Jak II: Renegade – Review

Every hero must grow up… Jak II: Renegade is the follow-on to the first Jak & Daxter game Precursor Legacy. Set two years on from the first adventure, the game follows Jak & Daxter again, this time, far into the future. Naughty Dog decided to mix it up a bit with Jak II. Completely repurposing the original game’s design. No longer is Jak a traditional 3D Platformer, its gameplay is now closer to Grand Theft Auto.

 

Rift Rider:

The story follows Jak on his quest through Haven City. Desperate to find out where he is and what’s going on he quickly becomes involved in an underground group who want to overthrow the Barron of Haven City, Praxis. Barron Praxis was responsible for pumping Jak’s body full of dark eco. Jak has new powers as a result of this, meet Dark Jak! Alongside his new powers, our hero can also talk now. The story will drive you through some iconic areas, meeting some memorable characters along the way.

Jak II: Renegade will guide you from place to place across Haven City and its surrounding areas. Along the way, you will pick up guns and upgrades – something new to Jak & Daxter. The city is littered with vehicles, all of which Jak can drive – you can also get a hoverboard! Jak still has some collectable fun for us up his sleeve. You can collect precursor orbs like before, only this time they are a lot rarer. The orbs then unlock secrets for you to use in-game. The player will also find skull gems from fallen enemies called Metalheads, they will then use them to exchange for new Dark Powers and Orbs. The game brings a lot of new elements to the table and they are all welcomed with open arms. Although the traditional feel is missed from time to time, Jak II offers a more grown-up experience. Jak II also features an unforgiving checkpoint system, common in the PlayStation 2 era.

Going Grey:

The graphics are great. Although moody, Jak II offers some great character models with some excellent animations. Graphical glitches do appear from time to time, but nothing game breaking. Sometimes textures take a while to load or don’t at all. That been said, the game does offer some strong cases of beauty, even in the gloomiest of settings.

Jak II: Renegade’s sound is one of its strongest factors. Alongside keeping back old sounds, the game offers some new contagious chimes. From the sound of a collectable been picked up to the music in your ears, everything works well. The soundtrack is well composed and pieced together. The music also intensifies based on the situation, something that is to be praised for Jak’s age.

Jak Of All Trades:

The game offers tons of replay value. Collectables are tricky and some are even missable. The real challenge falls down to precursor orb hunting. They are all hidden in mischievous spots. The game offers a significantly larger challenge than its predecessor. Get those walkthroughs out for that 100% and that platinum trophy!

To summarise, Jak II: Renegade is a unique experience that really pushes the boat out for games of its time. No its not Grand Theft Auto but it is a surprisingly different take on the original game. A more 16+ feel to the game helps with the character development’s direction. Prepare to enjoy! Jak II: Renegade is available now on the PlayStation store so what are you waiting for? Let’s show those Metalheads whose boss!

~Tat

9/10

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