Star Wars: Knights of the Old Repuplic is a very ambitious RPG, and even though the game does stutter at points, the game performs well and engages the player in a thriving community of aliens, Jedi and droids set in the wonderfully imaginative world of Star Wars. Even if you are only mildly interested in the films, this is a perfect RPG that will keep you coming back for a long, long time.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic bases itself 4000 years before the events of the movie, which surprising but rewarding in the end. Even though hard-core fans of the series will not be graced by any recognisable characters from the films, the game doesn’t hold back with its story and introduces the gamer to a whole new set of personalities. By not basing the game on the what we already know, the developers started with an empty canvas on which to create an entirely new universe, and they have done it extremely well.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Gameplay
You play as a Republic soldier who’s ship has been attacked by the Sith and you have had to make a crash landing on the planet Taris. As you desperately try to find Bastila, the faithful Jedi destined to destroy the Sith advance, you need to get off this rock and eventually face the evils that afflict the entire universe.
But your destiny isn’t just laid out in front of you. You decide whether to become a dark Sith or noble Jedi, and this depends on what choices you make within the game. Will you kill the innocent civilian to receive a generous bounty, or instead give them money to pay it off, and therefore preserve their life? Even though the game’s story doesn’t change dramatically because of these choices (until the end), you do affect the people and world around you, whether for good or for evil.
The game manages to create a lively atmosphere and give the impression that each planet is inhabited by hundreds of populace, rich and poor, good or bad. From having an intense duel in the duelling ring, to hunting and killing for bounties. Why not have a game of Pazzak, or even travel to the Under City where all of the Outcasts live in their rags, plagued by a horrible disease which turns them into monsters? Bearing in mind, that is just the first world.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic includes 7 complete worlds, which is absolutely massive. To give you an idea of the length of the game, I completed the first world (without actually having finished every quest) in around 7 hours. However, unlike some RPGs, it doesn’t become a constant grind as you are given many quests and objectives and meet interesting people. The game just doesn’t get old.
Like all good RPGs, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic enables you to upgrade your character, buy, sell and equip an assortment of weapons and collect items for a specific advantage. However, you also have a party. This consists of a pair of friends you have recruited along your journey which follow you around and prove useful in battles and also for their stats and skills. It is just too cool to have a friendly Wookie run up to the enemy and wallop them over the head.
Combat does seem a little stunted at first as it’s almost turn-based and lacks real flow, but one great feature is that you can pause time. This enables you to choose attacks and strategies and also equip new weapons. This adds a certain amount of strategy to the combat, but sacrifices general flow in the process.
The only bad point to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is its presentation. Its graphics look beautiful at times, but let the game down at others. Same goes for the sound effects. Thankfully, Aspyr included the original Star Wars soundtrack which is brilliant. Another problem with the graphics is that they slow-down a lot in wide open spaces where there is a lot happening. The game is still playable, but noticeably worse.
Overall, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a charming RPG which fails to bore, and instead just gives more and more sensational gameplay. Being able to control your own decisions shapes your character and the variety of people you will meet along the way helps create a wonderful and believable community of humans and aliens alike.
Developer: Aspyr Media Inc.
Price: $9.99 (£9.99)
Description: A 3D RPG Set in the Star Wars Universe
Pros: Great story, realistic characters and personalities, long.
Cons: Lack of flowing combat, performance issues.
Advised Control Method: All (trackpad usable)