E3 2005: Level Up
Jak and Daxter Split
Product: Jak X/Daxter
Company: Sony Interactive Entertainment America
Date: 05/30/2005
Avaliable On:

After a partnership that lasted over three multi-million selling games, the dynamic duo of Jak and Daxter are finally calling it quits. In the end, it wasn't Jak's thousand dollar a day Dark Eco habit or Daxter and Tess' desire to explore "otsel art", it was simply Jak's need for speed and Daxter finally wanting his time to shine.

Jak X should feel familiar to those who played the last two Jak games, however don't dismiss it as a game built solely around a few driving segments.

The game will include 24 tracks and eight arenas, each set in different parts of the Jak universe, so expect to see several familiar locales over the course of the game. A number of different play modes will also be included, so there should be plenty of gameplay options available.

Several characters from past games will also return, including Pecker, Kiera and Ashelin. Some characters will even enter the races and have their own special skills which, when combined with different vehicles, will open up a variety of combinations. Like any good racer, Jak X will also include full customization of your vehicle. Upgrades will include cosmetic enhancements like spoilers. You'll also be able to change the color of various parts. Other upgrades will be available that will change the handling and performance of your vehicles, including weapons.

Jak X will be the first Jak game to feature online multiplayer options for up to six players. Online, you can choose from any of the available gameplay options and from the various tracks included in the single-player game. Modes will include standard racing options like circuit races as well as modes like Capture the Flag. You'll also be able to set up limited and unlimited racing options. In limited races, players will have to use standard vehicles, making it more about skill; Unlimited races will let you show off your pimped-out ride.

While Jak puts the pedal to the metal, Daxter will find himself facing another type of metal altogether. Metal bugs.

If you'll remember, Jak 2 began with Daxter rescuing Jak from Baron Praxis' lab. But how did Daxter find his way to Jak? Daxter, the series' first appearance on the PSP, fills in the blanks between Jak and Jak 2.

Apparently, in the two years between the first and second games, Daxter made a living as an exterminator, which will give him access to a giant fly swatter and backpack mounted spray can. When armed with the swatter, Daxter will be able to pull off several combos. While Daxter is sure to kick serious ass with his swatter, the spray can will become a major in-game mechanic. Of course, he'll be able to spray enemies causing big time damage, but he'll also be able to use the spray can as a way to hover to hard-to-reach platforms. And, as a bonus for all the pyromaniacs out there, he can use the spray can near open flames, turning it into a flame-thrower.

In addition to combat abilities, Daxter will be able to use his more natural abilities. Similar to his abilities in Jak 3, Daxter will be able to squeeze into small areas. Daxter can also get into a crouched position and sneak up on unsuspecting enemies and climb walls.

Since the game takes place before a large part of the Jak cast was introduced, don't expect to see too many familiar faces pop up in Daxter. However, there's always the possibility that one or two may show up.

Daxter will also include a variety of side-games and unlockables, though developer Ready at Dawn is remaining quiet about what these may involve. What is known is that Daxter will link up with Jak X: Combat Racing, unlocking new drivers and vehicles in Jax X.

Jak X: Combat Racing will hit the PS2 later this year, while Daxter is scheduled for release next year.

Starscream aka Ricky Tucker

GameVortex PSIllustrated TeamPS2