Jak 3

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Jak 3
Jak 3 Coverart.png
North American PlayStation 2 box art
Developer(s) Naughty Dog
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Director(s) Jason Rubin
Designer(s) Evan Wells
Amy Hennig
Programmer(s) Andy Gavin
Christopher Christensen
Neil Druckmann
Christophe Balestra
Artist(s) Bob Rafei
Bruce Straley
Writer(s) Jason Rubin
Composer(s) Mark Mothersbaugh
Josh Mancell
Larry Hopkins
Series Jak and Daxter
Engine Kinetica
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
  • NA: November 9, 2004
  • AU: November 2004
  • EU: November 26, 2004
Genre(s) Platform
Third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player

Jak 3 is an open world platform third-person shooter action-adventure video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2. The game was developed for 13 months with a budget of $10 million,[1][2] is the sequel to Jak II, and is the third game 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 X: Combat Racing.


Gameplay screenshot of Jak 3. The player uses Dark Jak, returning from Jak II, to fight enemies.

Like its predecessor, the gameplay of Jak 3 is a blend of platforming, driving, and gun combat.[3] 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.[4] 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. [5]

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[6] that mainly focuses on defensive abilities. In addition to the hover vehicles in Haven City and the returning jet-board, Jak can drive a variety of off-road vehicles in the desert.



Like its predecessors, Jak 3 takes place in an unnamed fictional universe created by Naughty Dog specially for the games. The game is set one year 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 area is only a fifth the size of the Wasteland.[7] Some levels from the previous game are radically altered (Haven Forest, Metropolitan area) or removed entirely (like the 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 is revealed to have the birth name of Mar in this game, named after his ancestor and the original founder of Haven City, Mar. Jak's mechanic friend (and potential love interest) 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 Jak's mentor, Samos, also makes appearances through the game.

A new character, Damas, is first introduced here. It is revealed that not only did Damas lose his son, but was the leader of Haven City before being betrayed by Baron Praxis and being banished to the desert. 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 attacked the Palace himself, wishing 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 begins with Jak and Daxter being banished into the Wasteland by the tyrannical Count Veger for supposed crimes against Haven City. Ashelin, who opposes the banishment, gives Jak a beacon before she leaves and tells him to "stay alive". As they travel through the desert, flashbacks reveal that Haven City is at war between Freedom League and the surviving Metal Heads and new Krizmon Guard Death Bots. 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, who take them back to Spargus City.

Jak (left) speaking to King Damas of Spargus City

Jak awakens in the throne room of King Damas, who explains that he has been brought to the city of Spargus. As repayment for saving his life, Damas insists that Jak undergo a series of challenges and tasks to prepare him for Spargan citizenship. Together with Daxter, Jak also meets Seem, a monk who warns him of the "Day Star", a sign that the end of the world is at hand. While exploring Seem's temple, Jak is once again contacted by the Precursors, who reveal that the Day Star heralds the return of the "Dark Ones", their mortal enemies. To fight them, Jak is given the first of several powers based on Light Eco, giving him greater control over his existing Dark Eco powers. Ashelin, Haven City's governor, asks the duo to assist her forces. Jak initially refuses out of spite, but changes his mind when Ashelin returns his amulet. While traveling through an old Eco mine to reach the city, Veger shows up and admits that he faked the charges against Jak to get rid of him. Believing that only the power of the Precursors can save Haven City, the Count reactivates a Precursor mech and leaves them to die. Jak manages to destroy the mech in an explosion and enters the city.

With their help, the city's defenders learn that the enemy forces are being led by Errol, a former Krimzon Guard captain presumed dead in a hoverbike accident, and who is now a cyborg. Meanwhile, Jak and Daxter journey to the forest and restore a Precursor telescope, learning that the Day Star is actually the mothership of the Dark Makers, a group of Precursors corrupted by Dark Eco. Realizing that Errol is but a pawn of the Dark Makers, the duo launch an assault on his airborne fortress and defeat him in battle. The base is destroyed but Errol escapes, and the Dark Makers attack both Seem's temple and Spargus, destroying or stealing any artifacts that can be used against them. Seem, however, hides one artifact and gives it to Jak. After a successful attack destroys the Metal Head Tower, Errol's forces are scattered and Jak and Daxter are free to return to the Wasteland.

As a reward for bravery, Jak is made a full citizen of Spargus. Samos contacts him with news that an advanced Precursor defense system has been located within the planet's core, and that only its power can defeat the Dark Makers. With Damas's help, the duo fight their way through a gauntlet of enemy troops. Before they can get to safety, Damas suffers a fatal wound. Revealing himself to be the former ruler of Haven City, he begs Jak to find his son Mar, showing him an exact copy of Jak's amulet saying Mar wore an exact replica as a symbol of their lineage with the house of Mar. This leads Jak to realize that Damas was his father. Veger appears and confirms the realization, revealing that he had kidnapped Jak from Damas during his exile to harness Jak's eco gifts before losing him to the underground. Veger sneers at Jak's anguish that Damas would never know of his son before taking a hovercraft into the catacombs. An enraged Jak, spurred on by Daxter, pursues Veger into the catacombs.

The duo arrive near the planet's core where they find Precursor artifacts and platforms on a planetary defense system created by the Precursors. A Precursor appears and assists Jak in activating the defense system, which begins charging. For his heroics, Jak is offered the chance to evolve into a Precursor, however Veger intervenes and takes the evolution for himself. Following this, it is accidentally revealed that the Precursors were actually mere ottsels that were operating machinery to maintain the facade. While still powerful, the ottsels insisted that they needed to "fluff up the myth" if they wanted Jak's people to look up to them. While Daxter celebrates that his initial transformation in The Precursor Legacy was a blessing rather than a curse, Veger realizes his mistake, and to his horror, is transformed into an ottsel.

The Precursors send Jak and Daxter through a teleporter to the Dark Maker ship to stop Errol from unleashing its power on the planet before the defense system is fully charged. Jak attempts to stop Errol, but fails as Errol pilots a massive terraforming vessel down to the planet. Jak barely manages to escape before the ship is destroyed, but returns to the ground in time to watch Errol and his vessel touch down and then attack the Wasteland. Jak engages the vessel, crippling its legs and demobilizing it before climbing to the top of the vessel to confront Errol in the cockpit. Jak defeats Errol and blows up the terraformer, killing him for good. Ashelin and Sig witness Jak and Daxter walking away victorious and Ashelin kisses Jak.

After a celebration, the Precursors bid farewell, vowing to continue their struggle against the Dark Makers. As a gift they grant Daxter a pair of pants which was a recurring joke throughout the series. Jak is offered a place in their ranks, but decides to stay with Daxter instead.[8]

Development and release[edit]

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.[9] It was first announced by Sony Computer Entertainment on February 24, 2004.[10] On April 19, 2004, information was revealed about the plot and gameplay.[11] It was released in North America on November 9, 2004, and in Europe on November 26, 2004.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 85.33%[12]
Metacritic 84/100
Review scores
Publication Score
Game Informer 9.25/10
GamePro 4.5/5
GameSpot 8.6/10
IGN 9.6/10
X-Play 4/5

Jak 3 received critical acclaim, with critics praising the gameplay, as well as the immense story. The game currently holds an 85.33% approval rating on GameRankings based on 61 reviews.[13] 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."[14]

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.[15]

On August 4, 2005 the game was added to the Greatest Hits collection.[16]


  1. ^ https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.agdc.com.au%2F04presentations%2Fthu_jason_rubin.ppt
  2. ^ http://kotaku.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-make-a-big-video-game-1501413649
  3. ^ PS2 Games - Jak 3 Preview
  4. ^ Jak 3 for PlayStation 2 Cheats - Jak 3 Codes - Jak 3 Cheat Codes, FAQs, Walk-Throughs, Hints
  5. ^ Jak 3 Cheats, Codes, Cheat Codes for PlayStation 2 (PS2)
  6. ^ Jak 3 (ps2: 2004): Reviews
  7. ^ Jak 3 for PS2 at GameZone.com
  8. ^ Jak 3: Jak (to Daxter): With all our adventures ahead, you wouldn't last a second without me.
  9. ^ Douglass C. Perry (2004-01-08). "Jak III in the Works - PlayStation 2 News at IGN". Ps2.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  10. ^ Ed Lewis (2004-02-24). "Jak 3 and Ratchet 3 - PlayStation 2 News at IGN". Ps2.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  11. ^ Ed Lewis (2004-04-19). "Jak 3 - PlayStation 2 Preview at IGN". Ps2.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  12. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/ps2/919901-jak-3/index.html
  13. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/ps2/919901-jak-3/index.html
  14. ^ uk.gamespot.com/jak-3/reviews/jak-3-review-6112702/?page=2
  15. ^ ie.ps2.ign.com/articles/563/563849p1.html
  16. ^ Ed Lewis (2005-08-04). "New Greatest Hits From Sony - PS2 News at IGN". Ps2.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 

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