Mass Effect’s kung fu precursor, Jade Empire, is currently free on Origin. The offer is due to the the 10 year anniversary of the game, which is why Bioware is giving it away to fans. Sure not many people remember Jade Empire, especially since it tends to end up overshadowed by Bioware’s other massive hits.
Jade Empire originally appeared after Knights of the Old Republic, and didn’t quite make as big an impact as its predecessor. The game retains Bioware’s trademark writing, with a solid story and engaging characters. However, the decision to adopt a real time combat system turned off a lot of fans; although that hasn’t stopped Mass Effect from being a hit.
The setting of Jade Empire is rather unique in that it draws heavily from Asian culture and mythology. It’s not often that we get a good kung fu game that isn’t made by Asians, and Jade Empire is special in that aspect.
With any luck, this addition to Electronic Arts’ On The House programme will bring renewed interest to the IP; and maybe get us a sequel at some point. There are far too few Wuxia style games from the West, and the Legend of Korra doesn’t really qualify.