After five years, Jack Keane returns.
It has been some five years since the first Jack Keane game from Deck13, and one has to wonder what the Indiana Jones wannabe Jack Keane has been up to. Whatever he has been doing, it seems that Jack Keane has at least spent some time working out and and honing his adventuring skills, because Jack Keane 2: The Fire Within looks and plays better than ever before. It has been five years well spent.
But then it could well be that Deck13’s Jack Keane 2, which has been published by Nordic Games, has just taken advantage of the advances in technology over the past five years. Either way, Jack Keane 2: The Fire Within has evolved from the first title in the only ways that a point and click adventure can, through the graphics and the gameplay.
And graphically, the game looks sumptuous. The stunning 3D graphics come courtesy of Deck13’s very own FLEDGE engine, and are a joy to behold. With a cartoony style, everything is as bright and colorful as it needs to be, while remaining distinctive and expressive. The characters look great and are filled with personality, and the environments through which Jack Keane adventures are full of detail. Even the sound and voice acting, a regular point of issue in adventure games, is of a high standard and thoroughly enjoyable.
There are a few bugs and glitches in the game, which is a shame, but nothing so serious as to prevent enjoyment of the adventure.
When it comes to the gameplay, point and click adventures are not the most complex beasts to play. The controls come in a dual variety, with the player being able to use the mouse in a classic point and click style, or the keyboard combo for something a bit more modern. Using the classic controls certainly yields the best results, with the keyboard option being somewhat imprecise and clunky. The puzzles within the game are varied, but a majority make use of the standard “find and combine items” formula found in many other games. While these can be entertaining to a degree, missing essential items can often lead to a sense of frustration, and missing items can be easy as some of the needed items are very small and well hidden. The variety of gameplay is further enhanced by combat sequences and, surprisingly, some very basic platforming.
All of which is well and good. Jack Keane 2: The Fire Within looks and sounds good, and plays well (if slightly frustratingly at times). But surely the most important aspect of an adventure game such as this is the story? Well, Jack Keane 2 has that covered as well.
The year is 1899 and Jack Keane is once again on the unt for some legendary treasure. Rumors have brought him to Shanghai and find him in a prison where there happens to be a Shaman who is guardian of the treasure.
The Jack Keane 2 story will bring characters back from the old game, along with plenty of new, and the healthy dose of humor that can be found in many of the greatest point and click adventures. While treasure hunting adventures have been done many, many times before, here in Jack Keane 2 it is woven into a very humorous story that can be played by anyone, whether they have played the first game or not.
Jack Keane 2 is not the most ambitious of titles, bringing nothing new to the adventure game genre either in the gameplay or the artistic style. But it is a good looking, laughter-inducing adventure with a decent story and a cast of interesting characters that will be enjoyed by point and click fans.