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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox) artwork

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox) review

"There are very few games that really live up to the Star Wars name; some would comment that none do. Lets face it though it would be hard if not impossible to get the feel of Star Wars right in a video game, but BioWare has done the impossible in KOTOR. "

There are very few games that really live up to the Star Wars name; some would comment that none do. Lets face it though it would be hard if not impossible to get the feel of Star Wars right in a video game, but BioWare has done the impossible in KOTOR.

Before you run out and buy this realize that this isnít your typical RPG. KOTOR isnít like Final Fantasy; itís not the kind of game you would think of when you think of RPGs on any console. The game plays out like a pick-your-own-adventure book, meaning that you pick what you do and you pick what you say (kind of like role playing). Depending on what you do or say in the game can change the path you take later in the game (and also if your evil or good). While this may lead to loads of replay value, but some people may be turned away from itís unusual play style, I for one love it and hope it is used again.

When you start the game your given a chose on what class and sex you want your character to be, there are three different classes; soldier, scout, and scoundrel. Each one has positives and negatives, the soldier has more power then the others, the scout automatically has the ability to wear enhancers and is all around good, the scoundrel has the best stealth and can do double the damage when striking an enemy in the back. There is no good or bad class it all depends on how you like to play the game. And surprisingly enough sex does matter, going threw the game as a male you may find that females respond to you more and you may find it easier to boss people around, on the other hand playing threw as a female men my respond to you more and you may find it easier to sway peoples judgment. After picking your sex and class youíre given the chance to mess around with your stats, skills, and feats. After a few hours a game you have to pick a one of the three Jedi classes and force powers. When you level up you get to pick more stats, skills, feats, or force powers. This all leads to lots and lots of custom ability.

When you run into your first battle you may find your self utterly confused. The first thing that happens is the game pauses; I thought the game froze the first time this happened. You can move the camera around but nothing moves till you put in a command or press the white button. During this frozen time you can input up to four commands for your person(s) to do, when you unpause the game they will do the commands in the order you gave them. This can be a little unwieldy at first, but the in-game help gradually puts you in the game without being too patronizing. Again this type of game play may turn off lots of gamers, but I like it.

What really make this game shine are its story and its mini quests; hell the whole game is one mini quest after another. And surprisingly none of the quest are the same at all, one quest will have you saving a hostage while the next quest will have you sneaking into a sith base to abstract data. These quests can be done multiple ways; sometimes you wonít have to fight at all. There are tons of these quests on each of the seven worlds. I have found myself saying, ďone more quest then Iím doneĒ, only to quit after five more.

The story is something you would expect from a Star Wars movie. The universe is being over run by the dark sith lord Malak and he has an army of immeasurable proportions that seemingly came out of nowhere. Your job is to find out where this huge army came from and stop lord Malak. Sure this may look like a cut and paste story line but the twists, turns, and back-stories threw out leave you wanting more. Some times I would go around my ship and talk to my crewmembers just to see what they say about them selves.

There are a few things that keep this game from being perfect. First of all is the loading, when you leave an area there a short loading time. It wouldnít be so bad if some of the quests didnít make you go to two different areas only to pick up a part or talk to a person for a second, this leads to you leavening an area going in that area for about a minuet leavening that area to go back then having to do it over again, this really disrupts the flow of the game. Another thing I hate, are the alien voices. You can tell that itís the same two or three voice samples for each race over and over again. And the alien voices are annoying; the human voices are spot on, even though the animations some times donít fit right with what the person is saying or feeling. Iím sure if you look around the net you will find someone complaining about the bugs in this game. Yes, there are bugs in this game but I have only came across two big ones. The screen would fade to black after a conversation and would stay black, this only happened twice my whole time playing. The other bug wouldnít let me equip weapons on one of my Jedi, this happened a two or three times but it tends to go away after a few tries. None of these problems stopped me from playing the game.

Iím not one to pick up a game and play it over and over again thatís really true when it comes to RPGs, but I have played KOTOR over and over again. I have never played a RPG with so much replay value, you have so many options just picking a protagonist. If your tired of console RPGs or you just want to try something new I suggest you pick this up. If youíre a Star Wars fan pick this up, I learned more then I ever wanted to know about Star Wars playing this game. But you might want to wait for the PC version; hopefully they pulled all the bugs out of it by then.

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Community review by phoenix_crow (September 04, 2003)

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