North American box art
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment America|
|Designer(s)||Jason Rubin (Director)
Andy Gavin (Lead Programmer)
Hirokazu Yasuhara & Richard Lemarchand (Game Designer)
Christopher Christensen (Programmer)
|Artist(s)||Bob Rafei (Art Director)|
|Series||Jak and Daxter|
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2
Jak 3 is a platform game developed by Naughty Dog for Sony's PlayStation 2 console. The game is the sequel to Jak II, and third in the series. The game features new weapons and devices, new playable areas, and a storyline that picks up after the events of the previous games. As in the other games in the series, the player takes on the dual role of recurring protagonists Jak and Daxter. There are also a new array of characters as well as some returning ones, such as Samos and Keira. The game was followed by Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier.
Like its predecessors, Jak 3 takes place in an unnamed fictional universe created by Naughty Dog specially for the games. The game is set after the events of Jak II. '"Jak 3" largely focuses on the Wasteland, a large desert only briefly referred to in the previous entry in the series as being completely uninhabited and inhospitable.
Spargus City, a large settlement within the Wasteland bordering the ocean, is where the game begins, and serves as a hub for the player, where new weapons and upgrades can be earned, and most missions are given out. Later on, the plot shifts focus to Haven City, a sprawling metropolis which was the central locale in Jak II, though the size of the area is only a fifth of the Wasteland. Some levels from the previous game are radically altered (Haven Forest, Metropolitan area) or removed entirely (like the Arena and Bazaar in Haven City), while others are added (New Haven City), branching off from Spargus and the Wasteland and Haven.
As in the games before it, Jak 3's two main protagonists are Jak and his best friend Daxter the 'ottsel', which is a fictional cross between an otter and a weasel. Jak's mechanic friend Keira returns in this game. There is also Ashelin, the Governor of Haven City, who was previously involved with Torn, the now-commander of the Freedom League. Daxter's love interest Tess returns as a weapons designer; and Keira's father, Samos, also makes appearances through the game.
A new character, Damas, is first introduced here. He is the king of Spargus City. More minor but returning characters include Sig, a spy for Damas back in Haven City who later becomes the new king of Spargus after Damas is killed, Jinx, a former member of the Underground, Vin, whose brain now resides inside a computer and Pecker, Onin's translator from Jak 2 becomes an adviser to Damas in the early parts of the game.
Few of the original antagonists from Jak II reappear in this game. A new secondary villain is Count Veger, a self-absorbed Haven City aristocrat who banishes Jak to the wasteland at the beginning of the game. The player later finds that Veger wishes to journey to the core of the planet and gain the power of the Precursors. Even as he attempts this, a species known as the Dark Makers begin to invade the planet, seeking to destroy it. The Dark Makers are Precursors who have been corrupted by Dark Eco, similar to the antagonists of The Precursor Legacy.
The main antagonist is the former Krimzon Guard commander Erol, first introduced in Jak II, renamed Cyber-Errol. He is a cybernetic version of himself, as he was badly wounded in Jak II when he crashed into a supply of Eco barrels in an attempt to kill Jak. Sometime before the start of this game, he restarts the manufacturing of Krimzon Guard Deathbots, whose original factory was shut down during the events of the previous game. Errol launches a war against Haven City in tandem with the remaining Metal Head monsters, and later forges an alliance with the Dark Makers. He obtains a massive Dark Maker terraforming robot at the end of the game, with which he attempts to destroy the planet. The Terraformer is destroyed by Jak as it advances through the Wasteland towards Spargus City.
The game opens with Jak being banished to the Wasteland desert for life by Count Veger for supposed "crimes" against the people of Haven City. As he (along with Daxter and Pecker, who decided to join him) begins to succumb to the heat of the desert, a flashback shows Haven being under a mass attack by Metal Heads. Contrary to Torn's theory in the previous game, the destruction of the Metal Head Leader did not wipe out all the Metal Heads. Also, the Krimson Guard's special force of "K.G. Robots" went rogue and began attacking Haven citizens, leaving the city divided into three parts. The Palace is then destroyed by an unknown force. As Jak, Daxter, and Pecker lose consciousness, they are rescued by a group of desert-dwellers led by a mercenary named Kleiver, who take them back to Spargus City.
Upon their arrival in Spargus, Damas, the king, demands that Jak serve him in return for allowing Jak to remain in the city and to repay the debt for saving his life. In their time there, Pecker becomes Damas' royal adviser, and also learns that their longtime friend Sig was actually a spy from Spargus. They also travel to a Precursor Monk temple, where Jak receives many new powers, and learn from a monk named Seem of a foretold destruction of the planet. During one of Damas' missions, Jak is found by Ashelin, who begs him to come back to Haven City to defend it from the Metal Heads and the new Krimzon Guard Deathbots. Still embittered about being exiled, he refuses to return. Ashelin leaves him, but later, Jak changes his mind and makes the journey via transport to Haven City. Jak and Daxter help reunite the Freedom League and give them hope that they can beat back the Metal Heads and KG Deathbots. During a lull in the fighting they receive a transmission from Errol, now a cyborg due to an explosion in the previous game, revealing himself to be the driving force behind the K.G. and Metal Head attacks.
Partway through the game, Jak and Daxter start to encounter strange creatures. A Precursor telescope in the forest of Haven City reveals that the beings are Dark Makers, who were once Precursors, but exposure to Dark Eco transformed them into twisted beings. Jak finds that a purple star in the sky is actually a Dark Maker space ship, and it is nearing the planet. The only way to stop the ship is to activate the planetary defense system situated at the core of the planet. During an attack on the Krimzon Guard War Factory, Jak finds Errol, who boasts of his new strength and body. It's also revealed that Errol is the one contacting the Dark Makers. Jak destroys the KG War Factory, but Errol manages to escape. Jak tracks down Errol again at the Metal Head Nest Tower, where Errol is once again able to escape before the tower collapses. With the general containment and victory over the Metal Heads and Deathbots in Haven City, Jak and Daxter begin their journey to the Planet Core.
They are aided by Damas, who helps them break through the Metal Head territories. Damas is killed in the attack, and with his dying breath he unknowingly reveals that he is Jak's father (Damas dies never knowing Jak is his son); he also reveals that Jak's true name is Mar, the name of the founder of Haven City. They are then ambushed by Count Veger, who then tells Jak that he was the one who took him from Damas hoping to use his eco powers for his experiments but then lost him to the underground just prior to the events of the previous game. Count Veger then begins a race with Jak and Daxter down to the planetary core. Once there, Veger absorbs the Precursor's powers. Then, the actual Precursors appear to reveal that they are Ottsels like Daxter. Veger is then detained by The Precursors as he is turned into an Ottsel. Jak and Daxter are then teleported to the Dark Maker Ship to deactivate its shields while the planetary defense system charges. The mission is a success, but Errol, who boarded the ship using a Warp-Gate, takes a Dark Maker Terraformer and pilots it down to the planet's surface. Jak follows, and after a battle, Jak takes one last shot at the cockpit of the Terraformer, destroying it, along with Errol.
After a celebration in Spargus City, the Precursors bid farewell to the planet and go out into the universe to combat the Dark Makers. Jak is offered a place in their ranks, but he declines.
Like its predecessor, the gameplay of Jak 3 is a blend of platforming, driving, and gun combat. The player is led through the story as they complete missions, assigned by the various characters in the game. Missions can consist of anything from defeating particular enemies, reaching a specific location, or completing a puzzle. With the exception of timed or otherwise linear missions, the player is free to explore the game world as they see fit.
Cheats, made available as the player progresses, can upgrade weapons, flip the game world around into a mirror image of itself, or grant the player invincibility. After the game has been completed, the Hero Mode option is made accessible, which, when purchased, allows the player to re-play the game at a harder difficulty level, but with all previously unlocked cheats and extras still available. As Precursor Orb count is not reset, and the orbs are regenerated at their original locations, the player is able to regather orbs that he or she had already collected the previous time they played through the game. Collecting all 600 Precursor Orbs has some cosmetic effects on Jak's appearance, but has no effects other than this. In Hero Mode, Jak also keeps all twelve of his weapons but loses his light fly, and two of his dark powers until they are collected in their respective parts of the game. 
There are some differences between Jak 3 and Jak II. Most notably are the changes undergone by the Haven City environments. While Jak II provided the player with only four different types of guns, Jak 3 expands on the concept with two additional modifications for each type, ending with a total of twelve weapons. Also, the 'Dark Jak' form, introduced in Jak II, which allowed the player to transform into a more powerful version of Jak, is countered by a 'Light Jak' form that mainly focuses on defensive abilities. As well as the hover vehicles within Haven City, Jak can drive a variety of off-road vehicles in the desert.
Jak 3 was developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation 2. Jak 3 was first revealed to be in the works by one of Superplay's writers on January 8, 2004. While browsing the Naughty Dog offices, he saw early work being done with desert environments. It was first announced by Sony Computer Entertainment on February 24, 2004. On April 19, 2004, information was revealed about the plot and gameplay. It was revealed in North America on November 9, 2004, and in Europe on November 26, 2004.
Jak 3 received strong reviews, with critics praising the gameplay, as well as the immense story.
GameSpot gave it a score of 8.6/10, "Jak 3 is a game with exceptional production values and some of the nicest visuals on the PlayStation 2" and went on to praise the "Solid platforming action with even more weapons and abilities, tons of varied gameplay types, engrossing and well-told storyline, the trademark humor and plenty of unlockable secrets."
IGN said "If you're looking for art and technical achievement, Jak has it...Jak is it. Characters animate so smoothly it actually makes playing other games painful. Painful, I say! And it never stutters, never glitches, never hitches, and never, ever lets up" and gave it a score of 9.6/10.
- Jak 3 for PS2 at GameZone.com
- Jak 3: Jak (to Daxter): With all our adventures ahead, you wouldn't last a second without me.
- PS2 Games > Jak 3 Preview
- Jak 3 for PlayStation 2 Cheats - Jak 3 Codes - Jak 3 Cheat Codes, FAQs, Walk-Throughs, Hints
- Jak 3 Cheats, Codes, Cheat Codes for PlayStation 2 (PS2)
- Jak 3 (ps2: 2004): Reviews
- Douglass C. Perry (2004-01-08). "Jak III in the Works - PlayStation 2 News at IGN". Ps2.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
- Ed Lewis (2004-02-24). "Jak 3 and Ratchet 3 - PlayStation 2 News at IGN". Ps2.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
- Ed Lewis (2004-04-19). "Jak 3 - PlayStation 2 Preview at IGN". Ps2.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
- Ed Lewis (2005-08-04). "New Greatest Hits From Sony - PS2 News at IGN". Ps2.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-01-20.