Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Review

Developer: BioWare Publisher: LucasArts
Release Date: July 15, 2003 Also On: PC and Xbox

We have known about the power that RPG/Strategy based games have on people. Games like Warcraft III, Diablo, and Counterstike, but nobody would think that a Star Wars game could ever get to have the power these games have to all of its fans on a console. Well, it has been finally been done. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, KOTOR for short, had been in production for about 2 years and had many people wondering what exactly the game was trying to be, an RPG or an Action/Adventure game? Yes. It simply isn’t either or, it is both. KOTOR brings it all to the table with force. It has the massive inventory and party members as most RPG’s do, but it has many large and expansive worlds that are simply beautifully done. No fogging, no clipping, nothing negative about them. A long and addicting game that looks and feels good to play is rare, but this is one of them.

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KOTOR is easily the best looking game available on the Xbox today. The environments are large and beautifully rendered and seem a lot like they would appear in one of the Star Wars films. Water flows in nearby lakes and streams, blades of grass and trees sway as the wind blows steadily by. Some of the worlds are peaceful and quiet. Ancient ruins and sacred monuments are scattered throughout the lands, all of this and yet no fogging or clipping? There are no glitches in these worlds as of what can be seen by the common gamer. The character design is original and excellent. You get to choose the kind of person you start out as; a male/female scoundrel, scout, or soldier. There are ten different templates that the characters can look like; that’s ten appearances for the males, ten for the females, all of which have different faces and/or skin color. They all have different types of clothing to wear in their worlds. You have to come across them as you travel however. The weapons all appear real and shine as polished metal would. From guns, to swords, to lightsabers, there are plenty to keep you customizing your party. Enemies are spared no detail nor are the people of the worlds that you venture. All of them look as real as your party members. Secondary characters of the same species however do not have any distinct features to tell them apart from one another but that is the only real flaw.

Star Wars has always been known for its vast array of different alien species and languages. BioWare and Lucas Arts adapted these languages for gaming use. Even the most hardcore SW fans won’t be able to tell the difference between how a Jawa yells and the roars of the Wookies, truly the most brilliant and most elaborate array of foreign languages in a game. All these languages have subtitles to comprehend what the aliens are trying to tell you. Voiceovers for the game are nothing to take lightly either, since all of the voice acting was extremely well done. All the voices are eerie and evil for the dark side and kind and cheerful for the light side, simply brilliant. A lot of time was put into KOTOR’s sound and it pays off.

If you think Final Fantasy had the best RGP battle style, wait till you check out KOTOR. All of the battles are rendered in real time instead of loading up to an opponent screen wondering what enemy awaits you. You see all enemies approach you and you choose how to attack in real time commands. Your party members will fight for themselves so you only have to focus on how you are fighting and their health. The battle style takes a while to master, but once you do, it is the best. Movement around these massive worlds are as easy as anything. You walk around the cities and valleys searching for answers. A is the action button because you interact with people and open doors with this button. The only problem is KOTOR is not a game for the younger generation to just pick up and expect to be able to win. There is a lot of strategy and understanding that is involved in playing it that people under 10 or people without knowing about Star Wars before would have a difficult time completing this. Only a minor short fall however that makes the game even longer than it already is.

The people at the sci-fi convention will be crowding around KOTOR as if it was George Lucas himself. They would throw themselves at this game’s mercy. Combined with addicting gameplay, fantastic storyline outside the movies, a ship like the Millennium Falcon, plus lightsabers, KOTOR easily has everything anybody could want in a Star Wars game or an RPG/Adventure game. All of the Star Wars elements are here and everything is delivered with perfection, nobody would even think about turning this game down.

Overall, KOTOR delivers everything you could ever want to the table. Addicting gameplay with a great storyline is always destined for success, but BioWare added everything else everybody wanted to see in the Star Wars movies and put it here. There is about 60 hours of game here to complete entirely, but add the fact that it has downloadable content via Xbox Live and you are in heaven. This easily is the deepest single player game on the Xbox, even deeper than Morrowind’s massively long game. No RPG could possibly come close to the power of KOTOR on the Xbox, none!

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 10
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 10
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 9.7
Written by Shawn Review Guide

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