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BioWare’s martial-arts epic Jade Empire is free on Origin

Dragon Age and Mass Effect fans, pay attention. You'll want to try this game.


Dennis Scimeca

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 2, 2015   Updated on May 27, 2021, 1:48 pm CDT

If you’re tired of playing as space marines and dragon slayers in your role-playing games and would rather be a mystical martial artist, there’s a game you should try—and it’s free for a limited time.

Jade Empire: Special Edition is currently free through Electronic Arts’s digital distribution platform Origin. If you liked the way BioWare made the latter-day Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles feel more like action games and less like standard RPGs, you might love Jade Empire.

The game takes place in ancient China and features the same branching storylines, narrative-heavy design, and relationships with followers that define modern BioWare titles like Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect 3. The combat is based on mixing different martial-arts styles while managing multiple opponents.

Here’s a peek at what end-game fights look like once you’ve unlocked a handful of different styles.

Jade Empire was originally released as an exclusive for the original Xbox. The special edition of the game features enhanced graphics aimed specifically at PCs, higher difficulty settings, new enemies, and new fighting moves.

All you need to get a free copy of the game is an Origin account.

Illustration via Electronic Arts

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*First Published: Dec 2, 2015, 2:27 pm CST