Just got it tonight... Sad to say they didn't improve ranged combat much, my #1 gripe about JO.
The initial missions seem fun though, graphics are FAR superior (noticeably so... ironic it's on the same engine, just really tweaked), and the ability to (sorta) create your own character is fun.
Leaves for some creativity room, and it's a customizer's wet dream I think (Like Galaxies is).
Choosing your missions and your initial gear pack is kinda fun too. Lends for some creative reasoning before the game's even begun.
From what I hear, it's a much MUCH more editable game than Outcast is. I'm not much good at editing myself, but I know people have stopped JO projects to port them (Easily I hear) to JA's far superior engine.
So, being that I've only finished one (droid hunt/Tatooine level) I can't confirm if it's a good or bad game, but I enjoyed my running around. I just wish I had more energy to stick at it for a long time, haha.