Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Jack Keane 2 – The Fire Within

Deck13’s Jack Keane received its English language localisation back in 2008 and was met with a significant amount of critical acclaim. Quickly developing a welcoming audience thanks to its knowingly reverential humour and familiar gameplay, Jack Keane was frequently put side by side with the […]
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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

Electronic Theatre ImageDeck13’s Jack Keane received its English language localisation back in 2008 and was met with a significant amount of critical acclaim. Quickly developing a welcoming audience thanks to its knowingly reverential humour and familiar gameplay, Jack Keane was frequently put side by side with the titles of Lucas Arts point-n’-click heyday – as many new titles in the genre often are – and, surprisingly, the comparisons faired well for Deck13.

With this success under the belt it comes as no surprise that the team behind the videogame wanted a second stab at attacking the sales charts. Jack Keane 2 – The Fire Within is that second attempt, and with greater confidence in the title Electronic Theatre Imagethe launch has been modernised to the point where national boundaries are no longer a hindrance. A welcome decision on behalf of publisher Nordic Games, as Jack Keane 2 – The Fire Within has turned out to be just as endearing as it’s predecessor.

Our story begins in Shangai, 1899, as the player takes on the role of the easy-on-the-eyes adventurer Amanda. On a mission to rescue Jack from a prison, Amanda proves she’s more than just a pretty face by taking charge of a rebellion amongst her crew. It’s an action sequence that maintains intensity through clever use of lighting and score, despite the fact that the player is never in any real danger. Much like the majority of the point-n’-click genre, there is no fail here. Players can click on every object in the scenery, every item in their inventory, every character in the surrounding area, and no ill consequences will be harvested.

Jack Keane 2 – The Fire Within is a very modern point-n’-click adventure in that it’s visuals remain cartoonish despite their 3D appearance, the action sequences remain tense despite their leisurely delivery and the logical puzzles the player will face are familiar cases of trial-and-error with a pinch of topical humour Electronic Theatre Imagethrown in. This is where Jack Keane 2 – The Fire Within pushes against the boundaries: it’s a return of a well worn template given a modern lick of paint. It’s not, however, a progressive experience in the same fashion as Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series.

Whereas Telltale Games made an effort to have The Walking Dead appeal to a much wider audience, renovating the point-n’-click experience at the same time as progressing videogames as a storytelling medium, Jack Keane 2 – The Fire Within is designed with the intention of being presented to a much smaller audience. This is a videogame made for a comparatively small subset of videogame players: those already enamoured with the point-n’-click genre. It will find a home to more casual gamers – its welcoming visual design and palatable humour ensure that – but by-and-Electronic Theatre Imagelarge Jack Keane 2 – The Fire Within isn’t going to pull Call of Duty players away from their deathmatching, not even for one single evening.

It’s a shame, for sure, as Jack Keane 2 – The Fire Within’s combination of plot, puzzles and comical characters is certainly an appealing concoction. It’s a heady mixture that could well be considered on a par with that of Ceville; a videogame that managed to defy expectations by simply being a good, fun experience that came out of nowhere. Jack Keane 2 – The Fire Within hasn’t come out of nowhere, it’s a sequel to a very popular videogame, but this doesn’t mean that it’s any less valid a modern point-n-click experience.

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