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Jak 3 PlayStation 2

Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Naughty Dog
Release Date: Out Now
Price : £39.99

In many ways it's kind of sad to review a game knowing it's going to be the last in the series. Jak and Daxter have been through a lot together but with Jak 3 it's all going to finally come to a conclusion. In some ways though not letting a series of games go on forever is actually a smart move because it prevents the series from ever getting stale. When you think about it most series that have just gone on and on have a few titles that were not up to the expected standards as the developers slightly lost their way. Naughty Dog have already given us two excellent Jak and Daxter titles and all that's needed is a finale of equally high standards to have given us a superb collection of games. Jak 3 does not disappoint and just like the other two games is a must have title.

As Jak 3 begins things don't look so great for Jak. He's been banished to the wastelands, an arid, desert like terrain that's simply enormous, for heinous crimes against Haven City. Most of the people in Haven City had begun to mistrust Jak anyway with the dark powers that he had. Jak is not alone in his banishment though and he's been accompanied by Daxter and Pecker. Not long after wandering in the desert like terrain they pass out only to be found by Damas who rescues them. This rescue is at a price though and now Jak will owes his life to the Spargus and has to take part in arena fights etc. It seems desperate for Jak but as you'd expect it's not long before he finds his feet in his new surroundings and the situation begins to improve.

In true Jak and Daxter style the game contains rather more action than platform elements and the game has the ability to appeal to those gamers who wouldn't normally want to own a platform game. Jak gets to use a variety of weapons and drive a variety of vehicles (and ride on various animals) throughout the game. Many of the game elements are the same as they were in Jak II which is no bad thing as it was a very good game. Jak can still use his dark powers and later in the game he will also have light powers too. The general controls have been left untouched which again is a good decision as there were never any problems with them to begin with. The game really succeeds though because there is just so much to do and it's all very enjoyable. You'll even find a small amount of mini-games to keep you entertained.

Jak 3 is just as visually impressive as the previous titles in the series have been. For those of you that are interested in the finer points the game supports 60Hz mode, 16:9 widescreen display and Progressive Scan, which is as good as it gets in PAL games. The game looks fantastic and the detail in the cutscenes (especially in the characters expressions) is particularly impressive. The animation of the characters is also very good. Those who played Jak II would expect no less, as last year's game was also impressive in this respect. Camera angles can be a problem at times and although you can manipulate the games camera with the right analogue stick, there are still times when it feels like your biggest enemy is the camera. On the whole though it's visually excellent and like Ratchet & Clank 3 utilizes the PlayStation 2 superbly.

On beginning the game it's great to notice that the game is subtitled by default and the introductory cutscene that begins before you get to the main menu, can be fully enjoyed. The cutscenes in the game are subtitled too, so you'll be able to fully enjoy the games story. Text mission details can also be accessed from the pause menu. There are some omissions though. Speech that is outside of the cutscenes is not subtitled. For instance when Daxter says something to Jak as he's driving a vehicle or walking around, the speech is not shown in text. If Jak is slain and Daxter gives a sarcastic comment, it's not subtitled either. There's no captions either and whilst this isn't damaging to the overall experience it would have been great to see them.

Jak 3 rounds off a superb trilogy in some style. The action never ceases to entertain and that is quite an achievement. It's a little disappointing that the game is not fully subtitled but with the cutscenes and all the important parts being subtitled it's by no means awkward for deaf gamers. Jak 3 along with Ratchet & Clank 3 and Sly Raccoon 2 have proved once again that for superb platform games no other console challenges the PlayStation 2. Jak and Daxter are going to be missed. Naughty Dog however are developers of high calibre and I'm sure most of you, like me, are looking forward to their next game with full confidence that it's going to be something special.

Overall Game Rating: 9.0/10
The series finishes in fine style and rounds off what has been a superb trilogy of Jak and Daxter games.

Deaf Gamers comment:
Not fully subtitled but there's enough here to make it enjoyable for deaf gamers.