Jak 3 Review

Jak and his boisterous buddy Daxter are back in what is purportedly their last adventure together, the trilogy-concluding Jak 3. While Jak II so a major change in direction from its predecessor, Jak 3 has no such shift in store and closely mirrors Jak II both in tone and in gameplay. Suffice it to say that if you enjoyed Jak II, then you’ll have a good time with Jak 3 as well. If you missed the two previous games in the series then you won’t get the full effect of Jak 3’s storyline, but that won’t prevent you from jumping into the trilogy at this point and still enjoying the game.

There are all sorts of races in Jak 3.

The triumph and glory enjoyed by our heroes at the end of Jak II has proven to be short-lived. Haven City is under assault from different groups including its old nemesis, the metalheads, a robot army led by the persistent Errol is also trying to take its share of Haven City, and internal factions vying for control. At this dark hour for Haven City, rather than looking to Jak for help once again, its residents decide that everything is basically Jak’s fault and decide to banish him to the desert wastelands. Now that’s gratitude for you. It would be a short game if Jak and Daxter perished in the desert, so luckily they are soon rescued by scouts from a city of desert warriors that sits deep in the wasteland. First Jak and Daxter must prove their worth to the warrior’s leader to avoid being dropped right back where they came from, and from there set out to save not just Haven City, but their entire world.

Like Jak II, Jak features a living city filled with locals that serves as the hub of your adventures. You can explore the town at your leisure but in reality there’s not much for you to do other than sightsee or attack a few of the locals to try and get them to drop some ammo for you. The city is more to provide an illusion of freedom rather than to make the gameplay open-ended. In fact, the game’s missions are pretty darn linear, and you will walk the city’s streets more to reach the next mission than anything else. You have a small mini-map/radar at the bottom of the screen and this will direct you to your next mission (or objective when in some missions), so there’s never really any trouble knowing where you’re supposed to be next.

Jak 3 also carries on the Jak II tradition of providing a variety of mission types. Jak II may be classified as a platform game, but you do a lot less platforming than you do of typical games in the genre. You’ll have to complete some unique mission types as well as do plenty of fighting and racing along the way. Speaking of racing, there is a surprising number of racing and vehicle missions in the game, most of which are performed behind the controls of various dune buggies. When on foot, Jak has a number of moves to draw upon. He can spin, roll-jump, double-jump, and more, although some of the moves seem to be underutilized by the game’s missions. You also have access to four basic types of guns whose functionality can be altered by two upgrades each. For example, the machine gun can be modified into an electric bolt firing Tesla gun.