Review

Jak II

(PS2; Sony; Teen)

Just how much has ''Grand Theft Auto'' influenced the videogame industry? If you use this title as the yardstick, the answer is: more than most game makers would care to admit. While the original ''Jak & Daxter'' was a kid-friendly platformer, the sequel has seemingly gone through a ''GTA''-inspired extreme makeover. Take, for example, the darker story line (involving episodes of torture); the addition of in-game weapons; and even the ability to carjack vehicles in futuristic Haven City. Thankfully, what hasn't changed is the polished gameplay you'd expect from the creators of Crash Bandicoot. Less successful, however, is the convoluted city design that forces you to spend considerable time in transit between levels. Put up with this annoyance -- the missions are an addictive blast. This Jak's not a dull boy.

Originally posted Oct 17, 2003 Published in issue #733 Oct 17, 2003 Order article reprints