Jade Empire is a frustrating game, while it arguably processes their strongest story (save one Dethroning Moment Of Suck
near the end), full of Xanatos Gambits
, interesting twists, an inspired villain, and a unique amongst games art design, everything else is either mind numbingly average or....lame.
Combat: Unsatisfying, each style consists of one combo and one strong attack, despite being able to map four styles to the D-Pad, the feelings of repetition sink in fast as the rate of encounters is very high, and the variety of enemies is low, the feedback from attacks is non-existent, feeling like you're brushing a feather against a rhino, on top of that, the lousy camera makes it difficult to determine how far away you are from enemies, and on top of THAT, the majority of combat becomes a cake-walk when you nab Mirabelle
Dialogue: For this game, Bioware decided to try and step away from the "Pure as a recently cleaned angel or as evil as Satan himself when he's in a bad mood" style of morality, instead going for more different shades of good morality as seen in Mass Effect, unfortunately, it seems the writers mistook this to mean "Make them more black and white than ever before" since all the Closed Fist dialogue is so Stupid Evil
it makes my eyes hurt just looking at it, while there's no option for different ways of saying things outside these two moralities.
In addition, the normal dialogue throughout the game is very stilted, with everyone speaking exactly the same, and sounding nothing like any human would speak.
Characters: The most disappointing part of the game, it's usually a sure fire bet that if nothing else, Bioware's characters will be up to scratch, so it's a shock when all the characters here turn out to have little to no personality, with waaaay too many characters to fit into a 13 hour game, the writing team clearly stretched themselves too thin and it shows, with limited backstories and either cookie cutter or non existent persona's, coupled with weak voice acting from people who should be doing better jobs, and it's unlikely you'll care about any of them, not even that little girl who speaks like an adult.
Overall: Great story, shame about everything else.