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May 15, 2004
Jak 3 - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
2/12/2004SonyNaughty Dog1$99.95

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Blasting the enemy.
Since the PSOne has launched Naughty Dog has only had two games series release. The first was Crash Bandicoot, one of the most recognisable characters on PSOne and Sony's unofficial answer to Mario on Nintendo consoles and Sonic on Sega's systems. Indeed the PSOne Crash Bandicoot games sold in excess of 22 million copies worldwide. But what a difference the last 4 years has made. Sega has exited hardware and released Sonic on all major platforms while Naught Dog sold off Crash Bandicoot to Universal for more money then the Australian Federal defecit.

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Nice lighting.
While many believed Naughty Dog had gone insane for giving up one of the most loved game series' of all time Naughty Dog created an even more interesting and exciting game world with Jak & Daxter being released in late 2001. It was an instant hit. Last year the sequel, Jak 2 improved with a darker and much deeper game, but failed to sell as expected. This third game concludes the trilogy, and also marks a sad turning point for Naughty Dog, but more on that later.

One interesting thing to note is that this is considered the third game in a trilogy. Many loose ends will be tied up with this game and while further games will be possible, this will end a long story arc. Although Jak saved Haven City from Kor and his threatening Metal Head army, the citizens of the city banished Jak due to their distrust of his dark powers. Dropped off in the barren Wasteland and left for dead, Jak and his trusty comrade Daxter begin their epic journey, meeting new allies and fighting dangerous enemies along the way. With potent weapons, armor and vehicles, Jak also discovers that there is something deep inside him — an emerging power — the balance to Dark Jak–Light Jak. Questions about the Precursors, their mysterious disappearance, and the enigmatic Jak himself, will be answered…as this most exciting adventure unfolds.

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Jak under arrest perhaps?
This game, as you would expect, plays very similar to other games in the series but now introduces Light Jak, which is the opposite of Dark Jak, each of which has new powers. Another new addition is the collectible armor which will add to Jak’s hit points and help protect against the enemy onslaught. You will spend plenty of time exploring the immense Wasteland. This treacherous Desert is filled with unique areas such as cavernous mines, rotting sewers, a gigantic volcano, and more. Desert vehicles are available to roam around in, as are powerful weapons. Guards in Smart Formation will work together to challenge Jak while wall climbing enemies provide new hazards and threats. Jak 3 includes many new Characters — Count Veger, Cyber-Errol, Seem, Jinx and more — will help, or hinder, Jak in his quest.

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What the hell... Light Jak?
Graphically everything looks better then ever. The environments and levels are seamless with no load times again, but one can only hope that some locations are a little closer together then in the previous title. A new ragdoll Physics give enemies unique deaths and independent cloth movement takes character animation to a whole new level.

So what was this sad turning point mentioned in the opening paragraph. Well, one of the founders of Naughty Dog, Jason Rubin, has announced he will be leaving the company this year, as soon as he has see Jak 3 reach completion. What he is going to do remains a mystery, but the company will be hard hit by his loss. Expect this game to reflect the best of the company with a release scheduled for just before Christmas 2004.