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Jade Empire review (iOS): A kick-arse action RPG revived for iPad!

Jade Empire review (iOS): This classic action RPG from Bioware, the creators of Knights of the Old Republic, has finally come to iPhone and iPad. The good news is, it’s still as brilliant and enthralling as we remember it. Here’s our full Jade Empire review for iOS.

We’ve already spent dozens of hours ploughing through Knights of the Old Republic on our tablets and now it looks like Christmas entertainment is sorted, because the similarly lengthy and addictive Jade Empire has released on the App Store.

If you haven’t heard of it, Jade Empire is a classic action role playing game from KOTOR creators Bioware that first emerged on the original XBox. You play as the star pupil of wise old arse-kicker Master Li. Life is pretty chilled as you spend your days training and soaking up the admiration of your fellow pupils, until an army of bandits suddenly attacks your village out of the blue. This kick-starts the twisty-turny plot, which is just as gripping and well devised as KOTOR’s, and similarly has you questioning the true history of some of the main characters.

Like KOTOR, Jade Empire has you gathering a band of fighters and taking on a sinister force, against pant-staining odds. However, this time around the combat is real-time. No pausing the action to queue up your actions. Instead you’ll need to battle groups of foes yourself, mashing buttons to string together vicious combos.

The combat system is still great fun, although slightly showing its age. You have light and heavy attacks, special moves and the ability to target and dodge, which means lots of on-screen buttons. The touch controls are all too easy to mess up in a heated battle, so we’d strongly recommend using a compatible gamepad instead. It’s a lot more fun and a hell of a lot easier with physical controls.

You can once again choose between good and evil paths, depending on how you want to play the game. There are tons of side missions to supplement the main story and with its lengthy campaign and solid gameplay, Jade Empire should keep you busy for the entire festive period.

You can download Jade Empire for your iPhone or iPad right now, from the Apple App Store.

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