up by the saying "Feed a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." The first sentence is open hand - helping others. The second sentence is closed fist. It also helps others, but not necessarily in an easy, immediate fashion.

Unfortunately, the path described in the second sentence takes more time and effort and is often mistaken as being a punishment or "not helpful."

Another way to look at it would be a student of Open Hand would gladly do his classmates' homework, where as the closed fist student would show them where the information is located in their textbooks, or show them how to use the library or reference materials to find information so they could do their own homework.

Re:Well, it was Kotor: the asian edition (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 5 years ago | (#21888278)

I have completed Jade Empire about four times, and I don't really understand where you got those ideas from.

Re:Well, it was Kotor: the asian edition (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 5 years ago | (#21888240)

If you delve a little deeper into the ideas that this game half-mentioned and then forgot to actually implement you might get the idea that this closed fist talk about making people stronger seems an awfull lot like excuses. A load of bullshit to cover up their selfish actions. Oh yeah I stole from you and killed your family but really I wanted to make you stronger.

The game actually gives you the choice of not saving a town in order to "make it stronger" (which requires you to actively do something, and not just sit by and watch). Yeah, I'd say it's all a big load of bullshit. Closed Fist could have been an interesting and nuanced philosophy, but for one reason or another they never bothered to go anywhere with it.

Re:Well, it was Kotor: the asian edition (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 5 years ago | (#21888264)

What they wanted and what game mechanics allow just don't match up. They talked a lot in the game about how the "good" path could actually be harmfull and the "evil" path could be about giving people strength BUT it never panned out.

This isn't a problem with game mechanics but with the script. The premise, as explained by Smiling Mountain at the beginning, was that Open Palm was Law and Closed Fist Chaos. A practitioner of Open Palm would strive to put everything to its place; at best, this achieves harmony and at worst oppression and tyranny. And a practitioner of Closed Fist would strive to advance himself and/or others; at best this means helping the weak become stronger, and at worst, Social Darwinism. It's a question between giving a hungry man a fish and teaching him to fish.

Unfortunately, the rest of the game then ignored this philosophy and equated Open Palm with Good and Closed Fist with Evil.

Perhaps because that entire idea is a load of bull. According to the theory of the closed fist, Hitler did the jews a favor with the holocaust since they got Israel out of it and made them into one of the thougest nations on earth.

Actually, Hitler would be a supporter of the Open Palm ideologue. After all, in his vision, the State took precedence over everything. Nazi ideologue is, at its core, a strive to harmony through strict hierarchy and destroying all obstacles, real or imagined. Hitler imagined a perfect world and considered any sacrifice worth that goal; that he was insane and his idea of perfection built on a silly fantasy about aryan race and magical powers achieved through blood purity doesn't change that. Nazism is a stereotypical example of an Open Palm ideologue perverted into evil; law and order, at any cost, is the core of fascism.

Fascism is the dark side of Open Palm, and peace and prosperity the light; for Closed Fist, the dark side is Social Darwinism and freedom and independence the light.

Re:Open hand vs. closed fist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21886394)

Mass Effect's different though, your choices are more along the lines of "I'm doing this because it's the right thing to do," "I'm doing this because it benefits me," and "Screw all of you I'm not doing anything."

A fun example is agreeing to help a man get his wife (who died in military service)'s corpse back from the government; you're doing an ostensibly good act, but it can easily be resolved with dialogue choices along the lines of "You can give me the body, or I can kill you and go get it myself." You get "Renegade" points for doing a good deed.

So, it's not just good/evil with a pretty paint job. Though yeah, JE totally was.

Re:Open hand vs. closed fist. (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#21887174)

Disclaimer: I loved Jade Empire and am excited for the sequel.

Everything up until the ending was balanced pretty well I thought. And actually, that end-game decision is actually useful in seeing multiple endings with only one play through. I was good the whole game and then saw the good guy ending. I then rolled back a few saves so I could make the other decision and kill my friends or whatever and then got to see the bad guy ending. I don't think that's the proper way to do it honestly, but it was useful in one sense.

I really hope they have another character like Wild Flower in Jade Empire 2. For those who never played it or can't remember, Wild Flower is like a seven year old girl inhabited by a demon. She actually died a while back but the demon took over her body so he could exist in the physical world. It actually worked really well because whenever the demon talked her eyes would go red and she would have a deep, scary voice. You learn later on she has another demon in her body too and they're at war and at a point, you can choose to side with one demon or the other and remove them from the body forever. She was actually one of the deepest characters in the game if you ask me. Very cool.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jade_Empire_characters#Wild_Flower [wikipedia.org]

Re:Open hand vs. closed fist. (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 5 years ago | (#21887456)

That pretty much turned me off from the game. In the beginning the descriptions of Open Hand and Closed Fist sounded good - and seemed to allow for some wonderfully grey areas, but then the game quickly degenerated into forcing you into either The Dark Side/The Light Side from KOTOR. At least with Jedi, the sharp dichotomy makes sense. But in Jade Empire? Not so much - especially since the game explicitly says that "closed fist is not an evil path". Ok, but then why are all the "closed fist" choices clearly selfish/evil ones, where as Open Hand borders on mindless charity.

After that, the whole game pretty much felt like KOTOR as clumsily reskinned by someone whose entire understanding of Chinese culture came from badly translated kung-fu movies that used to air late saturday nights.

It just seems sooo pointless. I mean, if you're going to do a martial arts game based on China and Chinese culture, JUST USE THE REAL MATERIAL. This whole "it's a made-up world that is China-like but isn't China" just grated on my nerves. Especially since many of the ideas in the game have already been done and better executed. Who knows? If they had used actual material for their sources, it could have also given the game a slightly educational tilt.

ME renegade definitely not inherrently evil (1)

Sid Nitzerglobin (1206012) | more than 5 years ago | (#21887566)

Have you actually played Mass Effect as a renegade?

I thought they did a great job here making the renegade choices not senesless puppy kicking/baby eating in nature on a whole.

I agree wholeheartedly with you that KotOR dark side and JE closed fist were pretty "stupid evil" though.

   

Re:ME renegade definitely not inherrently evil (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 6 years ago | (#21893790)

I actually have played ME through as (mostly) a renegade, Earth born, ruthless. I like the system in ME because it doesn't seem to reward or penalize your choices, other than opening different missions and such (no gems that can only be used by the mostly evil or good). And I liked the way that you just had to be a dick most of the time, but you were rarely truly evil.

My beef with that is that in order to be a paragon you had to be 'pro alien' and to be a renegade you had to be 'pro human'. To such an extent that it disgusted me. I want to play the renegade, who gets the job done, and as a renegade he's probably going to use people to their fullest, humanity and aliens. Just like the paragon, only the paragon is going to be nicer about it while the renegade really doesn't give two craps about what happens to any of them in the end. It's just easier to write up the renegade as a racist.

Don't get me wrong, because I still enjoyed both Jade Empire and Mass Effect, and with ME they're getting it closer to the mark. I also look forward to JE2 and ME2. I'll definitely play through them both. Thankfully there should be plenty of time for going through ME with a number of combinations. Right now I'm playing through as a complete renegade, and a complete paragon with another career. It's entertaining.

Re:Open hand vs. closed fist. (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 5 years ago | (#21888034)

One problem I've been having with every one of these action RPGs (KotOR, Mass Effect,..) is that Bioware claims that you don't have to be inherently evil to go down the 'bad guy' path, but in Jade Empire it was the worst. They said it wouldn't be good vs evil, but every time you end up making that very choice.

Yup, it was supposed to be Law (Open Palm) vs. Chaos (Closed Fist), or so Smiling Mountain explained at the beginning, but every time it got down to Good vs. Evil. Nothing wrong with making a black and white world, but why pretend it isn't ?

Re:Open hand vs. closed fist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21888802)

Just a correction: killing the dragon is the "good" thing to do, keeping it alive is what turns you "closed fist".

And that seems quite reasonable to me. It's a single moral choice that is vastly more important than anything else you've faced to that point, it's the one thing that decides what you'll be remembered for. After all, Hitler was kind to children and loved dogs, but that's not what he's mostly remembered for...

One time.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21886298)

I talked with someone who saw a trailer for Duke Nukem Forever, and he said it was real, and that there was a release date pending for the future.

Hooray for reputable sources!

thank god (0, Flamebait)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 5 years ago | (#21886390)

maybe that will save them because mass effect was atrocious, worthless graphics, boring dialogue, very few good/bad situations, been-there-done-that sci fi plot, and extreme repetition

but then again if they take what they "learned" (not always a good thing) and apply it to this game too, it's ruined

Platform (1)

LightPhoenix7 (1070028) | more than 5 years ago | (#21886548)

I don't really see the point of Bioware keeping the game "exclusive." I would think that Bioware, or any company really, would want to reach as many players as possible. The best way to do that is to make the game as cross-platform as possible. That is, to find a good balance between time/money and cross-platform-ness (not a word, I know). That's why all those garbage movie tie-in games are for as many platforms as possible - maximize the number of people buying it by letting them buy it on the platform they want. Exclusivity is awful for publishers and designers; I suspect the only real reason it happens is that Sony/Microsoft defray production costs in exchange.

That said, there's also precedent for any Bioware game not being exclusive - both KotOR and Jade Empire were both later released for the PC. I would expect the same for Mass Effect and especially a JE sequel.

Re:Platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21886858)

Think of it this way:

You go for platform A, the biggest and easiest one most likely. Xbox360, let's say. You will make about X dollars selling on that platform. To develop for two platforms would cost Y dollars more but net you Z dollars more in sales, most likely much less than X as these days quite a few gamers buy multiple systems. So basically, you get Y-Z extra. Now, Microsoft says, "I'll give you 2*(Y-Z) to stay exclusive." Or, heck, Y-Z is negative. Thus, you stay exclusive even though going for more platforms would get you more revenue (not necessarily profit) and more gamers.

Jade Empire was BioWare's finest story line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21887038)

While the actual gameplay was short, as far as depth of characterization is concerned, I feel Jade Empire is BioWare's finest effort to date. I rarely play games more than one time through, but this one I played three times, just to experience all the dialog possibilities and all the subtle angles on characterization. It seemed that they worked very hard on writing, and each exchange seemed to contain something like Master Li's awesome line at the beginning, "Sometimes all we learn from defeat is that we have been defeated."

There was something incredibly compelling about the orphan story line this time---and I think it was in all the detail they put into the characters' relationships towards each other.

A real combat system, please? (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 5 years ago | (#21887740)

Hopefully the sequel will fix the other big problem of the first game - the combat system.

While it seemed to offer more depth and choices on the surface, you quickly realize that weapons were absolutely worthless since they used up chi just to use them. Quickly maxing out one of the melee forms meant you could just button-mash your way through just about every fight. Ok, so it wasn't supposed to be a free-form fighter like Tekken, but geeze, I really had more hopes for the combat system than "punch punch punch block block punch punch punch block block".

Re:A real combat system, please? (1)

Wise Dr Funk (936892) | more than 5 years ago | (#21888852)

I would have agreed with you if you had said that the combat system was flawed, but saying it was flawed because of the melee attacks? I went with the weapons all the way (not on ghosts of course) and would have said the same thing: charge up the weapons and power through. I guess the fact that you can approach fighting in a few different ways adds depth to the fighting system, but on the whole it could use a great deal of improvement. Still, a very fun game.

Re:A real combat system, please? (1)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21904442)

IMO the combat was PARALYZING PALM far too easy. You could win any fight without PARALYZING PALM damage by just keeping the enemy in a permanent PARALYZING PALM stunlock, and then use the Spirit style to steal PARALYZING PALM chi off them to cause damage with the stunning PARALYZING PALM attacks. No need to block, even.

This is now the standard for "news"? (1)

rtrifts (61627) | more than 6 years ago | (#21889898)

"I talked with someone who claims to have seen code for Jade 2".

How about: "You talked with someone who is full of crap?"

There is no evidence for Jade Empire 2. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Given its sales figures, there is every reason to expect there will NOT be a Jade Empire 2.

This isn't news - and it's not even good enough to be a rumour.

Re:This is now the standard for "news"? (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 6 years ago | (#21892710)

Oh, did it sell badly then? I gave up on the PC "Special Edition" after about 10-12 hours. Maybe that was too soon but I thought the combat was horrible in it and the story, though obviously only the early part I saw, was a total cliche.

The thing with the combat was there were, from memory, three schools of combat each best used against a particular foe. Actually specializing in a single style would have made the game unplayable for your main character so you had to level up all three schools more or less equally. So in a typical case of sleight of hand what looks like a free choice at face value turns out to only be an opportunity to gimp your character.

I've played so many RPGs of all shapes and sizes by now that I'm virtually ignoring dialogue because it's usually a bundle of trite nonsense. Give me a Planescape: Torment or a Fallout any day. At some point RPG designers decided you better make sure that it's impossible to screw up the decision tree by making the "wrong" choice so you get all these bland quest arcs that continually branch out and dovetail back in so it looks like you're making a decision in what is really a linear path. Recent exceptions to this being The Witcher, obviously.

Re:This is now the standard for "news"? (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 6 years ago | (#21896638)

I'm not sure about your experience, but there was only four forms that you needed. The one that paralyzes humans, the one that steals chi, pick any hand-to-hand and any weapon form and you're done. Every human can be paralyzed. Demons can only really be hurt by weapons, and the chi stealing form refills your chi. Using any other combo just upped your difficulty. But even then, unless you're facing a lot of demons, every fight was rather simple.

Fuck that.... (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920860)

Get to work on KotOR3. When that comes out (or maybe fable 2) and i can get an Xbox 360 with an built in HD-DVD drive i'll buy one.
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