Jak 3 is a 2004 action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.
One year after the events of Jak 2, Metal Heads who survived the previous war and a new threat, the KG deathbots, launch a major scale attack and destroy large amounts of Haven City. The city's council blame Jak, as he used to work for Krew, the one responsible for opening the tunnels that Metal Heads used to sneak into the city before dying. Count Veger also points out that Jak's Dark Eco powers make him dangerous and unstable. As a result, Jak is exiled from Haven City and sentenced to die in the Wastelands desert near the city, Pecker and Daxter decide to stay with Jak. Fortunately Ashelin gives Jak a tracking device so a squad of Wastelanders can find and rescue the group.
Jak, Daxter, and Pecker are taken to Spargus, a desert city inhabited mainly by people banished from Haven City and wastelanders. King Damas informs Jak that he must win three arena challenges in order to gain full citizenship at Spargus and become an official Spargus Wastelander, if he fails he'll be kicked back into the desert. During his first arena challenge Jak becomes Dark Jak again, intriguing Damas. Following his victory Jak's allowed into the city and meets Kleiver, a wastelander who quickly forms a rivalry with him. Later Jak and Daxter run into a group of monks studying an artifact they claim was built by "The Dark Ones". The device reacts to the Dark Eco within Jak before exploding. The monks' leader Seem remarks that some of their members never returned from an expedition to find other dark artifacts in the volcano in the middle of the desert and warns Jak about an ominous dark star visible in the sky even during the day. Jak is allowed to use Spargus' Dune Buggy cars so he can explore the desert, fend off rival Wastelander gangs, and do jobs for Damas. During one of those jobs he kills a Metal Head and sees a transmission from the apparent new Metal Head leader, whose voice Jak found suspiciously familiar.
Jak wins his second arena challenge and beings to form a father-son relationship with Damas after the latter learned that Jak never met his father. Damas sends Jak and Daxter to go find four Wastelanders who haven't returned to the city before a large sandstorm arrives, Jak saves three of them but finds the last one dead and is attacked by a Dark Eco artifact. While exploring the desert Jak finds a Precursor temple and reaches the volcano where he finds Seem's lost monks petrified by the Dark Eco artifacts they were looking for. One of the artifacts gives Jak a strange vision about a dark entity and gives him more Dark powers. The two return to the Precursor temple and explore it until they run into Count Veger talking to Seem about finding some catacombs. A Precursor statue gives Jak Light Eco powers claiming that he'll need them to stop "The Dark Ones" Seem warned him about earlier. The Light Eco also balances Jak's Dark Eco and helps him with his anger problems.
When Jak's final arena challenge comes his opponent turns out to be Sig, who's actually a Wastelander from Spargus who had been spying on Haven City on behalf of Damas. Sig and Jak refuse to fight each other, infuriating Damas, however he decides to give both of them a chance to redeem themselves by doing a dangerous job involving Metal Heads. Ashelin contacts Jak telling him that she's in the Desert, she pleads for him to come back to Haven and returns him the JET-Board and his House of Mar amulet, but Jak shrugs her off and returns to Spargus.
Using the House of Mar amulet Jak unlocks more sections of the Precursor temple, obtains more Light Eco powers, and discovers the catacombs Veger wanted behind the temple. Pecker informs Jak that they must return to Haven City after all and that the catacombs also serve as an underground passage to the city. Right before reaching the city they are ambushed by Veger. Veger explains that the catacombs lead to a planetary defense system the Precursors built long ago to fight the dark star in the sky, which keeps glowing brigther every day, and that he-who-reaches the center of the system will be given the power of the Precursors; Veger plans to be the one who obtain that power and save the world himself. Veger also admits that he was the one who let the Metal Heads into the city and rigged Jak's trial to ensure he was banished, and attacks Jak with a Precursor robot.
Return to Haven City
Back in Haven City, Jak and Daxter find the city has become a massive warzone, a chunk of the city was overrun by Metal Heads, and a massive floating KG Bot factory terrorizes the sections of the city not lost yet. A barrier prevents the two from reuniting with Samos and Keira, but they still meet up with Torn and warn him about Veger's schemes. While talking to Ashelin via a communication device the signal is intercepted by Errol, who was presumed dead. Errol taunts Jak about how he's commanding both the Metal Heads and the KG death bots. Jak helps the Underground fight the war at Haven City while still going bak to the desert every now and then to continue working for Spargus and scavenge Precursor artifacts. Sig tells Jak that he became a spy because Damas "lost someone at Haven City" and reveals that Damas used to live in Haven. Damas and Jak become closer and Jak learns that Damas used to have a son at Haven City before he was banished to the Wasteland by Baron Praxis.
Jak finds an observatory in Haven Forest thingy that shows him what the dark star actually is; a Dark Eco alien ship en route to Earth. The "Dark Makers" piloting the ship it are actually evil Precursors who were corrupted by Dark Eco. For centuries, Dark Makers and Precursors have fought each other over the survival of planets, now the Dark Makers have targeted Earth. The Precursors designed the planetary defense system below the catacombs to destroy any incoming Dark Maker ships and now it must be activated before the Dark Makers arrive to save the world.
Count Veger offers to help the Freedom League activate the defense system if they make him the leader and banish Jak again but no one listens to him. Onin suggests they use the Eco grid system to infiltrate the KG warbot factory where Errol must be hiding. When they reach the grid, Jak finds out that Vin uploaded his mind into the mother computer of the grid before the Metal Heads killed him and Vin helps them infiltrate the factory. Jak raids the factory and confronts Errol, who became a cyborg after surviving his alleged death during the Metal Head war. Cyber Errol is the one contacting the Dark Makers and plans to have them destroy the world as revenge against Jak. Errol is defeated and the factory is destroyed but he escapes.
Fight against the Dark Makers
Dark Makers are starting to appear in Haven and Spargus. After Jak fends off a major Dark Maker attack on Spargus Damas reveals that he used to be the king of Haven City before Praxis took the throne by force, meaning he is also a descendant of Mar. Damas is proud of Jak's work and gives him the third prize thus he's completed his trial to become an official Spargus Wastelander, meaning he can contact the Wastelanders to assist him whenever he wants to.
The group plan a full frontal attack on the Metal Head's nest, there they find Errol ready to warp into the Dark Maker ship. Samos detects a strong energy coming from the catacombs and reports that Veger is on his way there, the entrance through the Precursor Temple in the desert was taken over by Dark Makers so their only choice is the second entrance below the ruins of the palace but it's swarmed by Metal Heads. Daxter calls the Wastelanders to assist on the mission, soon enough Damas appears with a large car which he and Jak use to charge through Metal Head territory into the catacombs but during the ride the car is destroyed and crashes; jak survives the crash but finds Damas crushed under the car mortally wounded. In his dying moments, Damas asks Jak to find his lost son Mar and shows him an amulet claiming that his son will be carrying another one like it. Jak immediately recognizes the amulet as the one his younger self wore. Jak is Damas' son, but Damas dies before he learned that.
Veger mocks Jak over Damas' death and admits that he was the one who kidnapped Young Jak shortly before Praxis took over Damas' throne, and takes a vehicle into the planetary defense system. Enraged, Jak chases after Veger swearing to avenge Damas. At the core of the defense system, Jak and Veger have a brief fight over the Precursors' power when suddenly a door opens revealing a group of Ottsels. The precursors are Ottsels!! They had exaggerated most of the myth involving them to make people think they were giantic divine beasts rather than small orange furry creatures. They also explain that Daxter became an Ottsel when he fell into the Dark Eco pit because Eco carries their essence, meaning Daxter is also a Precursor. The Precursors turn Vegar into an Ottsel and send Jak to the Dark Maker ship so he can confront Errol while the defense system charges up.
Jak keeps Errol distracted long enough for the defense system to shoot down the ship, but Errol boards a Dark Maker Terraformer and crash lands it into the desert before the ship was fully destroyed. Jak and Daxter warp back to the desert and find Errol piloting the Terraformer en route to Haven City. After a brutal fight, Jak and Daxter destroy the Terraformer and kill Errol for good, putting an end to the Dark Maker threat.
In the aftermath Sig takes the throne of Spargus while the Precursors offer Jak to take him to other planets so he can help them fight more Dark Makers, but Jak decides to stay home.
oh boy here it comes
Why It Rocks
- Once again, Jak is given a new look to reflect his change in personality and position as a Wastelander. Though he still has anger issues, Jak isn't as aggressive and impatient as in Jak II. He also get plenty of character development and his backstory regarding his lineage and why he can harness Eco are explored.
- Great visuals with lots of attention to detail. For example, when in the desert Jak puts on his googles and lifts his scarf over his mouth to protect himself from sandstorms.
- Each of the Morph Gun modes now has three different forms, bringing the weapon total to 12:
- Red: A shotgun, expanding blast, and grenade launcher.
- Yellow: A rifle, rifle with bouncing shots, and mini sentinel that fires bullets constantly.
- Blue: A machine gun, electricity arc, and homing shots.
- Dark: A homing electric blast that can hit multiple enemies, disables gravity to slow down enemy movement, and a screen nuke.
- Strong plot and epic conclusion to the Jak trilogy. The Precursors become a more relevant plot element once again after being mostly absent in Jak II.
- The soundtrack now has a more epic tone to match the theme of the game.
- Precursor Orbs are more common than before and once again can be used to activate cheats, level selectors, fun easter eggs, among others.
- One of the unlockables is a Ratchet & Clank easter egg.
- Rather than only being able to use Dark Jak when the Dark Eco meter is full, you can activate it at any time and can even manually deactivate it before the meter fully drains. Dark Jak also gets a few new abilities and overall has more utility than in Jak II.
- Jak can now turn into Light Jak. In this form he can recover health, slow down time, bring up a shield, or grow wings.
- Daxter is playable in a few missions.
- Several callbacks to Jak 1 such as the Precursor robot attacking Jak.
- Huge bosses in both land and sky.
- Lots of variety in missions. Racing, shooting, hunting, minigames and more. Despite this the game still remains at its core a platforming game.
- The checkpoint system is drastically improved from the last game, making the game significantly more forgiving and less frustrating. You no longer have to start an entire mission from scratch every time you die. Missions also tend to be longer to compensate.
- Jak's health bar continuously becomes larger as the game goes which again means you won't die so often.
- Damas' death is one of the saddest and most touching moments in the series.
- The reveal of who are the real Precursors is one of the funniest moments in the series and finally explains why Daxter became an Ottsel when he fell into the Dark Eco pit.
- Hero mode returns and is much easier to unlock.
- Though very uncommon, Eco vents from Jak 1 make a return, offering either Dark Eco or Light Eco.
- The cars used for exploring the desert have very heavy turning and tend to get flipped over very easily, which makes them hard to control. This problem is worsened by driving missions often not having checkpoints, and is at its worst during the final boss.
- Unlike the past games, Keira is reduced to a minor role in this game, despite being a major character in the series. This is likely due to the fact that her original voice actress was too busy with other things and was replaced with Tara Strong, who would voice that role in the later games in the series.
- Jak can be a jerk sometimes. For example, he refused to go back to Haven City because he was angry that the corrupt Count Veger threw him out into the wasteland, and said he was through saving the world, but when he is forced to go back, he is almost enthusiastic about it.
- The PS4 port is just the PS2 version running on an emulator, despite the fact that it got an enhanced remaster on the PS3 in 2012. The other two games in the Jak trilogy got this same kind of treatment.
Jak 3 received critical acclaim, with critics praising the gameplay, as well as the immense story. Fans generally consider it the best game in the franchise. It is not uncommon to find Jak 3 in "Best PS2 games" lists.
Jak 3 was also praised for its exceptional production values and some of the nicest visuals on the PlayStation 2, 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.
At one point Naughty Dog was developing a sequel for Jak 3, but it was quickly cancelled due to fans' negative reaction to early concept art and Naughty Dog themselves wanting to focus on new things. Concept art for the cancelled Jak 4 can still be found online.
- You should make sure to take a break from missions occasionally to search for Precursor Orbs. The upgrades you get from them are very useful and they're scattered all over Haven City and Spargus.
- Destroy enemy cars in the desert to get turbo boosts.
- Dark Makers frequently bring up shields to block most of your attacks. Effective weapons to deal with them include the Peace Maker mod 1, Blaster mod 2, and Scatter Gun mod 2.
- Whenever the Dark Makers put away their shields they immediately attack so be careful.
- An easy way to kill Dark Makers is to knock them into a bottomless pit.
- Dark Jak is also efficient at taking down Dark Makers. If you're near a Dark Eco vent, you can keep using Dark Jak's screen nukes to mow down Dark Makers.
- Remember you can also use Light Jak's powers in combat. Since enemies sometimes drop Light Eco after being defeated, using Light Jak's Light Regeneration is useful to restore your health.
- When surrounded by Metal Heads or Dark Makers, use Dark Jak's screen nuke attacks. It'll wipe out all the enemies and the amount of Dark Eco they leave behind will likely recharge the Dark Jak meter.